Saturday, June 15, 2013

Walking Wounded

Man, these past few weeks have been filled with excruciating struggles and crushing hardships.  I would not even know where to begin in retelling the battles we have been facing.  The best analogy I can give is one of someone standing in the midst of a literal battlefield.  Bullets flying from every direction, no time to rest, weary and hungry.  Surrounded by destruction on all sides.  Seeking some sort of shelter from the crushing blows all around, and struggling to help those on our side to stay safe.
The trouble is, those we are trying to keep safe are little ones, and the bullets are coming from people who are suppose to be protecting them.  My momma heart is really struggling as I honestly feel like I am standing on the battlefield with 8 children that need to be protected, some of them have already been wounded.  Some by mean words, some by physical blows, others by poor care, and all by a system that is suppose to protect them.

I have never really been much of a fighter, especially in the physical sense.  I grew up avoiding any possibility of confrontation or conflict and focused on being a people pleaser.  Then I became a mom and all of that changed.  I learned to stand up for my kids.  I am sitting here thinking of countless times that God gave me opportunities to rise up and become the Tiger Momma I needed to be.  And yet, God has continued to stretch me in this area.  These past 5 years I have spent fighting for the safety and well being of my niece and nephews.  It has been a long, hard battle.  One that actually started back in 1998 when my 3 year old nephew was killed, and one that has no end in sight.

I feel like I am standing in the middle of an open field, looking around for somewhere to hide, and yet there is no where.  I see the bullets flying at us, I try to shield all of them, but I cannot.  I feel overwhelmed at the thought of losing even one and yet, I do not see how I can fight to keep all of them safe.  When one is wounded, I rush to care for him or her, only to see another one take a hit.  There have been times we were close to a safe place, only to be drug back out into the field.  Just this week we were suppose to have a trial to terminate parental rights on two of these babies, so we could move forward toward adoption.  Instead the trial was postponed until August...this is the 3rd time this has happened.

This past year, the battle has heated up to a level of intensity that is suffocating.  I hope this means we are drawing near the end.  When we have expressed our fears and concerns with the agency put in place to help the kids we have been told things like:

"This system is not for the children, it is set up for the parents and it is all about their rights."

"These children have no rights."

"Though this will cause life long harm to this child, similar to ripping off a bandage, it just has to happen."

"We are not a proactive system, we are a reactive system."

Things like this discourage my heart maybe even more than the fact that there is a need for these types of services to begin with.  This past week, the will to fight has been taken away.  I lay on the filthy blood soaked ground, trying with all the energy I could muster, to tuck the little ones underneath me.  I watched the enemy come and start to take them away.  I drifted in and out of consciousness.  It seemed the battle was over.

But then it happened...a breath of life that began to refill me.  It was unexpected.  I was resting at a friends, she had come and peeled me up off the filthy ground.  She cared for my babies and let me rest, she fed us and just gave us love.  She shared her air conditioning!  I was in her bathroom when it happened.  I looked up and there on her wall was a 3x5 card with these words of life printed on it,  "I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord In the land of the living. Wait for the Lord;  Be strong and let your heart take courage;  Yes, wait for the Lord. Psalm 27:13-14"  

It was like a ray of light in the midst of the darkness that was threatening to overtake me.  I love that God's word has that kind of power.  Oh, the battle isn't over- sometimes we have to walk through the storm rather than be taken from it- but I have been given new strength, and new hope that, though I cannot see the end, the Lord can.

In fact, He can see the beginning and the end.

In fact, He IS the beginning and the end (Revelations 21:6)

So...I will not despair because I believe that I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.  Instead, I will wait for the Lord;  remain strong and let my heart take courage;  Yes, I will wait for the Lord

But I will pray that He hurries! Pray with me?