When You Leap!

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Feet planted, toes push close to the edge but not over. Knees bent, a slight bounce as my body sways first forward then back. Jump or no?  That is the question.

In April, my husband and I stuttered through conversations, one after another, that waited for the other to say “go.”

A series of God ordained events led us to the edge of a cliff. God spoke. We obeyed. 

Deep breath! “Jump!”

We made a leap. 

Long story shortened, we decided to place our 17 year old adopted son in a treatment facility for boys in hope that he would get specialized help needed to overcome some deep issues and unhealthy brain patterns. In truth, it was our last hope to save his life. (and we have a long history of suicide attempts, hospital visits and therapists to confirm what may sound like an overdramatized statement.)

The leap was in part the group home but  in full it was the price; a hefty sum ALL out of pocket. 

A recent summer day found me, mid-air, with wavering faith. Won’t ask for money, but friends made a point to do it for me by way of a You Caring Crowdfunding site. Pride made me resistant to the idea, but love of my friends made me cave.

“God, this is hard and humbling and somewhat embarrassing to accept money from people who I know struggle with their own finances. Forgive me, though, for not embracing what seems to be your will. If it is your will, then please let money come from those who won’t have to sacrifice to give.”

No more than 5 minutes passed after those words left my lips before an email popped up. I cried at every word. Here’s the nutshell version.

“Teresa, I have a trust account set aside for donations. Right now we are sending $2500. No need to thank me.  It’s from God and my parents, who left me the money.”

I sat stunned. Ecstatic at the evidence of God’s involvement yet a bit ashamed at my surprise of it.

Q: At what point in our decisions process should the possibility of success outweigh the possibility of defeat or humiliation or failure?

A: The moment God says “jump!”

Faith is to believe God’s faithfulness, provision and omnipotence will meet us at the same mid-air moment a skydiver pulls the cord and releases the parachute. Then and only then, does He take us higher and further than possible to imagine.

Psalm 3:4 “I call out to the LORD, and he answers me from his holy mountain.”

The Lord’s work began when our human effort ended.

On a more remarkable note, our son is thriving. His therapist wrote, “Good news! [Your son] continues to do very well! We are very proud of him. We have not had any issues of defiance, has been a GREAT leader and peer and has been very productive in therapy.”  

Six years of therapy and hospitals and our unconditional love could not do what this home has done in 4 months. 

God had a plan for healing that involved a leap of faith on our part. We are still hovering with wind below but are confident that God, who called us to jump, will be faithful to sustain us and complete what He started.

At what cliff do you find yourself paralyzed? Is God saying “jump?”
cliff-diving

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Heaven’s a little Brighter!

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My eyes, glued to the scene. The dust of the debris invaded my nose. My hands wanted to prevent the sounds of the sirens and the cries, but I couldn’t move. 1,700 miles away from Oklahoma City, I was there only by the waves of the TV, but I had walked that place, breathed the same air as those people.  “Oh God, no!” 

Floors dangled, wires sparked, glass fell. “Did I know, by name or face, anyone in that building?” 

Oklahoma City Bombing 1

Often, I reached for the phone but fear would not let me dial. So I stayed, stared and mesmerized as reality sank in.

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The Gift of Pain!

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The aftertaste of sorrow lingers. Still existent but no longer all consumed by its grip I manage to gasp for breath. Moments at a time, life begins its return. Coffee with a friend, here. Date with my husband, there. An unforced smile manages to break through on occasion. The thickness of grief prevented it before. But Light has broken and darkness is not so black as it was. Deep gashes and slashes in the soul begin to merge together again. Because this place is not foreign to me, I have confidence that time will heal. First one step, then another, each stronger than the one before. Though a sense of “why” may never be made, purpose will be found.  He promises it. I trust. It’s faint, but there. This pain will be a gift.

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When Surrender leads to Victory!

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 Matthew 26:39 “Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”

More times than I can count, I have asked God to “take this cup from me.” Change my path, decrease my burden, ease my suffering. No rest for the weary as the saying goes.

I find solace in the fact that, even Jesus, bowed before His father and begged him, not once, or even twice, but three times, to change the plan, redirect the path he was to tread. (Matt 26:44 “So he left them and went away once more and prayed the third time, saying the same thing.”)

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Lessons from my 15 Year Old Daughter!

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Frayed edges, stained center (outdated by American standards,) the throw rug beneath displayed the wear of many feet that had paced before me. Arms crossed and tucked in close, not for the chill in the enclosed concrete room, but an effort to contain the emotions with in me. My third child, escorted by a dark haired woman in a floral smock, was delivered.

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Blessed! “I do not think it means what you think it means!”

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Sitting among a group of peers, in true “round-table” fashion, each had a story of hollow wombs and vacant arms coupled with the slightly unconventional way of filling the desire, deep-seated need, for children.  Some early in their journey, others veterans of the system, we each divulged details of the miraculous way God had built our families.  Conversation was deep, enjoyable and even beneficial until one comment stopped my heart, to which I mentally had to force myself to breathe.  Three words were uttered that crushed my spirit, heart and soul and provoked me to evaluate my faith.
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My Joy is Not up for Grabs!

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Sorrow. Pain. Companions of mine often synonymous with killers of joy. Thieves. They rise and take what is promised to be “new every morning,” but when dawn breaks mourning lingers on and on. As I grow older, a little wiser, I realize how false these accusations are. In truth, no one or nothing can take my joy, I alone, give it away.

Infertility remains loyal to me after 18 years, yet joy, well…it has waned and even vanished at times under the darkness of depression. Unfortunate, has been my choice, to let circumstances sway my ability to chose joy, come what may.

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