"Grief is not a Speed Sport"

The last six months have been the hardest months of my life and I am only 29 years old. I take a deep breath and I can smell the reality of that statement, it fills my lungs and seems to settle in, clinging to my lungs, and trying to get comfortable. I cough.

Maybe when I am 40 years old I will have things figured out. I will read Ephesians 1:11 " In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, " Hopefully I will say, "Ha! I have a more clear understanding."

When Nichole was born, dealing with her diagnosis was the hardest thing I had ever had to do. As I look at Nichole now, my heart is full of love. She has brought much joy and love to our lives. She has changed us. What really matters in life comes so easy to her, and she teaches us how to live every day.

Nichole allowed us to know God's heart in places where we had never been before. As we explored, we discovered breathtaking sites and we fell in love more with our Lord. In this journey, He gave us love for the "unlovable and broken" of this world. After all, we were unlovable and broken in deeper ways. As we stepped out in faith to adopt, we were stepping into unknown territory, and this journey of faith has come with many tears, and we have known grief in new ways. At least I have.

The tears began before we step foot in Ukraine, and once we arrived, we were thrown into a spiritual ground of which I had never encountered before. There were days when discouragement sat on my shoulder, it rested on it heavily, and the physical strain of carrying it knocked me down. Loneliness danced around me, taunting me to join the sorrowful tunes and I would find myself swaying to the composition. Anger yelled at me, and even when I covered my ears its echo vibrated in my mind.

I saw the reality of the orphanages in Eastern Europe. Those noises, smells, and scenes will haunt me forever. My heart broke, and I wanted to scream because I was so powerless to do anything for them. I couldn't help them! I could only save one. My heart still does not understand all that I witnessed in that place, I saw much darkness, but I also saw care and love.

For two weeks the daughter I had fought so hard to save, cried and screamed for two to three hours each night. The sound, like a poisoned arrow pierced my mother's heart. I soared on hope each day of promises made, only to see hope abandon me in mid air. "Tomorrow for sure" was said, yet tomorrows held the same answer.

I felt like God had abandoned me...for the first time in my life. But God was there. He was there through Kim and Jerry, our missionary friends. He was there as our "angel" lady when we were stuck in the Ukrainian airport for two days as we attempted to get home. He was there as the Germans took care of us while we had to wait yet another night in an airport, and He was there was our family was reunited. He was there, I know it. I saw it. But I did not feel it.

Grief. I had never experienced emotional grief.

So I read the wise words from Uncle John Stumbo, who wrote on his blog, "I've said it before: grief is not a speed sport. Grief must be allowed to wander around the mysterious shafts and canyons of our heart. It's trek is usually best taken in the dark. But in time, the human heart is ready for light to shine again. Insights such as those provided by Moses begin to light a few candles, piercing the darkness and announcing that a new era of healing is coming."

In speaking of Moses, Exodus 17 tells the story of Moses needing Aaron and Hur to hold up His arms during battle in order for the Israelites to win. Moses could no longer do it on His own, he needed others to do it for Him. Oh how thankful I am for all the Aarons and Hurs in my life that were holding me up during our time in Ukraine. Those that continue to do so now.

Recently my family (my family of origin) has had some pretty tough things happen. I was already emotionally "frail" so this came as a blow. They say when it rains it pours.

Then I had the car accident.

But like John Stumbo also said. "God is in this, and GOD IS GOOD." Oh how comforting that thought is to me, oh how it brings me peace. Because God is in this, and God is good.

"being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." Philippians 1:6

I am confident of this. My life belongs to Him, and what a comfort this is. So I allow for God to meet me as I grieve, and allow Him to comfort me and carry me. His arms are a safe place, a place of rest.

Oh how I need that!