Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Burn The Ships

Last year, after the unannounced departure of our two foster children who we raised since their births - one for 18 months and her brother for 6 months - I felt so many emotions that I had never experienced so deeply.  Since writing about it would mean reliving it, I don't really want to do that.  So I'm not going to.

Just know that:

* It has been a full year since the babies left our home.

* We didn't get to say goodbye to them.

* Some people in the children and youth business are wolves in sheep clothing.

These incidences left me in a downward spiral emotionally. I was filled with such hatred it was scary, and I walked around in an angry fog for months.  Even though  I had so much support from Bill, family, and friends, it didn't take away this overwhelming feeling that a huge door had been slammed shut in my face, taking away something that I believed was a true calling.   

At one point after many months of feeling this way,  I was telling my brother-in-law how I hadn't been coping well and was in a full-blown funk.  He listened to what I had so say, nodded as if he understood, and then gently posed this question:  

"How long are you giving yourself to feel this way?"

And there it was.  Something about that phrasing opened my eyes.  His words had given me both the permission to feel the way I was feeling, but also an unstated challenge to move on for the greater good.

I started focusing on the positives.  One big one was getting re-acquainted with my own kids.  Life at the house with two infants had taken a lot of my time and attention away from them.  It was a blessing to be able to sit uninterrupted and just talk again and to be fully present for them.

I also started to think about forgiveness.  I've heard it said that not forgiving someone is only keeping yourself prisoner.  Honestly, I find it difficult to forgive someone who isn't asking for forgiveness, so that will be a work in progress for me.  

My heart still aches to help children in such great need, but my fear of dealing with those I can't trust has been holding me back.  Even as I write those words my heart breaks that I would put my own stupid fear above those of children who live in situations far worse than anything I'm experiencing.  I don't know if that is the devil speaking or a real sign for us to move in a different direction.   

There is a  beautiful song by the contemporary Christian group For King & Country called, Burn the Ships.  This song has helped me heal after the hardest ordeal in my life.  The song speaks about hardships and isolation, prayer, then moving on and not looking back. 

Burn the ships, cut the ties
Send a flare into the night
Say a prayer, turn the tide
Dry your tears and wave goodbye

Step into a new day
We can rise up from the dust and walk away
We can dance upon our heartache, yeah
So light a match, leave the past, burn the ships

And don't you look back
I am moving on, in a slow but forward direction - I think.  We'll see.  Only by the grace of God will I know for sure.  I'll keep you posted.