So here I sit with the dreaded cursor blinking at me, encouraging me in none other than a pushy way to write—to say something—anything. There’s something about the cursor that reminds me every time I sit staring at it though—it reminds me that to say something is better than to say nothing. It reminds me that whatever words spill from my fingers are words of importance in some way—in the way that they are the ramblings of my heart, and they’re being acknowledged at least by myself. Sometimes the only way they are noticed is if I bleed them out on paper, or in this case, onto the great void that is my screen.
A great jumble of mess are my thoughts these days. Conflicting feelings and convictions. I’m not even sure that ‘convictions’ is the right word to use here. I have beliefs about the ways things should be done. I was raised with a “you can (and should?) do anything you put your mind to;” possibly even the “grit your teeth and bear it” mentality. I believed myself to be strong. I believed myself to be capable. I believed in my own strength and capacity as a persevering and determined human being. But as I’ve lived a little bit more, I’ve become more and more acquainted with the human being part. The failure, weakness, heartbreak, know-when-to-quit mentality. To be honest, we’ve become more acquainted than I’d often like to admit.
Have you ever felt disappointed by your limitations? Have you ever felt like you’re unable to finish what you set out to do, and you feel like the voices echoing around inside your head won’t let you off the hook about it? Have you ever been disillusioned by something you believe so strongly in? Have you ever felt crushed by the weight of persevering when it just feels like the worst?
I’d be surprised if you’ve never felt this before. Even if right now you feel like you’re “handling it” and you’ve got the tightest grip on life that you ever feel like you’ve had.
In the spirit of honesty—I’m feeling all of the above right now. I’m frustrated with my humanity. I’m tired on a lot of levels. I’m disheartened by a broken system, and brokenhearted over hurting kids who can’t seem to find a soft place to land—not even in my home. I feel foolish for walking into waters that are above our heads. The treading of water has felt exhausting, and as we all know, it can’t be done forever. I feel like I’ve sold to you an empty gospel—except I suppose I haven’t. It’s true: that we broken people can care for other broken people—we don’t have to be anything special to take in the world’s most vulnerable. I sometimes wince or shudder when people say they’re so “inspired” by what we’re doing, because it’s during this season I’ve felt more familiarized with my sin and brokenness than I maybe ever have before. It’s true, we certainly don’t have to have it all together to care for the weak. The sad part is that sometimes hurting kids can sometimes hurt others. And in that hurting, there’s undoubtedly healing; but there’s also some real mess that’s created as well. Sometimes it feels like there’s no winning. Sometimes it all just feels hard. And sometimes the weights around our ankles as we tread water feel too heavy.
In a perfect world, we would pull out all the stops—we would put on a lifejacket—we would ask for help, and shout from the rooftops that we can’t do it alone. In a perfect world, we would have an agency behind us, cheering us on, supporting us in any way they can. In a perfect world, we would be able to heal the wounds that our forever children have endured. In a perfect world, my husband and I would be united 100% in believing that we can endure through the hard, and we’d pick up one another’s slack. In a perfect world, I would go to Jesus anytime I have a need of any kind. In a perfect world, we’d be able to take in every child we get a call for; and more, we’d keep them until they go home.
Boy do I wish it was a perfect world. More than anything, I wish it was a perfect world—trust me. But as we’ve established before—we’re humans wrapped in our human frailty, and it’s all far from perfect.
Our family is tattered. We’re tired. We’re unsure of our ability to continue fostering X. There are many reasons, as I’m sure you can imagine; but overarchingly and most importantly: God is not being brought glory if we allow our godliness to suffer, our marriage to suffer, and our nuclear family to suffer as a result of this sweet, messy, busy, vulnerable, pained little boy. Please pray for us. Pray for next steps. Pray for our marriage to be bound tightly to the cross. Pray for our forever kids who are bound to hurt deeply. Pray for X—for our sweet, messy, busy, vulnerable, pained little boy to heal and grow and attach and connect and know Jesus one day.