Sorting Out After the Flood

We had two floods in our basement last week. It usually doesn’t flood, but we usually don’t have that much rain, either. We stayed up one night until 3 in the morning, tossing things that we didn’t yet have in plastic totes or on shelves. (That is to say that our basement is a horrendous pit, and be glad you don’t have to see the before pic… or the after pic.)

I realized today that my heart is being healed. Praise God. Because after that last downer of a post I just didn’t know quite where I was heading. It took a little while, but I am surely on the upswing again.

As we cleaned out the basement and attacked the stack of boxes which, in 4 years, has not been unpacked, I came across something… Jamey’s baby blanket that I haven’t been able to find in 2 years. At first, I was struck, and then I just held it. I had to smell it just to check, but of course, after two years, it doesn’t smell like him. I heard Carl coming down the stairs, and I chucked the blanket into the bassinette. I sat there and didn’t turn around, but he’d seen me.

He hugged me from behind, and said something nice. I don’t remember what, or maybe I didn’t hear because I was crying. But my point is, that for so long after this loss, I felt alone and figured nobody’d know how I felt or how much I hated what happened.

— Let me insert here that I pray I can be encouraging in the face of others’ loss, and understanding, and sympathetic. I NEVER want to gripe about their problem so much that the person affected hates talking to me because I am no longer a place of rest for them.

We hugged for a few minutes and talked about God’s plans for Jamey and for us, and I realized that in the past two years, I have avoided the basement storage area like the plague, because of all the “Jamey Things”. We worked hard at it, and now there are just a couple of blankets, and some photos, and all the memories of his short time with us, etched on our hearts forever.

After that, I found a letter that Carl wrote to me about a month after we became engaged. It was so sweet and deep and filled with the love and tenderness he shows NOW that I appreciate so much. Back then, this letter would’ve been the exception rather than the rule. I don’t even know if I appreciated it back then. But today, it put everything into perspective. My husband and girls, my extended family, my work, things with Carl’s job, our living situation…. just everything.

I have to admit, coming from a 21-year-old it was very wise indeed.

And after the emotional letter, I opened a photo folder, to see my dear friend Renee, who passed away when we were 19. It’s startling that after nearly 21 years, the sweet smile, the precious eyes, the remembrance of her gentle soul… and then I was weeping again.

In all, we had a lovely day together. My house is still a pit. My girls and hubby and me will never be perfect. But I think the key is that we’re always trying to do better.

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4 thoughts on “Sorting Out After the Flood

  1. As in all things, we go on to perfection in Christ who saves, justifies, sanctifies and perfects us. Besides, we would not have such a cluttered house if we were not so very blessed!

  2. I have to say, the thought that there is a God really isn’t comforting. In fact, what God would let starving children die? What God would give no children to a woman who waited until she was done with all 12 years of college to try to have a family, and give 5 to a woman who doesn’t care where her children are at what time? What kind of God would allow for people to be so cruel to animals, who have done nothing but provide companionship to humans for centuries, and have nothing happen to them? What kind of God allows for innocent children to be abused and neglected? What God would allow a drug addict to live to be 90, but an active member of the community suffering from ALS dies at 36. If there is a God, I sure hope I am going to hell, because I do not want to meet the being that is allowing for so much evil in the world.

    • Sweetie, we live in a fallen world. I don’t pretend to have any of the answers. But the God I serve is a loving God, and even in our ignorance, even in our tantrums and worst times, He still loves us and is waiting with open arms to accept us.

      I could be angry and ask why I had to wait 17 years for kids that were messed up and not biologically mine, whose parents do much of what you described in your paragraph, and then never get punished for it. There are tons or things to be hurt and angry over, and I’ll agree that none of what you wrote seems fair. Even being the wife of a Pastor, and raised my whole life in church, I still don’t get it sometimes. But God has given each of us free will, which is why there is abuse and neglect and all the bad things we humans can do. There’s also unblievable heights of love that we humans show each other. Surely in the City of Flint, you’d notice that there are many hurting and in need. And I am sure you can see all the ways there is help for those people, too.

      In fact, my church is one example. In the Bible, Jesus asks us to clothe the naked. At our church, people show up each week and spend many hours cleaning clothing, mending, and arranging it by size, so that folks who are in need can come and get proper clothing for no cost. If you’re going to look at the bad, you have to look at the good, too.

      Look at the people helping, when you look at those hurting (like me, and others you know who are foster parents). Look at the beauty of this created world, when all you can think of is the ugliness of a God who doesn’t care. Look at all the miracles (like my younger daughter, who was born 8 weeks too soon and wasn’t expected to live), and my Grandma Pat, who beat cancer the first time around when she wasn’t expected to. Look at all the people who should’ve died and didn’t, because there are just as many of those as people who shouldn’t have died and did.

      Life is never easy, but there is always HOPE. I choose to place my hope in the one true God, and He does not disappoint. I pray you will understand someday, sweetie.

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