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Cave to Cliff

One woman's journey from darkness to light

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walking with God

Windblown

Time passes.

The stabbing pain of grief lessens.

Through it all, I am whole. Broken, yet still whole.

Awe and Joy overwhelm me as I see the two pink lines on the pregnancy test. I quietly slip back into bed, holding on to my secret for a few more hours before Lennox wakes. I can’t think of how to tell him without blurting it out. We’re awake for 2 hours when I put a lentil in his hand as he’s getting ready to head out the door. He’s confused. I start laughing. I tell him it’s the size of our baby. Baby Lentil. Due mid-April.

I tell my closest friends first. Chani sends me the cutest pictures of baby pandas. She and I lovingly refer to this baby as “Baby Panda” because it’s black, white, and Asian.

Baby Lentil grows to be the size of a raspberry.

I notice spotting, then bleeding. I text friends about my concerns. I’m not cramping so I should be okay. Right?

Ireland and I travel to Texas with Winter and baby Christopher. We leave on a Friday. That night as I lie down I turn to Ireland and tell her, “I’m going to cry. Please don’t be alarmed. I’m concerned about the life of this baby.”

I cry. I sleep. I wake in the morning knowing he was gone, but wondering if I was just giving into fear. I call Lennox. I tell him, “The baby isn’t alive anymore. I can feel it.” He says that until we know for sure we’ll pray as if he’s still alive. So I do, but I know.

We make it to Texas. It’s so hot, but the house is air conditioned. My Christopher has the air conditioner turned so low that I tell him I’m freezing at night. I use his army sleeping bags, but I shouldn’t need to. He laughs. I laugh. I love this grown man boy of mine.

Tuesday, September 20 I write:

My bleeding has gotten progressively heavier and the blood changed from pink to a deep red. I’m downstairs and I tell Winter that I’m going to stay home when she goes to get Chris for lunch. I could feel myself bleeding. I go to the bathroom and there’s a large red clump in the bottom of the toilet. I start saying, “oh my gosh, oh my gosh” repeatedly. Winter knocks on the door. I can’t remember what I said. I then reached in the toilet to see if it is merely a clot. It wasn’t. It felt, well, a placenta. I snapped a picture of it in my hand and started weeping. I get cleaned up as Winter knocks again. I tell her I miscarried. She hugs me and strokes my head as I cry.

I knew Lennox was with someone. I called twice and texted. He called back. I told him our baby died. I can’t remember what he said. Then I hear Christopher come home. I get off the phone as he comes into my room. He rushes to my bed and holds me as I sob. Deep, heart wrenching, loud sobbing. My firstborn comforts me.

I begin to tell friends. Lennox had begun telling people. Texts, messages, and phone calls pour in. I speak only to Lennox.

Still, I get up to eat quesadillas for lunch. Then I sleep before we go to Popeye’s and the park. Then I sleep more.

I cry. A lot.

I sleep. I cry. I get up. I’m in Texas with my first born, his family, and my youngest child. I’m aware that I can’t lie in bed all day. I’m here to experience life and make memories with the living.

Lennox asked me if I felt the arms of God holding me? Did I feel Him with me in this? I didn’t, but I knew. Knowing is different. It’s more permanent. It’s real. I never felt alone or abandoned. I knew He was with me in all the love being poured out on me through text messages, facebook, and phone calls. It was no coincidence that I was in Texas and Lennox back home in Oregon. It was God’s grace and care for us.

The next day I write:

Today is harder. I announced it on fb. “It”. The thing I can’t say aloud. It hurts too much. I’m crying more. I’m thinking about going home. It feels so safe here where nobody knows me. My people here love me, know me, and grieve with me.

I was safe. Neither Ireland or Sage are very good at handling sadness and grief. It scares them. They, in turn, antagonize one another. Here we are thousands of miles away. Each of us can grieve in our way. Ireland could be sad then go play with the baby or hang out with Winter and Christopher. Sage could be home in his normal routine and quietly deal with it at home. We are grateful for all of this.

We get back to Oregon late Friday night.

Saturday I write:

We got home late last night.

It was a relief to see the faces of Sage and Lennox. Ireland spied them first. She, too, was looking for our men to take care of us.

We went to Salt & Straw for ice cream on the way home. It’s all about making memories. I don’t want our loss and my sadness to color everything. Yet, I think it does. I’m trying to engage while also giving me room to heal.

I stayed home all day today. It was good. Lennox protected me from even the kids. This morning we prayed together and he read my words of affirmations reminding me who I am.

Krystal brought me ice cream.

We ended the day with chicken & rice, cheetos, and ice cream while watching Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

I feel like our family has bonded. It’s strange that we were apart, yet now are so much closer. I think we care more.

There still has been a level of tenderness and care that wasn’t there before. Kids still shirk on doing jobs and rages break out. Yet, I still feel something different in the atmosphere.

For me, I love more deeply. I’m more focused. I’m also more introverted and being in social situations drain me in ways I couldn’t even imagine before.

Something beautiful has happened in all this. I found myself letting Lennox care for me. I entrusted myself to him in a deeper way. Not just him, but also to God. It was this deep knowing of their love for me. Nothing can harm me. I may hurt, but I am not destroyed.

I look at my husband and see my champion. I look into his eyes and see his incredible love for me. A lump forms in my throat. I am grateful.

Lennox and I are closer than we were before. I thought we were close then, but it has grown. He is tender and strong. He knows when to let me cry and when to make me get out of bed. We are unstoppable together. He is so good to me.

Monday morning we began our daily walks together. It was slow going at first, but then faster as my body healed. We talked about this loss and our hope. Our joy over that fact that I could get pregnant in the first place. I was pretty sure it couldn’t happen. Joy over the fact that we are now stronger.

We both felt that our baby was a boy. Lennox said, “Let’s name him John. He’s not the last baby. He prepared the way.” Yes, yes he did. There will be more.

At church today we read from the book of John. It’s my favorite of the 4 gospels. I think of how this John is so loved. He calls himself, “The one Jesus loved”. I love that so much. Was he loved more than the other disciples or was he simply more sure of that love?

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We didn’t get to know our own John, but he too is so loved.

As I’m ending this post my heart aches with pain, but also throbs with joy. This is a good life. God is a good God. Always.

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All Things New

A couple of days ago I sat down with my new wall calendar, planner, computer, and a variety of pens to begin sketching out the new year. Armed with the kids’ school and scouts calendars I began filling in the blank spaces of our lives. Time passes quickly. Before I knew it I had scheduled a couple of out of state trips for me, camp for kids, and summer vacation has arrived. My children will turn 12, 15, 16, and 19. Wow. WOW! That just happened. My kids are already grown and yet those days of toddlerhood and of hard things seem to last so long.

The days are long, but the years are short.

I have spent much of my life trying to control and predict the outcome of nearly every situation. Even as I attempted it I knew it wasn’t possible. Yet, I would remain paralyzed by fear of the unknown while life just kept on going without my consent. Funny how that works, isn’t it?

That changed for me in 2014. Somewhere along the way I began to learn to embrace the unknown and plow ahead. Lots of change happened. I completed a 90 day challenge and made weekly videos of the journey. That was a huge thing! Then November hit and I opened the door to fear. I stopped making videos, I stopped losing weight, I was waiting for the holiday storm to hit my home. You see, in the past I have had a really hard time when the holidays approach. I kept saying that this year would be different, but I felt powerless when the old feelings came. While I was beginning to go down the old path, I was also wanting something different.

Then something amazing happened on Thanksgiving. I woke up that morning, remembered that it would have been my 20 year anniversary, and I felt nothing negative. I thought I’d feel sad at least for the fact that I had lost my ideal life. I didn’t feel sad, angry, or regretful in any way. I felt joy and freedom for the first time since my husband and I separated. I am healed and that is beautiful.

Later that day I sat at the table of my good friends as we celebrated our traditional Thanksgiving meal. I couldn’t even tell you how many years we’ve been doing that, but I think it’s over 10 years now. We all sat there with our growing children and 3 new guests talking and laughing. I sat there watching all these people I love so much. Some have walked with me through my darkest moments. These are my people, my tribe representing dozens more that I’d love to share a meal with.

Thanksgiving 2014

How did I get to be the luckiest girl in the world to have such friends? 

That day I knew that the rest of our year was going to be stellar. Guess what? I was right. I believed it and so it was. Were things perfect? No, not at all. I felt some stress due to finances and other family issues. I often went back to read my gratitude journal to see how God had provided for me in the past. I saw again the evidence of the amazing friends I’m surrounded by. I began to text several of them to let them know how grateful I am for them in my life. Financially things worked out over and above my expectations. Then I came down with the flu only a few days before Christmas. I wasn’t able to do everything I had dreamed up to do, but again, it all worked out splendidly. It was our best Christmas ever!

Tree Decorating

Now here we are in 2015!

I am hopeful, but better than that I am excited. There are so many things I am looking forward to! First of all, I’m shooting the wedding of a good friend of mine today. In the beginning of February I’ll be heading to Tennessee for the Zurvita national conference then later that month I’ll be heading up to Washington to the Refresh Conference for foster and adoptive parents. I’m continuing my health and fitness journey, as well. I’ll begin making videos in the next week so stay tuned for those! I’ve made some goals and the one I’m most excited/nervous about isn’t something I can predict or control because it involves building relationship with someone in my family. Guess what? That’s okay. I’m embracing it, all of it, even the ugly parts.

Thanks to all of you that made 2014 my best year yet. You know, to be perfectly honest I’m pretty darn proud of myself for all the changes I made last year. I used to think it was arrogant to say that, but I did the work. I had a strong support and couldn’t have done it without that, but while that support has always been there I’ve not put the work in before. This time I did and will continue to do so.

I’m not the only one making changes. Ireland and I spent a couple of hours changing her hair color. We did it last summer, but I did a pretty poor job and then she went swimming in a chlorinated pool so it faded pretty quickly. This time I did a great job and she won’t be swimming anytime soon. She’s my sunshiny Strawberry Shortcake. She’s also my biggest fan and I’ve gotta say that I love how much she loves me and likes being with me.

Ireland's Red Hair-5091

Won’t you join me in embracing 2015? What story are you writing in this coming year?

May it be of peace, forgiveness, joy, gratitude, and facing those challenges courageously.

I’d love to hear about what you’re looking forward to this year!

Love to you all…

Identity

Who are you? Who am I? What does God say about that?

I was already writing a post while listening to something on YouTube. By the end of the video I decided to change my post for today.

I’ve written before of how I have trouble with some of my kids, especially my oldest adopted daughter. Every day is a battle and it can be quite discouraging. Over the past week I’ve thought about how we perceive our worth or what we take on as our identity defines all of our behavior. Les Brown says something about treating someone as they should be and they will rise up to that. Simple to say, more difficult to do. It is a hard thing to speak and pour life into someone when it’s returned with nastiness. However, nothing will change unless that hard thing is done.

Blessing. I have books of blessings and books about blessing. I’ve read them, but haven’t applied them. I feel like I’m doing so many things right and that maybe this is the last frontier to conquer; proclaiming life and healing over myself and my children.

I’ve been learning to love myself more. It feels so selfish to say that. I mean, aren’t we, as followers of God called to lay down our lives for one another. We deserve nothing, right? We are but worms. Yet, Jesus tells us,  “’Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” How do we love our neighbor as our own self if we despise who we are?

I will speak life, God’s words to myself and my children. Even when it’s hard.

This is what got me thinking about it today. Please take the 15 minutes to watch this.

 

So many thoughts…

I am doing my best to stop saying and thinking, “I don’t have time.” I realize that it’s not whether or not I have it, but what I do with the time I have. Life moves quickly and sometimes I just give into riding the rapids of the day feeling out of control. Other days, I choose to leisurely float down the river with no other plans getting in the way. Today was one of those days. I had a couple of social events to attend, but I was able to relax on the couch for hours in the afternoon. It was so wonderful.

It is late at night now. I’ve had several conversations; some stirring in my heart.

Right now I am thinking about the lack of prayer in my life, of life moving and slipping away, of a friend dying. My heart is sad, but I am not without hope.

This past week I’ve been disgusted by the tone in which my kids speak to one another and with their attitude. So much so that I didn’t even want to deal with it. Then I look at my own heart and words. I told my friends this evening how I will sigh when a kid asks to spend time with me. I feel so worn. Yet, if any of my friends sighed at my question to spend time with them, I would be crushed. We talk of trying to yell less and becoming more loving. Sometimes it feels so hopeless.

On my drive home my good friend asked, “Why doesn’t anything change?” I immediately thought of the theme of my journal writings since I was 20 has been, “Dear Lord, help me be more wise with my money and time, help me to get up early, help me to love more, to be kind to my family, be a better wife, go to bed earlier, etc.” I wanted to tell her that it all gets easier and better and one day she won’t sin so much or struggle with so much. Is that true? Maybe. Or maybe as we grow stronger we come up against stronger weapons of the enemy.

We began to talk of our need to pray. I am a selfish pray-er. I joke about the time I prayed that my friend would get a job because I didn’t want to deal with his emotional state. He got a job offered to him a few hours later. I didn’t pray that job primarily for him. I pray for my day and my relationship and my kids pretty consistently. Outside of that, I’m not so good. I want that to change. I’m also not one to persist. Yet, I read testimonies of persistent prayer and the miracle God does.

Also, this week I’ve said to a couple of my friends that I complain too much. I was having a moment of feeling down and another friend said, “You need to go read that thankful book again!” (One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp). I gasped because it was true. My perspective had shifted my lens to focus on something else. I am really good about being negative and sarcastic. I don’t want that to be what describes my life.

I guess I don’t have a tidy little conclusion to this post. I don’t want to just write about these things. I am going to take action. I’m going to begin to actually spend time in prayer. I get up early. I’ll read my Bible, my devotion book, write in my journal, and pray a little. I still want to do those things, but I will be spending dedicated time in prayer. I don’t know what it will look like. I don’t have a plan. I just know there is something more that the Father wants from me.

He wants it all. Every part of my heart.

Lord, teach me to pray and teach me to hear. Open this heart of mine to more of You. Though I sigh at this next part and am tempted to dig in my heels, I ask that You would draw me to You and that my sinful flesh would burn away. I am a new creation. I want to walk in that newness every day. Give me Your heart. Give me Your eyes to see people around me as You see them and love them. I am Yours. All Yours.

Cry Out and He Will Hear You

CH-02

This morning found me wide awake before the sun had risen. I showered, put my pj’s back on, and sat down at my computer. Maybe I’ll get the emails for work taken care of so that I can work more on building my business during the day. Oh, I know, I’ll work on editing photos from a job I haven’t been paid for in full, but I just want to get done. What’s that? Oh, ok. I’ll pray. I’m here alone and won’t be interrupted. Prayer sounds good.

I first bring out my gratitude journal and begin to write. I find that beginning with thankfulness helps me to get the focus off of my own selfish desires. I begin to pray for my children, my best friends, and then finally myself. I ask Him to guide me in building my iLA business. I tell Him that I don’t know what I’m doing, but that I know this is my “anything”. I’m all in. Please teach me and guide me. I need to know that I can still hear You, that my life isn’t so full that I’ve left you by the wayside. I then open my Bible app on my phone. (Not sure why since my Bible was just as near to me as my phone.) The verse that comes up for the verse of the day is from Isaiah.

Thus says the Lord,
Your Redeemer,
The Holy One of Israel:
“I am the Lord your God,
Who teaches you to profit,
Who leads you by the way you should go.

Wow. You teach me to profit. Got it.

On Monday my van got a flat tire in Salem. My spare is bad, too, but it got us home. All of my tires are bad. In fact, my spare is now flat and I can’t even drive to go get tires! I was fine with that for now, but my kids will want to see the fireworks on the 4th of July. How would I get them there? I shot out a short prayer that was something like this, “Please don’t let the 4th be sucky for my kids.” Like I said, I didn’t care, but I didn’t want them to feel bad. It’s bad enough that we’re spending it alone and not eating any fun food!

Well, Christopher’s girlfriend’s dad called to ask if Chris could take care of their dog and stay out there while they were gone. They said even the whole family could stay out there. (It’ll be like a stay-cation!) Here’s the kicker. They’re letting us use their Tahoe while they’re away. My kids will get to see the fireworks. This family didn’t know that I was even concerned about that!

Before I had started praying this morning I was thinking of how my dad would’ve never let me have bad tires. He would’ve bought me new ones. I kept thinking that I missed my dad that always took such good care of me. I  miss him, especially around this time of year, but you know what?

I have a Father in heaven that takes REALLY good care of me. I tell Him that I’m willing to do anything He asks of me and he gives me a job. Oh, the other night I had only $70 for groceries. My bill was $70.75. I had it all. I ask Him for help and He always comes through. I am surrounded by great quality friends.

Today was long and tiring. I worked hard in my job, building my business, managing my home and children, and didn’t have time for high maintenance or pointless conversation. I was constantly busy. It was good. I’ll do one final tidy of the house on my way to bed. I feel very cared for, like someone is looking after me. I also feel like I could use just one more hug tonight.

What Can I Say?

It is difficult to know where to begin. I haven’t written a single word  here in over 4 months. Do I give you a quick overview of each month with an accompanying photo? Or do I just start talking now and pretend that everyone who reads this post has also been keeping up with me in real life via phone, text, or facebook?

Well, I can tell you this. I am not the same woman I was in October.

My emotions were all over the place. I had found out, after my return from my b-day get away, that my bio dad from Philippines had died. Something in me kind of shut down. I shared that fact with only a few people. It’s not really something I actually want to talk about with..well, pretty  much anyone. [Don’t worry, I have a therapist. I have to share her with 3 of my kids, though.]

November brought 2 birthdays and Thanksgiving. I loved Thanksgiving this year. There have been some rough ones for me, but I stuck it out. This year, even in October, I was wondering if my family would have to begin a new tradition. That was heartbreaking since it’s the last “normal” thing left from since Kelly, my ex, and I separated. However, this Thanksgiving was sweet, tender, something to be cherished. It felt like a treasure.

Still, my heart was in a downward spiral. My heart was tender. I felt like I was being pulled in and pushed away at the same time.

I don’t think anyone knew. At least, I’m pretty sure my closest girlfriends didn’t know. I remember saying something stupid and realizing that part of me was asking for help, but couldn’t just say it. The comment was awkward and ill-placed. It was met with shifty eyes, awkward silence, and comment that hurt. I knew I was in the wrong and been put in my place. I also realized in that moment that I needed I needed to not be quite so open.

December was upon me. Christmas. Overdue bills. Winter break. Visions of a meager Christmas, disappointed kids, and a break full of behavioral challenges. You know, the normal run-of-the-mill life when you have kids with attachment issues. {They’re now going to term it: developmental trauma syndrome or something like that.} I didn’t even decorate for Christmas. I knew it was my own issues with the holiday(s). Turns out that by me not changing a lot of things in our home for the holidays was actually the best thing for my kids. My friend had been told by our brain therapist that often Christmas brings on too much stimulation, and thus, a bunch of acting out.

I was reaching the bottom, quickly. Little did I know that I was about to turn a corner. 

Christmas was good. Very good. Our dear friend, Levi Finley, spent December 24-26 with us. We cooked and cooked and baked and watched movies and went to see the Hobbit and laughed. We laughed. My heart was made merry by such a visit. We don’t get many visitors these days nor do we get invited places so having a good comfort friend was refreshing.

Then something happened.

I was remembering how in years past I had blogged a year end summary. I wondered if I would do that this year. So, I thought very cynically about our  year. I didn’t have to think very long when things began looking up. I began comparing life from a year ago.

December 2011

  • living in someone else’s home
  • days away from a huge…um, trauma trigger for my eldest daughter
  • days of continual arguing ALL of the time
  • mourning the loss of the home I built with my husband and all the ideal that held
  • the beginning of me feeling cut off from friends…ok,  maybe not the beginning, but sharing a home with someone else sure deepened that

December 2012

  • a rented home with inexpensive rent and an incredible landlord
  • heat
  • a girl who isn’t arguing all of the time
  • a young boy who rarely rages, it used to be daily
  • we were half way through our winter break and NO BIG BAD behaviors had occurred
  • Christopher had played chess with all his younger siblings

So then I began to think of even more things concerning my kids and realized that in the months since we had started doing neurotherapy last summer, our home lives had drastically improved. More good progress had happened in those months than in the previous 6 1/2 years.

This IS huge! HUGE! Do you hear me??? HUGE!

{Bear with me, I was intending for this to be a short update!}

Suddenly I realized that things are changing and the changes are good.

I had spent a several weeks wondering what I had done that was so wrong that God wasn’t providing for me the same as He had before. Now I realize that things were just changing. I was being equipped differently than I had before.

While I’m not one to do New Year’s resolutions, I knew that something new was coming. So I made the declaration that 2013 would be a year like none other.

And so far, it has, but you’ll have to wait to hear more about that.

In the meantime, I’ll leave you with a photo of my beautiful dog, Ginger.

Ginger

What Is My Story?

Small representation of my story…

 

Friday’s post inspired me to look deeper into my past. Well, not much deeper. I just started remembering things or bits of things. Then in church today I started remembering  more stories of when I was small. I wondered if I’d ever write about them. What would be the purpose of certain stories? Would they bring glory to God? Would anyone be encouraged in their walk with the Father?

I started looking at old pictures, then I dug out my old journals. It is discouraging in some ways. There are certain areas I’ve always struggled with. Yet, there are also pages full of encouragement because I can see how for I’ve come on this journey.

This morning in church Jim, our pastor, talked about some of the things we went through last year and some of his vision for the coming year. The story of what’s happening intrigues me. I want to hear how everyone has interpreted this last year. I want to know how they see the church body. Are they satisfied? Please, for the love of God, say that you’re not satisfied and that you hunger for something deeper. I want to hear about the adventure we’re all on together. Where are you? Are you being risky? And by risky, I mean that in a very wholesome way. Although, if you’re being risky in a not-so-wholesome way and maybe you need to find your way back home I want to hear that, too.

So much is stirring. There are words swirling around in my head that I keep running into.

Surrender. Sacrifice. Sanctification. 

It started with the first word, Surrender. I knew what I had to give up. It was specific and it was scary. I laid it down. I prayed about it. I tried to cry about it. Then I gave it up. Sacrifice. I think I’m in the Sanctification process. I also don’t think that you make through these 3 steps and you’re golden. I think it just keeps going. 

We are being called to something deeper.

What does this look like? What does living a life of Surrender, Sacrifice, and Sanctification look like?

I want to know. I really want to know. I know there will be some hurt involved, but hurt is already part of our life. I want to be totally sold out on this walking with God thing. I want to see His Kingdom here. I want to see people made whole.

Day 29 – Learning?

It’s nearing the end of the 31 days of reflection. I’m not sure how much true reflecting got done. This has been a busy month, that’s for sure.

I moved across town, which is to say that I moved about a mile or so from where I was living. I now live in a household of a total of 10 people, 2 dogs, and 1 cat. It has been good, so far. It was a little rough in the beginning. Ireland cried. I cried. I missed the life that I thought should be happening before I was able to embrace the life that is happening. I had all these hopes and dreams for my life. This is not what I had imagined. However, I know that His ways are not my ways. I also know that He has only good thoughts toward me. I am confident that the work that God has begun will be completed. Right now, the life I’m living, is the one life He’s given me to live.

I think we miss out on the blessings when we focus on what we thought we could’ve had. 

I think I’ve learned more about pressing into God; about how He truly needs to be my absolute best friend. I want to desire nothing but Him. I don’t want to be distracted by the comforts of this world. I am so very distracted by this world. I don’t know how not to be, but I know that the answer lies in Him alone.

Seek Him. Find Him. Love Him. Seek Him some more.

Day 23 – Courageous Covenant People

Our little church, Open Door, ahs been going through a video series by Danny Silk called Honor Among Us. It’s about being a covenant people. I’m not really sure what to think of it yet. There is more discussion going on each week and there are only 2 more weeks left of the series. This evening I just sat there and wanted to cry. Fortunately I didn’t because if I did, I’d have to tell them all why.

The stakes feel high. There is a vulnerability that I’m not sure I want to expose. I sat in a room of great people tonight; of people who are leaders and changers. I decided to go to this class to watch. I wanted to know what the leaders in my church are learning and exploring.

What is covenant? It’s more than a contract. It’s more than saying, “I agree to do this as long as  you agree to do such-and-such. If you fail at your end, I am no longer obligated to hold up my end of the deal.” From what I’m understanding in this video, entering into covenant is basically saying that the deal is on forever no matter what. The actions of the other party has no bearing on our own actions or responsibilities. We continue to love and forgive; which is not to say we continue to allow abuse or to allow ourselves to be doormats.

This means deeper relationship with those around us. We need to be courageous enough to open up our hearts and let them see inside and also being bold enough to speak the truth to them while loving them.

It’s completely dying to self. As in, COMPLETELY.

This is scary stuff for me; it’s scary for all of us, I’m sure. I want to see change and I want to see a deepness in the people around me, but I’m afraid to go first…or maybe even at all.

Yet, my loneliness is so great that I know I cannot carry it on my own. I have to let people in. I think maybe God created a way for me to live with another family just so I might have other adults around. We’re still in the getting-to-know eachother process. It takes time to become family.

Covenant. That word/concept really eats at me. Like I said, I wanted to cry. There were a bunch of little instruments on my table and I wanted to throw them, stomp my foot, cry great big sobbing tears, and stomp out. Instead, I diligently took notes while alternately writing my heart in my journal.

Hard stuff. What does walking this life with Jesus REALLY look like?

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