Long time friends and family – did you notice this blog was dead empty space for a long time? I know you did because you sent me Facebook messages constantly asking for updates. Ahem. You know who you are. I could
lie stretch the truth and tell you my usual excuse – Owls for Orphans was taking up all my time and energy. But really? That wasn’t it at all. Honesty is hard and it’s easier to just pretend you’re busy rather than be transparent.
But here I am, sucking it up and being transparent. You see, a few months ago I joined a community of ladies who are stretching me and encouraging me to use this online space of mine to make a difference. And while I’m not super comfortable with my story or the details of the last half a year, I’m going to share them anyway because I know that God is bigger than me and His story is bigger than mine. My prayer is that my transparency and honesty will encourage other moms to start breaking down the barriers society has put in place that make us feel like we have to have it all together. Because frankly? Only God can have it together all the time.
If you recall, Craig and I have three children. Nathan is 4 (almost 5), Alex is 3, and Maia is 8. Maia legally became part of our family in June of 2013 through an international adoption. You can find most of that story here on the blog. Shortly after Maia came home I grew pretty silent.
We were having a hard time. I was having a hard time. Depression was real and attachment was a problem. This post-adoption adjustment was taxing me and testing my faith in ways I didn’t think possible. It’s a strange experience to go from knowing you are RIGHT where God wants you to wishing you could turn back time and ignore His will altogether. You can read the whole ugly truth over on the Owls Blog if you’d like.
It was a dark, tense time in our home. I said things I shouldn’t have said and I was hurt in ways I didn’t think I could hurt. I lost friends. I grew bitter. I was talked about. I was broken. My heart was shattered and I gave up on God. It was ugly, y’all. Real icky stuff right there.
Thankfully God didn’t give up on me as easily as I gave up on Him. He pursued me and I eventually gave in. You can only live a stagnant life on your own for so long before realizing you need help. That’s not to say there’s not still ick I’m working through – because there is. But I’m not working through it on my own this time and I’m not letting it define me.
After months of ignoring my feelings I’m finally digging down deep and working through the mess of these last few months. So where’s my heart now?
Honestly, I’m not always sure. It still feels lost and alone a good bit of the time and it’s still bruised and sore for certain. But the bruises are no longer defining me. I know who I am in Christ and I know who He has called me to be. I’m called to be a wife and mother. I’m called to advocate for the fatherless and do what I can to encourage mamas in the trenches. I’m called to live honestly and transparently and not to put on a front. If the world seems to think I’m not good enough – then bring it on.
We have good days and bad days here in our home and my heart seems to swing along with them. Our good days consist of games of Memory, extended snuggling with a Magic Treehouse book, carefree play in the backyard, a tidy home, and a sense of accomplishment that connections were made and hearts were happy. Our bad days consist of me and a little one (or two or three) copping attitudes with each other, mastering the art of grumpiness, and going to bed with messes in our home and in our hearts. But I’m learning there is grace even on the bad days and I always have a second chance to make things right. The mess doesn’t define me. The bruises don’t define me. The mistakes don’t define me. I am a child of God and that is all the defining I need.
God is good and grace abounds. And that’s enough for this bruised and tender heart to begin healing and make the most of this season we’re living in.