There is a lot of pain and turmoil throughout our nation for our black and brown brothers and sisters. I’ve been wrestling with it, trying to be still and listen as I continue to learn. I’ve been having conversations with friends who are gracious to share their experiences with me. As a white adoptive mom of brown and black kids, I know that I have an added responsibility to prepare my kids for what culture may say to them. I realize that I can’t speak to them from my personal experience on this specific issue, which is difficult for me. I already hurt for them with the pain and loss they experience surrounding their adoptions, and knowing that they may also be affected by racism hurts. I’m thankful for tools like Trillia Newbell’s children’s book, God’s Very Good Idea, that help me frame our conversations around God’s truth. In our conversation together, and in her book, Trillia centers her thoughts about race and diversity around God, his good designs for people, where it all went wrong, and why there is still hope.
HERE ARE MY 3 TAKEAWAYS FROM OUR CONVERSATION:
1. All of us were made in God’s image and are valuable and worthy of respect and care.
As a multiracial family with differences in personality, race, gifting, and opinions, I have learned—and continue to learn—to love and appreciate the uniqueness that makes our family what it is. Yes, our different approaches create opportunities for conflict at times but have ultimately taught us so much. This is also true in those I interact with, whether at work or otherwise; our world would be just plain boring if we were all the same! I love that Trillia reminded us that we have a creative God who was good and generous in how He created each of us. If we see our differences as purposefully designed by God, it can change the way we interact with one another. Our sameness in all being image-bearers of God who have value and worth and who all need saving grace levels us all on equal ground. The sin of pride, partiality, or racism is always ugly because it’s sin. When we place one race or one gift above another, we tear down God’s beautiful design for people.
“Our sameness should inform the way we love and communicate with other people because we are all made in the image of God with value and worth.”
2. We can prepare our kids for the evil of this world by creating space for communication and getting ahead of culture.
As an adult, I’m trying to wrap my mind around what is happening in the world, and there have been moments when it feels like too much to hold. I’m at a loss for words, and then, I think about my kids, and I struggle to know the best way to prepare them for the world in which they live. I was so thankful for Trillia’s simple encouragement that creating a space where our kids can feel heard is a huge first step. By feeling like they have a place to go with their questions, they know they are not alone. Beyond that though, as parents, I also loved Trillia’s practical example of how she and her husband try to get ahead of culture in teaching their kids. How fun is it that they cooked through an African American cookbook and then used God’s Word to talk to their kids about what it says about the good, bad, and ugly parts of history!
“Create an environment that is gracious so that they can come to you.”
3. Run to the God who hears your laments and repentance.
I don’t always have the right heart attitude when I encounter differences. Sometimes, I get stuck in fear, because when I’m confronted with something new, the way I currently understand or see the world is challenged. I certainly don’t always know the right things to do or say. And yet, I must remember, fear is not from God. I know that I must keep growing in my understanding despite that fear. The Lord continues to surround me with people who are humbly willing to teach me and grow alongside me. I want to love those who are different than me with the same love that God has poured out on me. In my sin and in our sin as a nation, I’m thankful for Trillia’s reminder that we can approach the throne of grace. God meets us in our sin and is the great Redeemer. Amen!
“If you have been convicted because you blew it, this is not the end of your story.”
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