You can do hard things.
This is what I keep telling myself as we’re in this season of hardship. To be quite honest, things right now are tough, just plain tough. It seems as if everything life could throw us has thrown us and we’re doing everything in our power to keep our head above water. Many days though it feels as if the enemy is getting the best of us, continually bringing us down even against all our efforts to pull ourselves up.
I have spent the past two weeks crying out to the Lord for answers, asking why after a year of following His commands in this journey of foster care, we would be in a time of such pain. I have asked Him why He would let our jobs, our home, our finances, our personal health, and our family suffer, even though we’re still on the daily path to do what He has called us to do. I have felt angry, lost, confused, sad, and anxious, not knowing what we’ll experience next, if it’ll be the thing that sets us over the edge or the thing that brings us to the exact point where the Lord wants us to be.
So much of this turmoil people would assume came from the event of saying goodbye to Baby Girl, but quite frankly I believe it’s quite the opposite. Yes, my heart still wishes I could hold her in my arms every single day; and yes, my soul longs for the day I will see her again, but overall I praise Jesus for letting us be a part of this sweet girl’s life story, something only He could have written.
The day we said goodbye to her is a day I will forever hold in my heart. It was filled with smiles, laughter, tears of joy and tears of sadness. It was a moment where we finally locked eyes with the family members that had fought for her with all their being, never once giving up despite the insurmountable amount of ups and downs that came along the way. It was a day where strangers became family, and promises of the future were made, allowing us to forever be in the life of Baby Girl….as her Godparents. Yes, we are going to get to be her Godparents. It’s beautiful. It’s messy. It’s not ANYTHING that I ever dreamed would come from this path of fostering, but it has, and for that I can’t even find the words to express my thankfulness.
And now I know the battle we’re fighting in this season isn’t one of flesh and blood, but a spiritual one. I know the enemy is furious to see how such despair and brokenness can be turned into praise for the Almighty. I know he is trying to bring us down, so that we will reconsider ever walking this path of foster care again. I know he’s not only hurting our family, but our extended family as well, just to try and show us that maybe this isn’t all worth it after all. And to be honest, a week ago, it wasn’t worth it. It wasn’t worth it to keep fighting the very battle that was ruining us.
I had given up. I had been to the point of no return, where tears flowed so deeply from within and the sobs from the depths of my soul echoed as I laid on my shower floor unable to move. That was only seven days ago, and it was one of the lowest points I’ve had in a long time. I was so angry. I was so hurt. I was so mad at what was and is still happening to our family that I was ready to be done, to let the enemy win. I didn’t understand how a God that loved us so dearly and had allowed us to walk this path could now be allowing these horrible things to happen to our family. While I should have turned to Jesus in this time of difficulty, I found myself running the other way.
But as I was running away the Lord was running towards. That night where I was so unbelievably broken was the night where Jesus picked me up and reminded me He is still there, and He isn’t going anywhere. I was sitting on the couch with wet hair and red eyes. I wasn’t ready to talk about how I felt or what our plans were to make it through this mess. I tried reminding myself of the verse that was on my Bible app earlier that morning, Psalms 46:10 “Be still and know that I am God.” but it wasn’t working. I didn’t want to be still, I didn’t want to trust, I just wanted to be mad. I picked up my phone to try and distract my mind from everything that was going on and as I did music started playing. I was so confused. I hadn’t played music for days so I didn’t understand why my home screen was now making noise. I clicked Pandora thinking it must have turned itself on and sure enough it had. This was the song that was playing:
Be still my heart and know
You are God alone
Stop thinking so much
and just let go
Be still my soul and rest
Humbly I confess,
in my weakness your strength is perfect
My eyes welled up and I knew I wasn’t alone, that Jesus was there with me and He wasn’t leaving, that He would get us through this, no matter what. In the midst of that song playing though my phone rang. I immediately picked it up as it was my grandmother. She asked if I had heard the news yet and I had told her I had. I told her I was so sorry but she immediately cut me off. She boldly proclaimed she wasn’t worried, that Jesus would bring her through this, through the pain of breast cancer-for a second time. She reminded me that in almost 80 years of her life Jesus hadn’t left her once and she knew He wasn’t going to leave her now.
As I stood there on the phone, hearing no sense of hesitation in her words, trusting that no matter what happens she believes He has a plan, I was reminded that even when I feel like I am drowning, that I can’t get up and my life is in shambles, Jesus is there. He will not leave me. He will not forsake me. He will not allow the enemy to kill or destroy-because in my weakness, His strength is perfect.