I have been silent for awhile. I have been suffering with a broken heart. There are days when the greatest victory I achieve is simply rising from bed.
Some days it is a struggle to just breath normally. The memories of what was...the fear of what might be...these are crippling at times.
It is maddening to me that the rest of the world continues to move on, as if my whole world has not been shaken to its very foundation. But, that is how it must be.
I am still required to go to work, fix meals for my family, clean my house, pay my bills. The ordinary everyday continues to demand that I move forward, even though I am so incredibly broken.
For those of you who may not know, my family and I are foster parents to my niece and 3 of my nephews...well we were. For 7 years now we have been knee deep in the uncaring bureaucracy of child protective services. But, on March 8th two of those children (age 3 and 22 months) were returned to the home of their birth mother.
You may be thinking, well what did you expect? You are just the foster mom, isn't this what you signed up for? And of course this was the ultimate goal, what was to be expected, at least originally. Oh, but three years of loving someone makes it incredibly difficult to just walk away, even under ideal circumstances. Knowing it was a possibility doesn't stop me from feeling like I have suffered a great loss. We literally lost 2 babies overnight. I still do not know how you say goodbye forever....and I am shaken.
And so I have been silent.
Silent when it was time to say goodbye to babies who were clinging to me, begging to stay.
Silent as I hold the sobbing shoulders of my "other" kids.
Silent as I watch my husband's heart break along with mine.
Silent as my 7 year old asks me who will keep the boys safe now.
Silent as my 4 year old asks when his brothers are coming back.
Silent as I look into the sad eyes of my children.
Silent from my weekly radio program, Growing Stronger Together.
Silent from here, from this blog where I try to encourage people to SHINE.
How can I encourage others when I am struggling so deeply myself?
Maybe people are wondering if I have lost my faith in God and that is why I am writing today.
As I stated above, I am broken and shaken to my very core, but my humanness does not change who God is. Hebrews 13:8 reminds us that, "Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever." My circumstances may have changed, but my God has not, and there is comfort in that. The truth of 2 Timothy 1:12 has become my heart's cry, "because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day."
I admit, the days have been dark, but God....
But God has been faithful,
"But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness." ~Psalm 86:15
"Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you, He will never leave you nor forsake you." ~Deuteronomy 31:6
I love that, even in my humanness, maybe even despite my humanness, God remains faithful to me.
The truth is, I do not know what tomorrow holds. I do not know if there will be more heartache and pain, or if there will be some victory. I do not know, BUT God knows. I would be lying to say that I can rest easy in knowing that God has this all in his hands. My heart aches, my mind constantly worries, but when I look to the cross, I can find peace. I do not like what is happening, this part of God's plan for me. But, I don't have to like it, I only have to trust that God has a plan.
"For I know the plans I have for you...plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future." ~Jeremiah 29:11
"All things work together for the good of those who love the Lord and who are called according to His purpose." ~Romans 8:28
So, have I lost my faith? No way! The only thing getting me through the day to day is my faith! Yes, I am broken and I am shaken....but He is not!
"Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see."
If you are walking through a dark valley and are struggling to find hope, please, please, please seek His face, immerse yourself in God's word and God's promises, He will not disappoint you. As always if you have questions or comments please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
With Unshakeable Faith,