“For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues... And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, helping, administrating, and various kinds of tongues.” (1 Cor. 12:8-10, 28)
I used to be insecure about my spiritual gift of administration. For one, it didn’t seem very powerful. What about healing, miracles, and prophecy? Is my spiritual gift lame because God did not deem my capacity for power sufficient? Secondly, it didn’t seem very feminine. All the women around me were skilled in helping, hospitality, or encouragement. These gifts all seemed so maternal, so fitting to the [incorrect] image of a “Proverbs 31 woman” that had been created in the culture.
Administration. I wasn’t mighty enough for the super-spiritual gifts nor womanly enough for the feminine gifts. [note: I DO NOT currently think hospitality or encouragement are feminine gifts…or that ANY gift is gender-specific]
When you’re pregnant, you hear alllllll the horror labor stories. Most of those are the anomalies – the rare fluke situation where someone had an allergic reaction to the epidural or labor lasted 45 hours. When you’re considering adoption, you hear about all the paperwork. Unfortunately, I don’t think these stories are anomalies. Adoptive parents are weighed down by the masses of forms, suffocated by documentation requests, and discouraged by information they are required to disclose yet don’t know where to find. Due to the overwhelming pervasiveness of adoption paperwork woes, I expected the worst. And I was, therefore, surprised when it was no big deal.
As you’ve seen glimpses of in my previous blog posts, A LOT of things about this adoption process have been paralyzing. The marital issues it has brought to the surface, the financial insecurity and sacrifice, the spotlight it has shown on my desire to control and lack of trust in God’s provision. For me, I could not understate the impact of those things on our life. Perhaps someone with the spiritual gift of faith would not struggle so much with trusting in God’s plan for their family, and someone with the spiritual gift of giving would not be so insecure in the finances of adoption. Those gifts would serve them well during the adoption process, just like my gift of administration has been a blessing to our family as I whipped through the paperwork and even earned a monetary voucher from our agency for finishing so quickly.
Through this new perspective, I began to see the power in administration. The power of taking some of the paperwork burden off my husband’s back as he works extra hours to save money. The power of getting to offer organization advice to other adoptive parents to whom I have also had the opportunity to share the Gospel. The power of relieving my soul of one huge area of stress so I can concentrate on other areas of preparing for parenthood.
And I also began to see the intimate connection between my spiritual gift of administration and motherhood. This seemingly “unfeminine,” “unmaternal” gift of mine is what is bringing our child home. Oh, the irony.
Thank you, Lord, for showing me mercy when I scoffed unappreciatively at the good things you have given me. I minimized the power of the Holy Spirit inside me – the same Holy Spirit that gives others the ability to prophesy or to have unwavering faith. Thank you for dealing gently with me as you slowly opened my eyes to the truth that you had a plan for my family before the creation of the world, and you gifted both me and Ryan in ways most aligned with your perfect plan.
To others with the spiritual gift of administration who don’t yet fully appreciate it – I hope this was an encouragement to you, from one admin to another!
To those who ARE overwhelmed with adoption paperwork and would like some tips on persevering through it – don’t hesitate to contact me!