Thursday, June 9, 2016
To be honest, I feel like I have only just begun the process of healing and am by no means an expert in the matter. However, I have found a few things that have helped and hope that by sharing them here someone else can be encouraged to find healing.
I have always had such a hard time dealing with heartache and tend to run the other direction from anything that looks even remotely like it might be painful. The hardest part in my journey toward healing has been to allow, and even force myself to "Be still and know that He is God." (Psalm 46:10) My quiet time has taken a hard hit because of the broken place I have been in. This is not because I am angry at God, or that I have lost faith in Him, but rather that to sit before the Lord means to be vulnerable to myself about the depth of hurt I am running from. This has been the largest obstacle to healing. So a great place to start is to reconnect with the Lord and allow Him to be the healer of your soul.
Another thing that has helped me is to allow myself to remember and to talk about the memories with others. I have read a lot recently that one of the hardest things about losing a love one to death is that people are afraid to say their name, especially around those grieving the loss. I know that my loss is not exactly death but the loss is very similar. That actually is part of the frustration, it is a unique place to be in, suffering a great loss but not one that is really recognized by society as such. There are no "Sorry for the loss of your foster kid" cards out there on the market. And as for support groups for other people in my shoes, well I haven't been able to find one anywhere near here. A great second step toward healing though is to treasure the memories you had.
Recently one of the boys celebrated his 3rd birthday and though I cannot deliver it to him, I decided to write him a birthday card. I just shared how much I loved and missed him and prayed that he was happy and healthy where he was. I plan to continue this tradition in hopes of maybe one day being able to share these cards with the boys so that they will know that I didn't just walk away and stop caring. Maybe I will never get that opportunity, but hope is like a healing balm to a weary soul. And so I hope. Hope and creating new memories is another great stride toward the journey of healing.
One last step I hope to be taking soon is to make some changes in the world around me. Pain has a way of catapulting people into action and I hope to be able to use this part of my story to help others who are struggling with some of these same things. This blog is the first step in that journey, but I eventually hope to start a support group for other foster parents who are struggling.
Let me leave you with a few verses that I hope will encourage you as much as it has me...
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.
He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.