“I hate my life” …is that what Jesus really wants?

Not exactly a catchy motto nor appealing to someone wanting to be a foster parent. Yet lately, for my wife and I these words pop into our heads and sometimes, sadly, pop out of our mouths.

We’re in the toughest season of our 4-year-foster journey. The beautiful chaos of 3 kids age 4-and-under – one medically challenged and waking often in the night. Plus 4 active tweens/teens and the occasional stressor from the college kid, work and ministry. I get to that point in the day where I think I can breathe a minute…and then “one more thing” happens and those words just roll: “I hate my life.”

And, honestly, I have been “hating” just THAT: the thought of those words. I’m an optimist. I know we are fulfilling a calling and we’re obeying scripture. I know there’s joy upon joy to be found every day if I’ll stop and look for it. Heck, I hate the word “hate”! I know our lives are full of lots of incredible blessings…and yet those words…

But today it just hit me: maybe I do “hate my life” and that’s a GOOD THING. Jesus says in John 12:25, “Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life.” In Matthew 10:38-39, Jesus says, “And anyone who does not take up his cross and follow Me is not worthy of Me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.”

Praise God who gives rest, and strength, and joy, and hope to hate our very lives so that we might serve His beautiful children who enter our home. So when my wife gazes longingly at cyclists headed out on a ride, or I look yearningly at the stack of unread books on my nightstand, or we miss having time with friends we love who live not 5 miles away, we shouldn’t have regret, but instead we should REJOICE.

I am not my own; I have been bought with a price. And in remembering to rejoice, I will be reminded what I know to be the truth:

In Jesus, I love my life…