First of all, thank you all so much for your overwhelming support after my last blog post. I've been silent about this for literally years now...and it needed to be that way. But, a couple of weeks ago, it was time to start talking...and I thank you for your grace and kindness and in many cases, for relaying your own stories too. We are family after all, even you people who I don't know personally who visit this blog. All part of the human family here on this earth...all moving and breathing and living together. We might as well share and be a part of each others' lives.
As with anything, some days are better than others. Most days are ok and filled with trying to get life back on track and back in order. Things like homeschooling, focusing on a routine and health and feeding my family nourishing foods, making sure we get good sleep and enough of it, making sure we have clean clothes to wear, etc. etc. You know, the usual things...but they are usual things that had fallen to the wayside (except for the clean clothes thing...we always had clean clothes :)) while I was just trying to survive. Living in survival mode for years...guys, it just bites. lol. Truly, there's so much damage that can be done as a result...and so much damage that was done here in our lives. So, climbing up from the pit of that...it just takes time.
Unfortunately, as I am trying to do that, other things continue to come up. We're only 2 months in after all. We've had 2 months only of trying to climb up from that pit that was dug over the course of almost 3 years (that's a long time of digging). So, during that 3 years, lots and lots happened. Lots of harmful things. Lots of harmful actions and mindsets and beliefs and attitudes. Lots of very damaging words...and words don't just come from your tongue...they come from beliefs and your heart. It's never just a matter of stopping your tongue (although that's a good first step). The important root issue is your heart and your mind.
Anyway, lots of damage. So, in real life world, what that looks like is that for the past 2 months, something will come up an average of every 48 hours that we have to work through. Something that is hurtful and hard and super crappy. And this trend (something coming up every 48 hours) doesn't lend itself to getting life back on track and healthy and out of 'survival mode living' and back in a routine.
But, because of that Labor Day Miracle, we are one again. We are a team again. And because of that, we can tackle it...together again.
So, although it's super super hard, we march forward. It will just take time.
As we continue to talk and share, I'll share more detail. But, I wanted to share one of the hardest things with you guys today.
Loss can be good. A loss of weight, hey hey. ;) Weight loss is *usually* a good thing in most people's lives here in the good ole US of A, lol. A loss of a stressful situation. A loss of a burden, etc.
But, mostly when we think of loss, it conjures up a negative connotation.
These past few years have been full of loss for us. I mentioned last blog post how we had just come up against 'level 10 trauma after level 10 trauma' in the past few years. Some of those traumas involved major loss. To name just a few losses the past few years...
--the loss of a sweet baby in 2011
--the loss of security and stability in the form of housing in brazil, that same year (the threat of our house being taken away before promised...that threat lasted for 7 months)
--the loss of the hope of getting pregnant again before we had to stop trying in order to prepare to return to the USA for furlough
--the loss of an adoption that we thought might happen that God said no to...after we had already spent a whole weekend with the kiddos (although that wasn't the way we wanted to do it...out of our control) and loved them greatly; the loss of 3 sweet, precious children in our lives; and an added bonus through all of that...becoming something that I hated (even though I know without a shadow of a doubt what God said about the situation)...someone who leaves behind children who love you (are already calling you 'mama') and need a home; ripped my heart out
--the loss of the stability of housing here in the states upon return
--the loss of close friends and family members due to death (everyone dies at some point, but there has been more loss for us these past few years than normal)
--the loss of trust in my marriage
--the loss of friendship in my marriage...the loss of a spouse, basically
--the loss of triplets that would have been placed in our laps to adopt (it was an urgent, guaranteed situation) had we been back in brazil as we planned/should have been
--the loss of routine and health and progression in every area of our lives
--the loss of another sweet baby in 2014
--the loss of family relationships
These are just to name a few.
And none of it was within my control. That was the ultimate hardest part.
Loss of things I held dear and trusted would always be a certain way (the right and good way).
Loss of who I was and had always been (a healthy, athletic, disciplined, fun, carefree, determined, young, successful homeschooling mama)...and always hoped to be (a fun mom; someone who championed healthy living and taking care of orphans, and being a mama to many....at least 5 bio kids was my hope, but at least adoption of several sweet kiddos and encouraging and helping others to do the same...that is, caring for orphans in some capacity; not to mention, one half of a stable, fun, 'easy' marriage...because yes, it had been 'easy,' relatively speaking, up until 3 years ago, because we were best friends and functioned as an incredible team).
All that I have always held dear has literally been put on hold for 3+ years. When, 3+ years ago, our lives seemed to be just following a path that would bring about those things hoped and dreamed for within the next few paces. But it wasn't to be. And it was all out of my control. Not only did those things happen...things look drastically different now. Will those things still happen, ever...and if so, how in the world?
I know I'm not the first. I know that these issues of loss and lives not being what was planned and even felt called for by God...all of these things are not new. They are age-old.
Adam and Eve...disobedience landed them in a place they never imagined. Abel...a good man who pleased God...yet he was slain by his brother. He had no control over that. Joseph...his life took quite the detour (several times) that he had no control over. Age-old I say...starting with the very first people...all of those examples in the very first book of the Bible. We can all think of many, many more examples throughout the ages, some which I will be talking about as we go along here.
There's nothing new under the sun, guys. And some of you have been waiting out your 'detours' (for some, self-made detours; for others, out of your control) for way more than 3+ years. Detours are hard. And finding yourself in a place where you don't even recognize yourself in the mirror (figurative mirror, nor literal) or your life doesn't look like you had hoped and planned or even how you thought God Himself wanted it...that's a really hard place. And it could be that God Himself didn't want it this way. Lots of times that is the case.
It's hard. And for us, our detour has even included a very literal detour of a whole different country and a whole different house and life (jolting to say the least). But, no matter the circumstance of how you got where you are...and whether it was within your control or not...God has a plan in the detours. What was meant for harm in our lives, He can (and will) turn for good.
It's not a new life lesson. I taught in a college/career class this very thing years ago...Joel and I were newlyweds at the time. I had just seen a movie about Joseph...and this scene touched me like no other (and I used it in the teaching). It touched me not because I was going through something like this at the time. And definitely never something of this magnitude. But because this is life. And detours happen.
Thank you for your prayers during this time of often having to deal with the things that continue to come up (the consequences and collateral damage of the past few years). Thank you for your prayers during this time of focusing not on the detour and the things that aren't, leading to bitterness...but on how God will work it all out and turn it for good and bring about even grander things than we had hoped for.
And be encouraged in your own life...that He really does know better.