I keep promising myself I'll write more.
But, life has been so tough lately, that I really haven't even wanted to write.
However, one of the challenges that I've been given is to really let myself feel pain instead of hiding from it. (I'll talk more about this challenge and where it stems later on.)
The premise of the challenge was to get quiet and alone and then just feel how your body reacts to thinking about a situation that has caused you pain. Do you feel tightness in your chest? Do you feel your heart rate quicken? Do you feel sick to your stomach?
But, I feel something that's harder to describe than those things. It's a thick, swirling, almost suffocating canopy of grief. Sometimes it seems to cover just my heart. Other times, it seems to veil every part of me. Almost like it's swallowing me up.
My only two escapes from this feeling have been food and sleep, neither which are effective for the long term. Praying about it seems to sap every ounce of living energy I have left in me. I feel so tired of talking about it, even to the Lord. I feel like I've failed Him, along with so many other people.
I have had countless people tell me I shouldn't feel like I've failed. We tried something very hard. It didn't work out. I know it's not for everyone. I know all those things to be intellectually true.
But, I think some of that thick veil of grief is because I thought I was led to this. I thought I was strong enough. There's a command right in God's word to care for orphans. I wanted to live in a beautiful, sacrificial way. I wanted to bring glory to God in a way that I knew I could do only by living through Him. I knew I would need His power and His grace to get my through.
Except, when push came to shove, even with relying on God, even when giving my life to him literally every second of the day, I still couldn't cut it.
I think of the women I've met who have been called according to this life that I was seeking that CAN cut it. My friend Ann, who has been so courageous, giving up so much, and beautifully adopting 5 kids from the foster system. I think of my friend Brandy who adopted her 4th child through foster care. I think of several of the beautiful faces I've seen at our foster care trainings, all who have what it takes.
And then there's me. I didn't make the cut.
I know everyone says I shouldn't feel like a failure, but I do.
And the pain of that failure is raw.
And I'm letting myself feel it.
I hate that I'm not strong enough.
I hate that I will never be able to adopt children out of a system that tries to be hopeful, but ends up being destructive.
My arms ache for the baby I held just last week. My soul is ashamed that I couldn't help a two year old move forward from a broken past.
I feel broken. Weak. Powerless.
I even feel "un-Christian."
I do not even feel like myself.
I know I can't hide in slumber or try to protect myself from people's questions or concern.
I know I have to face this fear and hurt. Now. I can't let it ruin who I am and what God may have next for me.
I know I have to find solace in the fact that Psalm 51 says that a broken spirit is just what God needs to use us.
I need to move to a place of gratitude for my little family of four, that may never be any bigger. I need to move past the hurt of what Lydia endured over the last few weeks, at the hands of a child smaller than her. I need to move past the words that are meant to help, but feel like a chiding instead.
As I glance at my husband, sitting in the other room, I can't help but wonder if he feels disappointed in me. He promises he doesn't, but it took him SEVEN years to feel okay with this step in our life. Seven years. And, now, it's over. In just a matter of days.
I just feel defeat everywhere I turn. To everyone I turn to. I'm not even sure if the Lord wants to hear from me...I mean, I know He does, but in my heart, it just doesn't feel like it.
So, there. I'm writing about my pain. I'm feeling it. I'm not hiding anymore.
No one needs to understand it. No one needs to try to make me feel better. I just needed to feel it. And this is the one place I knew I could accept the challenge to feel what I needed to.