I understand what it’s like to know all the right things to think and say, and yet not be able to make my heart line up.
That’s where I’ve been for most of the past eight years. And being in this place has actually made be a better person, because it’s made me more compassionate and much less judgmental. It’s also brought me to new levels of faith that I never would have experienced if I’d been able to manage life on my own.
I wrote a bit about it on my devotion running on Encouragement for Today. If you are joining me after reading my devo, welcome! Here’s a bit more of my story.
For much of my life, I believed I could handle anything. So with some elbow grease, grit and determination, I’ve tackled every situation and problem that came my way.
Then God called us to adopt. Older children. Two little sisters. From Africa.
Combine every challenge you can face with adoption (known and unknown) and package it into two little girls with lovely dark-chocolate skin and hair in braids woven tight to their scalps.
And into my well-organized, in-control life came one thing after another I couldn’t “fix.”
I couldn’t fix hearing loss, cognitive disabilities, developmental delays, attachment issues, social barriers, or a host of behaviors that came from abuse, deprivation, neglect and exposure to things no little girl should have to face.
No amount of my experience, effort, love and compassion could repair the damage done to my beloved daughters. At least not completely. And so many days ended in frustration
Imagine hitting your head against a brick wall until you are bloody, and then doing it again. That’s what it felt like for this woman who had been able to previously set goals, develop a plan of attack and then achieve those goals. Instead of accomplishments, day after day was filled with tears, pain, grief, and a lot of anger borne from my inability to mend and heal and fix.
But with two little dark faces looking up at me, the emotion I have felt the most is helplessness.
I want desperately to mend the wounds, heal the hurts and fill in the gaps, but no matter how hard I tried, it seemed as if my help made a minimal difference.
Then the questions began. God doesn’t make mistakes, but did we? Did we mis-hear God? Was someone else supposed to raise these girls? Did we step in too quickly?
We looked at verses like Philippians 4:13 and wondered what if we weren’t the ones to raise these children? This verse says: “I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” But what if this wasn’t our calling? Could someone else do a better job than us? Someone smarter, more patient, more resourceful, more creative?
Hard questions multiplied. Questions that I wouldn’t have asked pre-adoption. And each time I asked questions with gut honesty, God met me in that hard place. Reassuring me that He did indeed choose us to parent these girls. Specifically because we don’t give up easily. Our determination and fortitude matters.
We have also learned God chose us as our daughters’ parent not just for them, but to do a good work in us as well. There are unpleasant, ugly things this experience has revealed in me. And it’s the revealing and admitting and confessing that God has been able to step in and bind up my own broken places.
God was the answer all along. It was never up to me to heal my daughters. It wasn’t my job to “fix” them. It’s was God’s job all along. My job was to be faithful and love my girls with a love that holds them with hands open, but with silken ties that are unbreakable.
Today I write this blog post with some hope seeping through the cracks. Not complete healing. No miraculous restoration of hearing or ability to learn or physical growth. But a miracle nonetheless.
With the help of Teen Challenge, one of my sweet girls is learning her true worth as a child of God. She is learning to identify lies and replace them with truth. She is learning to accept love.
And right now, there is a sliver of hope where these was none before.
Hope, not because of anything I have done. But because the Word of God has power to disarm the enemy. Because God’s faithfulness is far greater than mine.
Three months ago I couldn’t have written the word hope in connection with this child. And there is still a long road ahead of us. But I’m going to accept my sliver of hope as my portion today. And I’m thanking God for what He’s doing in the lives of each member of my family.
As I mentioned in my devotion, I can’t write my whole story now. Someday I will if God directs. But for now, if you find yourself in a place that feels hopeless and you are sure you misheard God, hang on just a bit longer. Hang on just for today. And know you aren’t alone. I’ve been there too, and I might be there again.
Here’s the truth you can count on: Whatever you need today, God will be your portion. He will be your strength, peace, joy and comfort. And He has prepared your hope. It is coming.
Thanks so much for joining me today. I’m so glad you did.
In His love,