You think you’re going to die, but then you don’t

I’ve maybe acted like it, but I’ve never said (nor do I believe) that I have things all together. You might know, if you’ve been following our story, that Mr. Wonderful’s job went away this summer, and he was wrongly accused of horrendous things. We’re now 5 months later, and today, Mr. Wonderful has an appointment with a lawyer to hopefully undo some of the damage done by a fanatical hater who wanted to bring strife into, and even ruin the career of a very good man, my husband, Mr. Wonderful.

I’ve been awake for the last hour, trying to calm down. I’m stressing out, and I don’t know how to calm myself. The Lord says, “Find your rest in me.” I know that. But HOW? Tell me, and I’ll do it. I got a glass of water, and tossed up a desperate prayer: “God help me know what you want me to do.” And the image in my mind, was of the Bible Mr. Wonderful got for me several years ago. I saw it as I got into bed last night, sitting on the floor, next to my bed.

So after several moments and several deep breaths, I walked into our room. I sat on the edge of the bed and laid my hand and arm on Mr. Wonderful’s sleeping form. I prayed for the Holy Spirit to ignite a fire in his belly, to be of a single mind when it comes down to what to do next. I prayed that the Lord envelop him in His loving arms, to wipe away the bitter tears, and begin a work in him that will take us on to the next step. I prayed that the Lord grant him favor in everything he does, especially the meetings today, and that those counselling Mr. Wonderful would find new and different ways to attack the problem, and knock the enemy from his platform of gloating.

I also praised Him, in the dark, in my lavender bathrobe, with morning breath and messy hair. I thanked God for His goodness and for sustaining us through this trouble so far. I thanked him for loving us, and for saving us, and for his constancy.  Then I grabbed my pink Bible with the silver-edged pages from the floor, and walked out to the kitchen and turned on the light.

I cleared a space at the high counter and pulled up a stool and read from Pastor Tricia’s weekly meditations (which I’ll admit, I didn’t have it placed nicely in my Bible. No. It was in a huge stack of papers that I cleared away. I happened to glance at it, and God showed me it was a good place to begin.) The paper said to read Colossians 1:15-20, and to draw a picture of one of the ways Jesus is shown to be in those verses.

Colossians 1:15-20 (NIV)

The Supremacy of the Son of God

15 The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. 19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

I read the verses, which, at age 40, is no small task with no glasses in reach and first thing in the morning. I read them, and then I drew a stick-figure picture representing verse 15. Then I wrote out the rest of the verse. I wrote that verse on the back of a sheet of paper with information on saying that my insurance is dropping Mr. Wonderful from the plan, because of costs.

THAT is how I find rest in Him. Something which is causing me stress and worry, I hand over to God, by writing (or speaking) truths about Him on it and then letting go. Which you know isn’t easy, and I’m SO not perfect. A thought which kept at me while I was praying over Mr. Wonderful is that everyone says, “Take things one day at a time.” And I kept thinking, “This day might kill me. I don’t have the strength to do this day.”

God doesn’t ask us to take even a whole day at a time. He asks us to go minute-by-minute if we need to. God wants us to rely on him every second. Our God is a GREAT BIG GOD! He can handle our moodiness. He can wrap us in His loving arms and wipe away those tears of sadness, turning them into tears of joy. He is bigger than everything, anything that plagues us: remembering past misdeeds, illness, strife, and even people who hate you and are trying to bring you down.

People don’t know about me, that while I have a smile on my face and am encouraging others, I have a deep hurt in my heart that only the Lord can heal, can deal with. I only talk about it with Mr. Wonderful, and sometimes my sister. Nobody else even knows. So when people say, “You’re a shining example of what God wants us to be,” I cringe, and think, “if you only knew, you’d never put me on a pedestal.” If I’m in a really good place that day, I might smile to myself and say, “PRAISE GOD for rescuing me from the pit!”

Everyone has things in their life which threaten to bring them down. Everyone has problems and people who persecute them. Bad things happen, and you think you’re going to die. But then you don’t die. And what comes next is the tough choice: Do you decide to live again, and give those problems back to God, or do you strike out on your own, fighting those battles on your own?

Today, and every day, I choose to let God fight the battles for me.

 

 

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Not sure what to say… God be with them.

This is from the girls’ mom’s facebook. I’m shaking my head because God’s given me a heart for them, and it didn’t have to be this way for them. They chose EVERYTHING above my kids. The only selfless choice this woman EVER made was when she signed the kids over to the state so we could adopt them.

The girls’ therapist tells me that I am put in this situation not only to raise these young ladies, but to pray for the entire family, that the generational curse is broken. It can’t be broken until they stop lying to themselves. They are clearly lying to themselves still….

TO OUR LITTLE FAMILY

All I want is my old life back……………

Now it’s just one BIG train wreck. That I can’t get back on the tracks.

All I wanted is my BIG happy family. Now it never can be like it used to be. My little baby girls (Nevaeh & Alysia) and baby boy (Preston) are already turning into little ladies and a little gentlemen. An mommy n daddy are missing it……  Not at all what we wanted to do!

I carried 5 now I only have 2. I’m just sittin, here like now what am I gonna do with just 2? Give those 2 children (Kayden & Kolt) the life that I should of gave all of you!!! 

Every day without them I feel like I’m sick with a new type of flu. That kills you slowly with every breath you take without them. It’s the worst type of sickness that you could ever imagine.

It’s called the I’m MISSING You Preston, Neveah, and Alysia flu. There’s a cure for it but, they won’t let me have it. One day I’m not going to be able to fight this sickness anymore. An I’m going to just break down and go out and grab it. Give them a never ending kiss and hug an get rid of this flu bug.

Maybe one day it will be o.k but, until then I’m just trying to continue on with my days……

Your daddy is just counting the days and ways to get his little angel Lisi, Nevaeh you are your daddies Heaven on earth, and Preston your daddies big hearted special guy. He would give up every thing he has just to hear you say……. “Daddy look what I did today, I’m a big boy” 
I can’t even imagine what he would do just to have one more day with all of u! ***Please never forget how much your daddy  &*** 
**adores all of you**

If mommy and daddy could we would take back everything we did wrong. Promise we would never yell, fuss, or fight around all of you ever again. An I wish I could take back every tear drop you cried, when you had to go and were to young to understand why mommy and daddy weren’t there. Trust me if we could of been there we sooooooooo would of. U guys were all that mommy and daddy lived for!!!!! We would do anything to have our little family back together again…… 

Daddy and mommy are so sorry with all of our heart and soul that you had to hear us like that. We never wanted it to be that way, for you or us.

Sometimes that’s just what happens. When 2 birds of the same feather fly together in stormy weather. They loose their way. 
If we could do it again, these 2 birds of the same feather wouldn’t fly in stormy weather. Only in clear skies. So, we could find our way every day. An never let any of you see the stormy weather ever again. Just clear happy skies for all of you guys. Your all mommy and daddies sunshine after the dark clouds and rain…..

Daddy and mommy thank God every day for blessing us with such beautiful, healthy, smart, caring little angels. You all are so very unique in your own special ways. 

Just always keep your heads up and pray for better days to come!!!
Pray for the day to come that we can all reunite and some much needed time with one another. I can’t wait for you to see your little brother Kayden again and meet your new little brother Kolt.

Mommy and Daddy where blessed by God when we found each other. An with the love that god gave us we created you guys, a product of our love for each other. Then we weir blessed even more so when God gave us the best gift of all the most BEAUTIFUL, SWEET, SMART, and HEALTHY children that has brought so much joy to our life. It was a blessing to have you guys for the short time we did than to of never had you at all. If I had to do it all over again I would……….

Mommy & Daddy LOVE U AND ADORE U AND MISS U MORE THAN U WILL EVER KNOW. Don’t ever think for one sec that we don’t think about you every day and pray to God to watch over you and protect you and guide you on the rite path in life!!!!! xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxooxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxooxox 

WE LOVE YOU MORE THAN ANYTHING IN THE WORLD, CUZ YOU ARE 
****************OUR WORLD************************* — feeling Missing My Babies.

It Shouldn’t Have Been This Way

Into my hair, Mr. Wonderful whispered, “It shouldn’t have been this way.” I didn’t say anything. I didn’t have to. My guttural cries and heaving chest said everything I could not: It really should not have been this way.

I was only watching a show on television. And after it was finished, I was just taking all the accumulated Christmas presents off the top shelf in my closet to assess the situation, and note what still needs to be purchased, made, etc. I was satisfied to see that we’re nearly finished with Christmas shopping. Next, I was going to make a list of items to be bought for our Thanksgiving feast. Everything is being pared down and simplified this year, so the lists are rather small.

I  got dressed for work a bit early, so I had the time for all of the above before going into work. But then I found a picture in the bottom of a box. It was a picture from earlier this year. Adoption Day, May 29, 2013. It was taken at the girls’ favorite restaurant, Olympic Coney Island, with the proprietor, Mr. Noah.

Image

See the joy in their eyes? They were wild with excitement that day! It was glorious for all of us. We were surrounded by family, an friends, and everything was right in the world. We were planning a trip the next weekend to see our friends in the Chicago area, and then, BAM! Letter in the mail. Wild accusations, and please come to a meeting.

The meeting happened after our weekend in Chicago. It was the middle of June, I think. We were excited to be finished with that nasty lie, and get the air cleared. Carl was going to have to face a group of people, and that might be uncomfortable for him, but it was supposed to turn out good, with everyone wondering why the big deal was made over a misunderstanding, over the nasty, treacherous lies of a person who has nothing better to do than to try to ruin the happiness of others.

The girls were playing upstairs on the day of the meeting, and I was running on the treadmill in the basement, and praying for Carl to be strong during the meeting, and not be nervous. I prayed boldly for Carl, that those at the meeting would see his true heart, and believe the truth of the matter. I prayed nonstop for 40 minutes as I finished my run and completed some laundry. And as I began to walk on the treadmill again, because I felt the need to keep moving.

And then the text came from Carl: Didn’t go well. We have 2 weeks of pay, and 30 days to leave our home.

Never in a million years did I suspect that would be the decision. Never, ever. Not my Carl, this wonderful human being, this virtuous man, this person who always helps those in need, who has the most generous heart, who loves God more than anything else in this whole world. Surely, God heard my prayer?

GOD! Didn’t you just tell my heart that everything was going to turn out fine, even better than before this meeting? God, didn’t we commune? Didn’t you hear me? Wasn’t that You, saying that it was going to be OK? Didn’t you tell me? Didn’t you! What happened?!

The raw emotion over the next two weeks was almost frightening. Several good friends, and people within the organization offered support, and words of comfort. Many people stopped by to offer hugs, offer a place for us to stay, and handed us cash.

I will never listen to a single person who says there is no good in the world, because in our time of desperation, there were people at every turn. People loving God, loving us, and caring for us. I don’t know if I can even count the mass of financial help that has been thrust into our hands. It’s been ongoing since June. And just the other day, we received more in the mail. And at church last week, I shook someone’s hand and they palmed me some cash, and I find it in my wallet when I knew there wasn’t any before. From every single direction, from so many people, but it’s God making sure we’re taken care of. God who is fulfilling the need. Because we could not, CAN NOT do this on our own.

It’s been just over 5 months since this all happened. We have our good days and bad days, and right this moment I am so angry and hurt that I could spit. (That’s Jenny-talk for really, really mad.)  I am very frustrated that my children had to be put through this. They don’t have this look of joy in their eyes anymore. They had to grow up a lot. But I think we’re closer as a family now, as well.

Since this happened, we have learned who our true friends are. We have learned the depth of caring that we didn’t know existed. We have fought against those lies and won on paper, if not in actuality. Everyone always knew it was a pack of lies. Everyone still knows that.  People are praying for us and standing by us and offering help to us and taking care of our kids and us in every possible way. Sure. we’re upset that Carl hasn’t gone back to work yet, but really that’s just a matter of time.

And now I’m left here wondering: if so many good things have come about since this shake-up, then why am I still angry, offended, frustrated, upset, ticked-off, unsteady, lonesome, and nostalgic for the things we left behind?

This is a grief process. At first, everyone acknowledges it. People send cards and offer hugs. You get through the initial stages and then after a while, it’s not in everyone’s face anymore. You think you’re doing alright, and then out of nowhere, WHAM! (like today) and then you’re back in the tranches, fighting for your next breath, your sanity, and trying to find God in the middle of it all.

We have gift certificates to eat at Olympic. Every time we’re back in Flint, I can’t bear to go there. It was our place of refuge in that city. It was our place to be a family. We  were always welcomed with hugs and smiles. It was always a happy place. And sometimes, especially while working through grief, you just don’t want to be happy.

Dear Father God, I know you’ve walked with us each and every step of this journey. I know you’ve sent friends and family to care for us and help us.  Please give us peace in our hearts, and spur us on to the next leg of our journey. I’m ready to be done crying, and ready to work. Prepare us for what happens next. You know I so loathe not knowing what’s going to happen, but help me to roll with it. Help me to be a strength for those around me, and not a downer. Thank you for being a good God, and for helping us at every turn. Your constancy is amazing. Your love is unending. Help me to remember that when times are tough. In Jesus’ name, amen.

 

Time Flying

Time Flying

I often notice how tall my girls are getting, or how they are able to do things they couldn’t do before. But today was a big day here. Annalise, who came to us at age 2 years, 2 days, got a big girl bed today. We carried her home two blocks today, from Mr. Wonderful’s mom’s house, but how much longer will she cling to us like a little monkey?

I am actually sick over this tonight; the constant marching of time. Slow down a little bit, won’t you? I work so much, and I feel like I don’t even know these two little humans, one of whom is so close to being able to read. The other, for the first time this morning, came to me and made herself ready to have her hair done. (She has a hard time predicting what will happen next.)

Do any other moms or dads (grandmas or grandpas) have this problem? The one where they are physically ill at the thought of these precious beings growing up and eventually out of your home?

God help me. I’m so emotional over this.

Empty Cups

Mr. Wonderful is my heart’s desire. God gave me such a gift in him, that I can’t have deserved.

I am parched all the time. Probably because I don’t remember to (or because of the kids, can’t) drink enough water during the evening when I’m home. So when I can’t stand it anymore, I’ll ask Mr. Wonderful (who never sits down, ever!) if he’ll fetch me a glass of water. He does. and I guzzle the water down. I then hand the cup back, asking why he brought me an empty cup. It’s a joke he didn’t find funny for years, but now is endearing to him.

Last night when that scene played out, I stopped to realize just how much Mr. Wonderful means to me. Nobody else would put up with my tantrums, impatience, or snottiness. And nobody else has such a silly sense of humor to pull me out of those ugly moods and stress freak-outs.

In short, I LOVE Mr. Wonderful, and I don’t care who knows it.

 

Prayers from my heart

(Our friends’ nephew passed away from cancer this week… I have no words to adequately express the depth of sadness this brings.)

12 When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

Father God, I am struggling to make sense of a world where a 19 month old baby passes away from cancer. This baby loved and knew love. There was no doubt in the hearts of his family. But that doesn’t stop them from walking this wretched, lonely road. God, cover Mike and Bri and their family with such peace and love. Light their way, and bind up their hearts. Amen.

Slam after slam

I look out my window onto the main drag of this town, and I’m transported by awe-inspiring beauty. The leaves are golden, and the grass is green. They sky is a perfect cloudless blue And so is my heart.

I’m so tempted to ask WHY this rash of slams against us again. I’m tempted to scream out at God, or to run away (as if the problems won’t catch back up with me). I want answers. I want PEACE.  I want to stop worrying about the cost of the upcoming electric bill – the first of the heating season in this new place. I want to be kind and peaceful toward my family, but I’m finding it impossible. And anyway, who wants to listen to a whiner?

Slam One. The kiss-off.

Mr. Wonderful is searching for a job each and every day. He is addressing this search with such vigor, that I am completely knocked off my feet. I don’t believe I have that much passion for anything. Every day, he’s chasing down leads, praying about churches already considering him, and praying about possibly getting back his old job. There was a particularly convenient (and local) job lead that we maybe put too much stock into…. and that employer let him know the job is no longer available. The other candidate has a college degree and is working on post graduate work. OK. But Mr. Wonderful’s 7 years at his job is not typically considered “lack of experience”, as the employer stated. How weird. And unsatisfying. And frankly, how maddening.

Then just a few days later,

Slam Two. The B & E.

We shoe-horned ourselves and our possessions into this much smaller home this summer. To do that, we had to put much of what we own into storage. I abhor the thought of paying someone else to store my STUFF that apparently I don’t need, because it’s not with me. But I also wanted to be able to go through the things myself and get rid of them in due time.

Two nights ago, one of our units (oh yes, we have TWO) was broken into. The facility didn’t contact us. Mr. Wonderful was there while they were putting new bolts on the door. Apparently about 6 boxes of our things were stolen. Mr. Wonderful can’t identify what they were. “Probably just some picture frames,” he said. Oh really? Because we don’t have a bunch of old empty frames. If I bothered to place a picture in it, then it was important to me. Maybe not important enough to place on the walls of our current place, but not much was. We chose not to unpack everything, in anticipation of a move when Mr. Wonderful got a job.

I’m already completely annoyed, and beginning to worry that the boxes might contain personal information or pictures of our kids. And then this morning comes

Slam Three. ….. .

How can I even put words to this one? My heart is broken. My world is crashing down.

This morning, Mr. Wonderful talked to a person in charge of one of the investigations which had to happen because of the lies told about him earlier in the summer. The first, and most important investigation came back within 30 days, clean as a whistle, of course. The second investigation had to take into account the findings of the first, and the lady has decided NOT to clear Mr. Wonderful of any accused wrong-doing. We have 45 days to dispute it, which we certainly will, with the help of our lawyer.

The problem isn’t legal, however. There are two things in peril here: First, our foster license. Second: when I ever do finish my college degree, it will be in social work. See the problem? No more chance of ever having our girls’ brothers with them in the same home. And who’s ever going to want a social worker who’s had her fostering license revoked?

OK God. I’m Listening.

So then what now? I’m listening, God. How do we fix this? Where do we go from here? You’ve said to my heart 1 million times this morning not to worry, that You have this figured out. Well…. I don’t. And I’m not very hopeful right now.

Deep Breaths.

I’ve taken the last half-hour away from writing this post, so I could gain some perspective. There’s one thing I know for certain, and that is that God holds us all in the palm of His mighty hand. I’m tired, and He says, “Find your rest in Me.” I am still very sick feeling, and He says, “Lean on Me.”

Precious Lord take my hand lead me on let me stand
I am tired I am weak I am worn
Through the storm through the night lead me on to the light
Take my hand precious Lord lead me home

The second line particularly, is how I feel. I am completely dragged out, and frankly I’m tired of all of this. Back on my knees in prayer, because I don’t know any other successful means to fix any of it.

I so wanted a clean, happy ending to this post today. I even wrote it out. Twice. But it’s not yet reality. I only know my Hope is in the Lord, and I’m pounding at the door to His throne room. I’m asking for a big fix to get us out of this mess. Lord Jesus, hear my cry.