Be Still

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.

 

5 thoughts on “Be Still

  1. You don’t know me, but I know a bit about you. I can never fully express the kindness, love and compassion you’ve had towards Baby Girl. Receiving messages from my mom, with pictures of her with my siblings, laying with my dog.
    Honestly, at first, I couldn’t believe mom would do that. You guys sounded like a picture perfect family, with the dog and all. Yet, I’m so glad Little L had the opportunity she did to be with you guys. I’m headed home to spend time with them, and can’t wait to see what personality has bloomed within her.
    Thank you!

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  2. BAILEY ….YOU ARE SO BLESSED IN SO MANY WAYS…..TEARS AND GOOSEBUMPS AS I READ YOUR DADS WRITINGS…..YOU HAVE TWO WONDERFUL FATHERS….YOUR FATHER IN HEAVEN THAT WATCHES OVER YOU AND LOVES YOU BEYOND YOUR POSSIBLE KNOWLEDGE AND YOUR FATHER THAT WAS GIVEN TO YOU HERE ON EARTH…WHAT A WONDERFUL….CARING AND LOVING DAD YOU HAVE…..SOME ARE NOT SO BLESSED…..PRAYERS CONTINUE FOR YOU AND YOUR LITTLE FAMILY ALONG YOUR JOURNEY HERE IN THIS LIFE…..LOVE YOU….MARILYN

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  3. BAILEY……I JUST READ THIS AND FELT I NEEDED TO SHARE IT WITH YOU AS I FEEL GOD IS SHOWING ME THIS TO SHARE WITH YOU…..WHEN YOU FEEL THE HEAT IN LIFE DONT BE DOWNCAST OR AFRAID…ALLOW FAITH TO RISE UP FROM WITH-IN YOU….LIFTING YOUR HEAD …..FILLING YOUR HEART WITH THE CONFIDENCE THAT GOD WILL LEAD YOU ON FROM THIS MOMENT AND THE DOUBTS THAT SWELL UP FROM INSIDE OF YOU WILL NOT CONSUME YOU………………WITH HIS LOVE HE WILL CALM YOUR FEARS….HE WILL REJOICE OVER YOU WITH JOYFUL SONGS….(ZEPH 3:17)….IN CHRISTIAN LOVE…MARILYN

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  4. TEARS AS I READ THIS ….REMEMBER JESUS IS WITH US THROUGH THE GOOD TIMES AND THE BAD….HE IS OUR STRENGTH….OUR PEACE….HE STAYS WITH US ALWAYS EVEN THROUGH OUR DARKEST HOURS….YOU ARE GROWING IN THE LORD KNOWING THAT HE IS ALWAYS WITH AND BESIDE YOU….HE WILL BE YOUR FRIEND THROUGH IT ALL…STAY STRONG IN THE LORD HONEY…NEVER GIVE UP FOR YOU ARE ON THE PATH GOD HAS CHOOSEN JUST FOR YOU….HE LOVES YOU SO MUCH BAILEY…..PRAYERS FOR YOU AND YOUR LITTLE FAMILY😘 LOVE YOU…MARILYN

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    • Bailey, I sit down tonight in my weekly routine to prepare for tomorrow’s sermon, and I find myself in a quandary of thoughts and feelings as I continue to process the experience you have so honestly shared about as you process the events of your life in these past two weeks. In fact, my heart has been focused on you in the past twenty-four hours since I last read your blog last night about “Being Still.” It has taken me back in time with you as my little girl and made me think about some experiences I shared with you as your father as your first learned the essence of who God was and is as you were laying the foundation of understanding the deep message of faith you have now shared with all of us as readers of your journey through foster parenting and life.

      I still remember the day I sat in an old house in my make shift office upstairs holding you in my arms and having your eyes, alert and focused on my every move, looking intently at me as to say, “Who are you and more importantly, what are you going to do with me?” This day, you were less than a week old and your mother and I found ourselves beginning a new journey in life as first time parents, literally scared to death because we had never walked in this territory before. Sitting still was not easy as I held you because literally the ceiling was crawling with wasps that had hatched out and were crawling everywhere in our little room of togetherness in the office place. So, I sat quietly and held you tightly and decided that the first time one of these awful creatures tried to hurt my daughter, they would be squished immediately. It was one of our first big bonding moments together. Today, you sit in your home and the “Wasps of life” are swarming once again, but this time I am separated many miles from you and all I can do is trust that God, your heavenly Father, will hold you and take care of the wasps as they come. And I believe He will. So today, you bond even more so with the one who is your protector – Your Heavenly Father.

      Life was not easy for Mom and I at this juncture I reference in the old farm house that we brought you to live in. It was anything but perfect. The house was old, musty, ran down, and any person coming from social services for a home inspection for placement of children would surely of condemned it as “unfit to live in.” But this is where God chose to place you in your vulnerable days of first experiencing life. And guess what, “you made it.” Why? Because, to borrow your thought, all mom and I could do was sit still and live in the old house that God provided because we did not have the money to rent anything else. But I would not trade this experience for anything because the wasps did not matter – they were secondary; the old musty house did not matter, it was secondary; all that mattered is that I had a beautiful and precious little girl given to me, a gift from heaven, that I was now to love with every ounce of life, protect with every ounce of courage and strength, and hold, touch, feel, and experience. And we made it and that is why I cried that day that I placed your hand in your husband’s hand at your wedding day and danced our tender song of “Butterfly Kisses” for our dance after you committed your life to Josh. The wasps became butterflies. The terrible became the terrific. The pests became a life of God’s promises. And it came with a lot of unknown, tears, regrets, and moments of just pure ugly grief that are like the kind you experienced the other day as you lay in the shower crying out to God.

      My prayer is that in time you will see the new “wasps” of your life become true butterflies, and I am confident that you will. Because, I know where your life and faith began and I know the place that God first caused you to experience and live – the old farm house filled with all kinds of ugly pests. Little L and Little E will always be “Butterflies” in your life even thought there are some days when the things that you go through will seem like the wasps are flying all around you once again. So, you are right. All you can do is sit patiently still and let God work out the plan. It will be easy and difficult all in the same breath.

      Now I find myself in a new journey with you sweetheart, because I can not hold you like I did in that first day of your life. (Remember my love language is physical touch and that is what makes me want to hold you and tell you, “It is going to be okay sweetheart.”) So, I trust that the God who spoke to you through the song that mysteriously began to play is going to keep speaking to you and make it ok. You know that I am always there to do what I can. So my prayer for you and Josh and the little ones in your care is this, “God protect my little girl from the ugly wasps. Help her to keep her eyes completely focused on you as she did that day with me so long ago in my office filled with the ugly pests of life. Help her to be still as you have spoken so boldly in her life as everything flies apart in her life. And help her to see that “Everything becomes beautiful in your time.”

      Bailey, I will forever love you and Josh and your family. Because God has proven time and again to me that He is able to turn wasps into butterflies and He can swat those that don’t!

      From My Heart to Yours, Dad

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