When The Rubber Meets The Road
This past year has been a lesson in patience and endurance. There are seasons in our lives when we just have to keep treading water in hopes that the life boat will come soon.
Growth is never easy, it’s painful and it reveals some ugly in us that we didn’t know we had.
One week ago, this post could have looked vastly different. One week ago I could have sat down and cried and begged God for mercy, but everything changed in one day.
I am not proud of myself, my lack of faith, the fear that so easily wells up and consumes my thoughts. That’s not how I want to live, for any reason. Our foster journey has brought out dark places in my heart and thoughts. It has made me a new kind of angry. Admittedly, I struggle with anger. I am quick to snap and unfortunately slow to see the fall out. I can say, “it’s for a good reason” all I want, but that doesn't make it so. I can try as hard as I might to justify the fear, lack of faith, even the anger, but when I sit down with myself, and really give myself a heart check, I am found wanting.
He just let me hold him and cry until my heart was empty of all my selfishness
Jana’s last blog cut me deep. It made me examine myself at the soul level. Have I fallen asleep? Have I been lulled into a world where all I think about is myself and how everything affects me? I think I did. I lost sight of why we started fostering in the first place. It was all about me and what I wanted. I tried to justify why it was “best” for our Little Lion Man to stay with us. I could list 100 reasons and site examples and tell all the tales and make you feel like I was being done dirty by the system. But I was wrong. So wrong. I thought I knew what was best, and only I could be the one to make the right decision for this baby’s life because I was the one who was raising him. No one else knows him like I do. No one who had the power to make these choices knows him like I do— his favorite toy, tv show, song, food, etc.. I was prepared to wage war on anyone who tried to take him from me. Then I prayed. I just stopped and prayed. I have an army of people who have stood with us through this, people who would testify that my family is the absolute best option for him. I drug God and country into my war, or what I thought was my war.
I say all this, as convoluted as it is, to simply say this: I surrendered. Our court date was swiftly approaching and I just stopped and laid it down. I stopped fighting and just decided to be in the moment. Whatever the judge decided, I would accept. We would intervene because we believe Little Lion Man is worth fighting for, but in the same breath, I would have helped the process along in any way I could to see him have permanency. Even if that meant him leaving me, if it was inevitable, I would stop fighting for myself and start fighting for him.
I laid my Isaac down and just surrendered. It was painful, oh Lord, how I cried. I sat on the floor in my kitchen and sobbed while my little spout sat in my lap, hugging me, literally rubbing my back. He just let me hold him and cry until my heart was empty of all my selfishness and I looked at his big chocolate brown eyes, so full of wonder and adventure, and just wanted him to be happy and have a forever home, wherever that was. I just wanted him to grow up and have as normal a life as any other little boy.
A few days later, our wonderful CPS worker called and told us that we no longer had to worry about intervening. All roads were clearing for us to adopt. You can imagine our surprise and our elation.
I don’t know what your Isaac is, what you’ve been hanging onto so tightly that you can’t see past it. I don’t know what things you struggle with and need to let go of. All I can say is that there is redemption in the letting go. There is peace in the trials when we learn that the battle was never ours to begin with. I don’t know if you have been lulled to sleep by selfishness or complacency. If you are anything like me, and there has to be at least someone else out there who can relate, just know that there still time to just lay your Isaac down and rest in the goodness of God. He is good, His plans are good, even when it doesn’t seem good right now. Stop fighting battles that aren’t yours to fight. There is so much to be done in this world right now. Instead of fighting just to keep my Little Lion Man, I needed to surrender him. Instead of fighting just this one thing, I need to focus on the bigger picture. Let’s get our eyes off of us, and onto the big picture.
I would still encourage anyone to be a foster parent. I would still say the harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. It took my family 2.5 years to actually listen to our agency about just being in the moment. I got so side tracked and so caught up in the end goal of what I wanted that I forgot to just be present now and take one day at a time and trust God with the rest.
This is my challenge to you, lay your Isaac down, lay your weary hearts at the foot of the cross and just let it go. Be here, be now.