When God draws blood!

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Signed in and seated, the magazine pages that passed through my fingers held no interest. They were a poor distraction to the room that beckoned my anxious attention. Not my first, nor will it be my last blood draw. Yet my heart pounded at the not yet seen needle that awaited.

“Run away. Don’t go through with it,” were my thoughts.

My name rolled off the lips of the phlebotomist as a question. Has she had experience with people who bail at the dreaded image of the needle or the vials of blood that get sucked through the syringe? Maybe her inflection was to ask if I still remained in the waiting room determined to follow through.

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Stuck in the Middle of the Storm!

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On one hand – Hands shook and heart pounded as I ripped through the glue on the envelope. Hope absent, but adrenaline still raised anticipation. Not bolded, but the words drew my eyes, “Your request for SSI has been declined.” The long list of disrders diagnosed, hospital documentation, school records and Dr. reports could not overshadow the pay stub of my husbands “too large of income.”

On the other hand – My heart surged with hope. The voice on the other end related to every struggle with our adoptive son with RAD. Treatment options that resonated with what we believed our boy needed, what we needed in respite care. Six years of fumbled treatment, dead end counsel and unapplied tools proved we, as parents, could not provide what his mental health required. A slight exhale of relief escaped, all to soon. “Our program requires 12 -15 months of treatment at the cost of $9,000 a month.” A brief elevation of hope dropped to the pit of my stomach. 

We aren’t low income, but we aren’t Bill Gates either. 

“Sorry, your income exceeds our requirements for assistance.”

“Quality treatment costs money to keep the patient to staff member ratio low. The benefits are worth the price.”

We are stuck in the middle class conundrum. 

Too much for state or government programs yet my husband’s income falls too short to pursue treatment plans that could pay the monthly mortgage for 10 families.

Frustration and desperation led to prayer, as it often does. And as He often does, a revelation brought light to the dark cycle of “too much, not enough” and being stuck in the middle. 

Perhaps being in the middle is the breeding ground for God to cultivate His glory.

One the one hand, we can’t rely on state or government and on the other, we can’t rely on ourselves.  Who’s left? 

Who indeed. 

Just like Peter! Jesus called Peter out of the boat. Too far for the other disciples to pull him back, not far enough to grab onto Jesus or he would not have panicked. He had only one choice when the waves grew stronger, when he began to feel the water rise. He shouted, “Lord, save me.”

God called my husband and I to adoption before we even said, “I do” over 20 years ago. We stepped out in faith with knowledge of storms that could rise on the journey.

We knew our adopted kids could have disorders from alcohol in the womb or early life in an orphanage. Yet God called us, so we jumped out of the boat, not knowing where it would lead us. 

Here we stand, in the middle between stepping out in faith and not yet reached the destination of healing and wholeness for our son. The waves are crashing as we tread the waters of Reactive Attachment and mood disorders and learning disrders. The storm surge of suicide plagues our son. We are desperate as we feel the water rising and weariness as we fight to keep our head above the waves. 

Our journey finds us in the middle of surging waters. The boat behind us and the end too far, yet to see the calm. 

God is still before us. “Trust! Have faith! Come to me.”

Peter couldn’t help himself, only the one who called him would be faithful to lead him to his destination. To be his rock, unmovable by forces that surround. 

Maybe your in the middle, between honeymoon and restoration not yet seen. The new born cry and the dream unfulfilled for your adult child. The last meal and the next. The last bill and the next payment. The foster placement and court papers signed.

You’re out of the boat.

Know that God has called you and He stands firm in the rushing tide. Shout as Peter shouted!  Jesus is there, the calm in the storm.  The voice that controls it. Stand firm and keep moving toward Him. 

  

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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A Painful Kind of Love.

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Depleted of vices to hide behind, raw and real are all that remain.  Perhaps it is where He wants me.  My true authentic self, helpless before God. I’m okay with that.  For a long period of seasons, I was anything but. Yet now, even a midst the ruins of my soul, the chaos of my existence, there is peace and it is Him others see, not myself. Grateful for that as life seems to be in shambles.

Twenty-five days ago, a moment of anguish that towers above all others crushed my soul.  The drive over the pass was non-eventful, even quite pleasant.  Which made the endeavor that much more unbearable.

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When they can’t Love you Back!

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“What do you think my love language is, Mom?” he asked.

“Well, there is a test you can take on line,” I said.

“Yeah, David was telling me I should take it. Will you help, in case I don’t understand the questions?”

“Of course!”

We were late for church but when my son asks for emotional help or growth, I refuse to brush aside the rare occurrence.

A quick search and the window popped up. We read…
“For each set of statements, select the one you prefer the most,”

No awareness on his part but I was all but ignorant of the sadness each question built on, not his, but my own.
An ache clinched my heart as truth was revealed; love is a foreign concept for him.

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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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