Growth & Change, Hurt & Grace
Well, my resolution for 2014 to create a blog resulted in one blog post. One. Here’s the thing…I write ALL the time and I was Bible journaling before it was a fad. I keep my writings private, though. After January 2015, I decided that I never wanted anyone to read my writings EVER again. On January 30, 2015, life as my family had known it for fourteen years changed, suddenly, violently, and painfully. With all of my being, I wanted to relocate 2,000 away from everything and every one. I did not, but it was difficult to hold my head up and attempt to keep the remaining members of my family intact. We weathered the storm. Looking back, I can see the hand of God carrying us through the toughest of those times and making us stronger in the broken places.
As much as I was looking forward to a senior year with a child that I raised, it was taken from me. Somehow, I got up every morning and went to work, trying my best to show compassion and grace to my clients. I felt robbed. I was angry and every night, I cried. My sweet husband and I were not included in any senior event after January 30. In fact, on the night of his graduation, Mark was working and Tatum and I were shopping 3 hours away. Mark and I heard the comments from many family members who blamed the choices of an 18-year-old on us and attempted to shame us for not being there. Somehow, our marriage grew stronger than it ever had been.
In the past six months, more changes have come for our family. For starters, we bought my grandparents’ home and we are still in the process of making it our own. Some days, I feel like I’m staying the night with Mawmaw and Pawpaw again. It’s a sweet feeling. Also, I am back in education and I LOVE it. Tatum changed schools, which was major. However, she has really astounded me and has found her niche in band.
Last week, one of my precious students shared her testimony in front of the entire school. She shared the blessings and the struggles, and the deep loss that she has experienced. It was an honest, emotional portrait of faith and grace. It challenged me to admit to myself that with the exception of Mark and one female friend, no one had heard my story, because I was ashamed to tell it.
My favorite Scripture is Isaiah 55:8-9,
" For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.
9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts."
I don’t always like God's tactics, but I can not argue with His results. I do not like the tactics that brought us to this place. I believe I will always feel that a piece of my heart is missing, but God is SO VERY FAITHFUL! He has filled my life with 87 other children, though not mine biologically either, but they and their parents allow me to be a part of their special events. It’s more than a job; it’s a ministry. I love it. God has been so faithful to me through my grief, my anger, my shame, my loss, and my disillusionment. He has truly filled my life with good things. My relationships are deeper than they were two years ago. My prayer life is stronger than it was two years ago. My marriage is stronger than it was two years ago. I don’t like the tactics at all. I will always miss Weston. I will always love him. I will continue to be thankful for the years that we invested in him.
I don’t think I’ll hide my writings anymore. I pray that my experiences will help others. I am also working on becoming more transparent for my own benefit, and just perhaps that of others. Blessings–
Weekly columnist. Feature Writer.