I couldn't understand at the beginning of the week why I felt out of sorts -- struggling with old problems once resolved both physically and emotionally, fighting against the giants of fear and anxiety that I once slung rocks at and hit square in the forehead, boldly announcing that I would walk in the courage of faith.
I went to bed Tuesday night and slept wild and dreamed wilder, and I woke up the next morning with a sense that all of yesterday's issues had followed me into that very day.
And I was done; I didn't want to bring the hard into the new; I wanted to leave it all where I feel like it belonged -- in the past where I didn't have to look it square in the face again.
I determined that morning that God's mercies are new, and I would see those mercies, a fresh gift whiter than the fresh snow covering the ground. I would not allow yesterday to slow me down because I refused to wallow.
Which all sounds noble and strong and courageous until you are reminded that courage and strong and noble are only born truly out of abiding.
Wouldn't it be simpler had my word for the year just been courageous? Why did I have to have double words this year? Abiding is much harder than being courageous. Abiding is actually harder than most any other things I could "do" or "be."
A friend reminded me that morning after she had read my presumptuous victory march that sometimes we deal with the same things over and over and over again until we truly are healed from the wounds we've suffered.
And sometimes healing doesn't look like we think it will look or should look or does look.
Sometimes healing looks different than what we thought.
It wasn't lost on me when she reminded me that we were standing in the same week this year that we were standing in last year when we found out of Selah had slipped into Heaven after just three short months in my womb.
My body and my mind remembered, but would I slow down enough to remember and honor and turn over the hurts and even the healing that's happened during the past year to my Healer?
And it certainly wasn't lost on me that every single big-ticket meeting I was supposed to be at this week had been cancelled.
It had been brewing for weeks, like tea bags dripping into water beneath a hot summer sun, the whisper I heard the Spirit speaking into my heart to slow down and make room for Him
more of Him.
I finally decided that Wednesday to act on it -- to make room and space for Him
and for what He wanted to do inside my heart.
I'd been asking for healing of the anxieties that swell in my heart at times and asking for healing of the physical annoyances that bother me and asking for healing for the parts of my heart that still feel tender to the touch, though they are not open and gapping and weeping.
And He kept saying to me to believe. And so I believed, and I wondered why the healing didn't come as I expected-- miraculous and instantaneous. I finally cried out Tuesday night and asked what I was doing wrong.
You see the thing about believing is that I'm having a hard time believing without really abiding.
He's been inviting me to abide -- to remove the distractions that stand in the way of truly abiding in Him so that I might believe, perhaps even so that healing might come in the very way I didn't expect it.
So, there is this:
I will not wallow in the grief or in the fear or in the anxiety.
But I will linger for longer than what is comfortable in the discomforts of those parts of life that still hurt.
And I will pick up those pieces that felt like they were sheered right off of my still-beating heart, and instead of ignoring them, I will give them to you, Lord, to do what you will.
And I will ask You to heal those wounds and realize that sometimes healing won't look like that heart being put back together in the same shape that it once was
because it is now a heart that has been broken
by the hurts of this life
... just like yours.
And I will recognize that a heart broken is still one that beats
just differently so.
I will not wallow, but I will linger.
And I will abide.
For the entire span of lent, I'll be posting extremely sporadically. Thanks for being here. Thanks for reading.
Thursday, March 6, 2014
Wednesday, February 26, 2014
It began with a simple Facebook post from a friend I know mostly know online.
It wasn't long. It wasn't a pouring out of her heart. It was a simple share about a cause she felt connected to.
And it helped change our lives.
Christine had posted a link to New Horizons for Children, a hosting organization that seeks to match up foreign orphans with families who will open their homes to them for a hosting period.
Honestly, we knew nothing about hosting orphans. And, honestly, we didn’t really know the need was as great as we were about to learn it was.
Last year in March, our hearts broke when we found out our baby had gone to Heaven before we’d ever hold her in our arms. During that time of heartache, we found ourselves crying out to God and asking again for guidance in adding children to our family. During this time, we kept hearing the same message: “Care for the least of these.”
When our friend posted about New Horizons for Children while our hearts were aching still from our loss, we felt a specific tug on our hearts to learn more. And as we read about children without parents, children who are older and have little resources or hope of being adopted because of their age and social dogma in their countries, our hearts began to break for the child who was without a forever family of his or her own.
We knew we couldn't host during the summer because we were still healing from our loss, but when the winter photo listing went live, John and I knew we both were feeling called to care for the least of these through hosting.
We hosted our child this winter through New Horizons for Children and found that hosting goes a long way for these children because it’s likely the first time in their lives they’ve know what it's like to be chosen and loved. Also, hosting changed our family and began to grow in us a passion to heal these tender wounds of the world simply through offering to be a family to the family-less. Our family decided we were being invited to adopt, and we began praying for God to make beauty out of the broken. Again because of stigma and limited resources, many orphans, after they age out of government care, unfortunately have bleak futures.
Here's what New Horizons shares on the website:
"The likelihood that kids in Eastern Europe will lack a quality education, simple life skills necessary for survival and more is extremely high. About 10%-15% commit suicide by 18-20 years old. Up to 60% of girls are lured into prostitution and about 70% of boys resort to - or are forced into - a life of crime. This region of the world is also one of the highest sources of human trafficking on Earth today; millions of girls are sex slaves today simply because they were unfortunate enough to grow up as orphans in these parts of the world.”
The love of a family, through hosting and/or adoption, often changes the course of these children’s lives.
Hosting and ultimately adoption were both born out of our cries to God to break our hearts for what breaks His.
So why #ArtforAdoption and not some other kind of fundraiser?
#ArtforAdoption was born out of my desire to see the broken morph into beautiful, as I really started creating artwork as a way to work out my feelings amidst such grief and brokenness of losing three babies. And so goes hosting and adoption: both are the results of brokenness … but beauty can be born of the broken.
While we're trying to make a difference in one child's life through our #ArtoforAdoption fundraiser, this fundraiser also serves as a way to help advocate for other children who are waiting for the love of a family by bringing into the forefront the great need for families to host or become simply, like my friend Christine, become a voice for the voiceless. That simple Facebook post she shared was just what our ready hearts needed to help us move into action.
Part of our goal with #ArtforAdoption is to bring organizations like New Horizons, organizations that seek to meet the great need of orphans in countries where orphans are greatly stigmatized, into the forefront of people’s minds. Many of these children just need a chance; many of them just need a family to love them through hosting.
So, let's do something beautiful together as we appreciate and bid on beautiful things -- let's help bring one child home and begin a conversation that advocates for others! Together, let’s help bring beauty out of the broken.