It’s been a minute since I’ve picked up my keyboard and typed. Every time I thought we had passed through the hardest chapter of this now years long journey, I write something and then we enter an even harder chapter. But, I’ve missed these keys and for the first time in a long time, I feel like I can write with hope.
If you’re new here, you won’t have to scroll back long to find various catching up blogs. The pace of our family’s world and our journey over the last few years has been exhausting. But, here’s a recap to put things into a brief perspective.
- In 2012, we became foster, and then soon thereafter adoptive parents. We welcomed more children in 2016 and 2018.
- In 2019, our world was shaken with a crisis medical emergency for one of our children.
- That led to months of hospitalizations and a crash course in psychiatric special needs parenting.
- We entered a major legal issue that is still unresolved (and not of our choosing).
- Like many in our area, we weathered job loss and furlough before and during the pandemic. And, we’re walking through a tough financial recovery.
- We’ve seen two of our children leave home for intense out-of-home care. One to return and another to leave again for an unspecified amount of time.
- And, we’ve come face-to-face in dealing with the effects of spiritual abuse that we put on the back burner for years. (Not involving our current church home- they’re fantastic).
While our journey isn’t over, the days are becoming ever more normal. As in whatever normal in American society is these days. And today, it was completely unexcitingly normal. And, don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t a perfect day. Difficulties still abound, but it was our new-normal and I’m trying to be ok with that.
I don’t know whether it was sitting together again with our friend-family at church, the first time (maybe?) since the pandemic. Or, maybe it was meeting and chatting with first-time guests in our kids area. Or coming home to an uneventful lunch and then a stormy afternoon nap. Whatever it was, it was welcomed with open arms.
It felt as any given Sunday before our world shook.
For months there’s been a dialogue in the back of my mind. It involves three main elements. The first is raw honesty with the difficulties of our present stage in life. The second is self-imposed guilt over not being more spiritual in the way that we’re walking out things. The third though, is a subconscious understanding that though this season is long, it will not be forever.
Our pastor, JD Greear, spoke to the third during our sermon this morning. And it came in the bowels of prophecy in the book of Daniel. Now, there was a long period of my Christian walk where I would have approached this book with the mindset that every illustration and vision and symbol must be parsed for its American Christian meaning in our present world. An exhausting and spiritually unfulfilling quest.
Today though, our pastor quickly said we’d be taking the high view to see how God was at work in it all. We learned that though things felt hopeless for God’s people during their time in Babylon and how Daniel’s prophecy pointed to some dark times for those in his own day and for those of us in the future. But, hope lies in knowing that God has it all lined up with our Good in mind.
It wasn’t a deep revelation. It was not a spine tingling emotional reaction. It was a gentle deep reassurance that though our chapters these past few years have been dense and difficult, there is purpose and meaning ahead. And it neatly clicked together through a quote shared in today’s sermon, by a man who gave forgiveness to his father’s killer. Consider this:
Why is it that we want every chapter to be good when God promises only that in the last chapter he will make all the other chapters make sense?”Steve Saint
And that reassurance gives abundant fuel to move forward.