In January we were led to request the removal of a foster child from our home--a decision I never, EVER would have understood until it happened in my own family life. We have readjusted our family dynamic for the third time in 11 months--from family of 5 to family of 7 to family of 8 and then a different version of family of 7.
We've been weary, confused--even resentful--which has brought guilt and shame. For a while it seemed the more unselfish we became with our bio family--the more selfish we felt as we tried to cling to the remaining few things that were just 'ours.'
After court a couple of weeks ago people asked if we were pleased with the outcome and my honest response was that we don't even know the specific outcome we are hoping for anymore. Of course we desire growth and safety for our girls and their siblings...but the specific way God plans to deliver that is still not clear.
It feels like we are in a vast, desolate land at this point in the journey--wandering, waiting to see if another court date in late Summer will provide any more direction. As I thought about this metaphor, I was reminded of a verse our pastor shared with us a few years ago during a very difficult circumstance.
"Even the wilderness and desert will rejoice in those days; the desert will blossom with flowers." Isaiah 35:1
And as if on cue, just as new Spring buds were erupting in my yard, an almost forgotten fractured relationship experienced its own new life. An envelope appeared--literally years after we had given up on resolution--its contents suggesting that as we surrendered God had kept working to restore. Yes, indeed, in the desert a rose will bloom.
The reminder that God's timetable is rarely in line with our own breathed new winds of hope into my sails. My spirit felt lifted by the reminder that in God's economy stories aren't over until He says they are. He is in the redemption business. Our obedience in humility, justice and mercy are not in vain.
"I will not cause pain without allowing something new to be born, says the Lord" Isaiah 66:9
What a promise! Nothing is wasted--even pain and dark Winters. I am grateful for the azaleas, cherry blossoms and other Spring buds--reminding me that what we perceive as death and dormancy often clouds the new birth that will follow.
As if God has lifted a veil, I see signs of life all around and am reminded that He is in the business of making all things new. He is Creator, Healer, Restorer...but we must have faith during the dark days that Spring is coming and new life always comes through the pains of birth.
We have our laughter back. Joy is returning to my heart--and the impact on my marriage and the little lives under this roof is its own reward. I'm recommitted to marriage, motherhood and family as a call to joyful service rather than the attitude of woe-is-me frustrating drudgery I was allowing to infiltrate my attitude.
I give up on trying to figure out where this is going to end up--and choose to lean hard into Him today--moment by moment instead.
I am so grateful for a God that leads and instructs me time ad again--always leaving me with a better glimpse of who He is.
O, Spring, welcome to my yard and especially to my heart!