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When Your Brave Is Shaken

IMG_7951 (1).JPGWhat do you do when your brave is shaken and everywhere you look are reminders of the last time you were courageous?

How do I move on when obedience turned to heartache and faithfulness turned to unimaginable pain?

When you have signs that say to “be brave, take risks, have courage and seek adventure”, and you have to take them off your wall because the reminder causes you to choke on your own breath and you want to go to sleep and wake up to find that everything is fixed and the nightmare is over.

I go a few hours forgetting of the weeks I spent in the arctic. And then I grab something out of the pantry and find the baby bottle cooler.

Tears. Again. How did this happen?

The statements of “something better will come” mean absolutely nothing when you have spent every single cent you could gather and moved out in faith and came up empty-handed. People don’t just jump into another private adoption again. We waited years for that moment. Saying it wasn’t meant to be feels like saying to someone who had a stillborn child that they weren’t meant to live. You wouldn’t do it.

My heart is gaping and I can’t comprehend why things have happened the way that they did. Other adoptive parents have comforted me with the words: there is no pain like losing a child who is still out there.

It’s unique, it’s crushing and it’s confusing. I know every single reason why she was going to be adopted. They swirl in my mind everyday and I wonder if she’s safe.

I cry, I pray, I move on. I find a sleeper, I cry, I pray, I move on. I find a blanket, I cry, I pray, I move on. I hear my daughter explain the situation to a neighbour child. I cry. I can’t move on today.

Today it hurts. Today it cuts deep. Today I am tired from gathering my courage to go out and move on. Today I just throw my red eyes, aching muscles and shattered dreams at the feet of Jesus and breathe Psalm 56 in and out, over and over.

When I am afraid to step out, feeling like I’ve lost confidence in my decisions, I go back to square one and learn to trust.

Trust and obey, for there’s no other way, to be happy in Jesus, then to trust and obey.”

I have to get back to basics. I can’t over think it. Just trust and obey.

You’ve kept track of all my wandering and my weeping.
    You’ve stored my many tears in your bottle—not one will be lost.
    For they are all recorded in your book of remembrance.
 The very moment I call to you for a father’s help
    the tide of battle turns and my enemies flee.
    This one thing I know: God is on my side!
 I trust in the Lord. And I praise him!
    I trust in the Word of God. And I praise him!
 What harm could man do to me?
    With God on my side I will not be afraid of what comes.
    My heart overflows with praise to God and for his promises.
    I will always trust in him.
 So I’m thanking you with all my heart,
    with gratitude for all you’ve done.
    I will do everything I’ve promised you, Lord.
For you have saved my soul from death
    and my feet from stumbling
    so that I can walk before the Lord
    bathed in his life-giving light.

Psalm 56:8-13 TPT

When grief clouds the heart, scripture has to flood the soul. God is on my side, I will not be afraid of what comes.

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As for me, I will always have hope.

Road to Nowhere

“I’d rather have a heart that’s open and gets broken, then is closed to what God would do.”

I said those words after answering a young woman’s desperate pleas for us to come adopt her baby, having no idea the journey we would go on. I hoped that our hearts that were wide open to adoption wouldn’t end in this kind of pain, but that was a risk that we decided to take.

The risk to love. The risk to rescue. The risk to answer the cries of “please help me.”

The kind of love that pushes you to travel over 2,500 kilometres, spend 24 days away from your other children, sell your second vehicle, and with grit and determination trust God to make a way where there is no way and watch him lay out the path before you.

You know what I’m talking about, you risk takers for Jesus. He breaks your heart for something and you can’t rest until you’ve given him your yes and stepped out in faith.

Yesterday I shared that things have not turned out the way we had hoped.

Today, I dropped my husband off at the airport here and I’m leaving tomorrow. As I walked away from the airport I felt a great sense of accomplishment.

I felt the Holy Spirit whisper “Well done.”

We did it. We came and did what we were supposed to do. It didn’t end the way we hoped, but we were faithful to walk out every step. We answered a desperate plea for help and our whole family felt the Holy Spirit and we acted on that.

Our kids chose to be brave. We chose to be brave and with a big declaration that wouldn’t be held back by fear, we look a leap of faith.

We loved when we had the chance to love and we prayed when we had the chance to pray. To the best of our ability we spread hope.

When our hearts broke and everything within us wanted to run away, we stayed to fight. We waited out the ten days that we had committed to and we prayed, cried and refused to allow circumstances to steal our belief that God is good.

We came well, and we leave well. I’m proud of us.

None of that was on our own strength. I had absolutely no ability to even stop myself from vomiting the first few hours. But when the peace of Jesus Christ came in, I was ok. I was in pain. I cried. But I was held. Deeply covered by the shadow of his wings. I have never experienced such a tangible level of the perfect peace of Jesus.

“I leave the gift of peace with you—my peace. Not the kind of fragile peace given by the world, but my perfect peace. Don’t yield to fear or be troubled in your hearts—instead, be courageous!”

John 14:27

We will not hide our hearts in hope that we never feel that level of grief again. There is a truth we can hold on to when everything has fallen apart and we don’t know which step to take from here.

“so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.”

Isaiah 55:11 NIV

All of His promises are STILL yes. And although the details can get jumbled up and it looks for a moment like the enemy has got in the way of our destiny, this cannot be because:

“So we are convinced that every detail of our lives is continually woven together to fit into God’s perfect plan of bringing good into our lives, for we are his lovers who have been called to fulfill his designed purpose.”

Romans 8:28 TPT

Even what it unexpected and painful to us, God can weave it into his master plan of bringing good into our lives.

And while this week hasn’t felt “good” and it’s held more tears than I have ever cried, I know that not one tear is wasted:

“They may weep as they go out carrying their seed to sow, but they will return with joyful laughter and shouting with gladness as they bring back armloads of blessing and a harvest overflowing!”

Psalms 126:6 TPT

Our story is not over and therefore I have great hope and perfect peace. I have waves of grief that crash over me, but I am held in a divine peace that is too miraculous to describe. Even in my breakdowns God whispers “a double portion restoration”, and I know I will be mom to at least five kids.

I’ve got questions too, but I’ve also got the great Comforter and he is constantly reminding me that:

“Not one promise from God is empty of power, for nothing is impossible with God!””

Luke 1:37 TPT

And as Mary said in response to God’s promise:

“This is amazing! I will be a mother for the Lord! As his servant, I accept whatever he has for me. May everything you have told me come to pass.” 

Luke 1:38 TPT

Come what may Lord, my heart is still open. I accept whatever you have for me, in great confidence that you will finish the good work you’ve begun in my heart and in my family. Our story is not over:

As for me, I will always have hopeI will praise you more and more.

Psalm 71:14 NIV

 

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30 Hour Mama

Sweet baby, I will always remember August 4th. The morning my phone charger decided not to work and I woke up in a panic that I might have missed the call of your birth.

But just as my phone had enough charge, it rang. The urgency to get to the hospital left my head spinning and I couldn’t even tie my shoes.

We decided that it was faster to run then call a cab, so I ran as fast as I could down that steep hill, hoping not to face plant, while hoping not to miss your entrance.

We made it in time. We heard your cries. We cried. We waited. You came to us on a rolling cart.

You screamed and screamed until you were safe one me.

Then you settled.

The greatest few hours of our lives.

Bonding.

Skin to skin.

Breath to breath.

Heart to heart.

We gave you your first food, daddy gave you your first bath like he had with all our other babies.

Nurses and doctors glowed at the miracle of our story.

We had believed. And you had come.

I insisted that it was mama’s job to spend the first night and made daddy go back and sleep so I could trade him off in the morning.

You didn’t sleep much that night.

We rocked. You ate. I sang.

Jesus love you. This I know. For the bible tells me so. Little ones to him belong, they are weak, but he is strong. Yes Jesus loves you. Yes Jesus loves you. Yes Jesus loves you. The bible tells me so.

I grew tired knowing the long journey ahead. I chose to be wise and called daddy to come at 5:30 so I could sleep a bit before the doctor checked you out one more time.

Daddy came. I left. You slept, daddy prayed.

Bless our baby. Bless her Lord.

I came back with the car seat. Discharge was moments away.

We basked in the beauty of a hope fulfilled.

Then they walked in.

They said your mom wanted you back.

I shook. Violently. Pure shock causing me to throw up.

Not our baby. Not this one we had just spent all this time bonding with. Years praying for this moment.

We had one minute to say goodbye. We blessed your life. We kissed your cheeks.

They took you away.

We crumpled onto the floor.

This could not be happening.

We wept as though no one could hear us. Unashamed grief that surged through our bodies.

We left, we prayed, we fasted, we hoped, we praised, we believed that you would come back to us.

We were the first birth adoption anyone had seen fall through. Us.

My beautiful girl, you may never know who we are, or of those 30 hours we spent with you, but we will never, ever forget you. We will always pray for you and a big part of my heart is left with you.

I leave empty armed and broken-hearted trusting with all my heart that Jesus will keep you safe and the one who holds your future has wonderful things in store for you. You have awakened in us a passion for adoption and we will not let this heartache steal our brave decision to always say: yes.

Love forever,

Your 30 hour mama

“By your mighty power I can walk through any devastation and you will keep me alive, reviving me.” Psalm 138:7 TPT

 

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