what if

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

This post was first published on October 7, 2011

The most powerful word that I’ve received during the past couple months is this: Our adoption process is done. Our adoption journey has just begun.

Really and truly, I kind of just wanted this to be done. I want everything to be over. I’ve been thinking that the journey is over, and I think that’s at the heart of my struggle over the past few weeks. I just want it to be over. All the hard parts. All the painful parts. I want it to be easy. I know it’s not. I know God called me to this, no matter how long it takes. I know that it’s exactly what I should be doing, exactly where I should be. I know all of this in my head, but my heart has had a little ways to catch up.

Obviously, I process things through words. I find it difficult sometimes to process at all without the actual words to do so. So when this word was spoken to me, my heart just settled into it like my head on a soft pillow. Yes. Those are the words I’ve been missing. That’s the release I needed. The process is finally, at long last, over. But our journey…

Brenden is sick. He didn’t tell me he’s sick. He didn’t say anything. He woke up this morning, moving very slowly. Quiet. Not disobedient or defiant. Just slow. I asked him what was going on. He wouldn’t talk. We stopped by the office to see Wendell. We went to the store. He wouldn’t talk. We got all the way into the store, and finally I just said, “Brenden. I love you. I want your day to go well. I want you to be happy. I want to help you with whatever is wrong, but I can’t do that unless you use your words to let me know what’s going on.” Still, he wouldn’t talk. After a couple more cajoling pleas, he finally said, “I don’t feel good.” I asked if his tummy hurt, and he said, “Yes. I threw up in the potty at home.”

Seriously? You’re so sick that you’re vomiting, and you can’t tell your mama? We drove all the way to the store. We stopped at the office for awhile. We’ve been shopping for 10 minutes. You couldn’t have let me know?

He said he wanted to come home and take a nap. So, we came home. I take him up to his room where I discover that he did not, in fact, vomit in the toilet, but instead, all over his bedroom carpet. Terrific.

I spend time with him. I let him know that it’s my job to take care of him. That I want to take care of him. That when he’s sick, I feel sad for him. I want to help him get better. I want to help. Those are the things that I try to impress on his heart. But my heart? It hurts. It’s so very painful to parent a child that doesn’t trust you. On a basic level, it hurts my feelings. But truly, it hurts because I hurt for him. I want him to be whole. I want him to be free. I want him to trust, to love without reservation.

What goes through his tiny little head that he doesn’t feel safe to even mention to me that he’s sick? To let me know that he needs help, that he needs holding, that he needs his mama. Our journey is far, far from over. We have so much healing to do. Sometimes, it fills me with fear. What if this doesn’t get better? It should. I believe it will. But what if it doesn’t?

One of the most important things I’ve learned over the past year is to turn my ‘what if’ into an ‘even if’. Instead of ‘what if’ things happen, I say ‘even if’ those things happen, what then? Will I still trust? Is God still in control? Is He still good? Do I still choose Him? It’s been a freeing practice in my life. I challenge you to do the same with  your fears.

So today…
What if Brenden is always full of fear and never truly trusts us?
EVEN IF Brenden is always full of fear and never truly trusts us, I will continue to work to help him learn to trust. I will love him anyway. God is still in control. God is still good. I still choose God.

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