10.75 hours….Not the amount of hours that I spent cleaning my house so far this week…. Not the amount of hours I spent in God’s word so far this week….Not the amount of hours I spent with my 3 incredible kids so far this week…
10.75 hours is the amount of time I have spent just so far this week trying to disengage by watching Hulu. That is a part time job, people. The only good part about it is that I have folded laundry right when it was done drying. That is the only good part about it.
My house is a mess, and I have to be honest with you, my heart isn’t too much cleaner. If I turn off the TV, I am left with my thoughts. The ache in my heart. What I realized this morning is that I have disengaged so much so that my heart is numb to the fact that I am about to say goodbye to my foster daughter. I don’t want to walk through this. So if I can disengage, I won’t have to, right??
As I look into her beautiful blue eyes behind her long dark lashes, I ache. She doesn’t have any idea what is about to happen. How her little world is about to be rocked. She is about to leave everyone and everything she’s ever known. I want to protect her, but I can’t. She doesn’t know fear. She doesn’t know heart pain. She doesn’t know hunger. She doesn’t know unfamiliarity. What she does know is a daddy that is obsessed with her. A brother who is there with her all of the time. A big brother who makes her laugh. She knows laughter. She knows comfort. She knows stability. She knows church.
But this morning, Jesus gently opened my eyes to the fact that I need to walk through this in a healthy way. So I shut off the TV, I put on my Pandora set list, and I picked up the lap top. And here I am. In a real, raw, and transparent way. I am sad and sick when I think about the next couple of months. I was wondering this morning if I would still hang up her stocking or if it will be too painful– I decided, yes. Of course I will. She has been my daughter from the minute we met her in the NICU over a year ago. Even though she may not live with us any longer, she will always be my daughter. I will always remember her. Pray for her. I will always love her and miss her.
And then I am reminded. I serve such a BIG God. A loving, caring, comforting, faithful, good, gracious, and merciful God. My God, the ultimate gentleman, who so patiently waits for me to turn down the tv volume so that I can hear His voice, tells me that I am trying to run from something that can’t be run from. He tells me that He loves me. He tells me that He is so proud of me. He tells me that I am not alone. He tells me that He is here, holding me when I need to be held. He is so gentle and kind.
But it’s not just about me. He can be trusted. He is in love with my baby girl. He is in love with my sons. He is in love with my husband. He promises to never leave us. He will never leave ANY of us.
So, friends, what are you trying to numb? What are you trying to run from? Finances? A failing marriage? A lost job or house? Health diagnosis? An estranged child? Infertility? Loss of a child?
Can we please walk through whatever we are going through together? It may not be the same ache, but it’s the same God who offers the true healing. Let’s link arms and process this in a healthy way. Through prayer and worship to the one and true God, who knows us more intimately than any human on the planet. The God who fills the ache better than drugs, alcohol, food, sex, TV, or any person who could ever TEMPORARILY distract us, is in love with us. It is inevitable that pain comes, we GET the choice of what we are going to do with it. How we respond is 100% up to us.
My mom, a super wise woman, didn’t have the easiest upbringing. I’ve met a lot of people with her upbringing that adopted the victim mindset and made poor choices because of the things that happened to them. My mom is the most Godly woman I know, so I asked her, “Mom, how did you turn out so awesome? All odds were against you.” Her response has stuck with me for years, “Elizabeth, 25% is what happens to you, 75% is how you handle it.”
I leave you with a question: how are you going to respond with your 75%?