Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Can He Be Trusted?

photo credit:  vestedway.com

This morning marked the third court date in the eight months since Little Bitty has been with us.

I arose to music of twittering birds and sunrise spilling golden patches through the blinds.

A knot in the pit of my stomach, tightness in my chest.

My mind visualized the brokenness we would be entering for the day.

I slipped into a downward spiral-- a deep cavern of fear. 

Peeling back the thick layer of fear, I discovered another layer-- this one more dense, full of anger and frustration.

Anger at the broken system, the injustice.  The shattered lives that leave children teetering in limbo, unable to sustain roots of stability.

Each time there's a sprouting of hope and buds of new life, there's an uprooting caused by circumstances.

It effects our entire family.

All of our hearts pour and water and fertilize soil, yet healthy growth can't fully happen.

Complete stability seems like a mist, as we juggle visits with birth family, social workers, and court dates.

Yet, my anger, fears, and frustrations are ultimately not about my circumstances, the system, or broken lives.

In the quiet spaces of my soul, questions echo and ricochet against the walls of my heart:

is God really good?  Can He be trusted?

Because, I tell you, when I'm in that dark pit, weeping in the fetal position on my bedroom floor, it comes down to those questions.

In my anguish and worries, I cry out where are you God?

My eyes quickly fix on the situation and messiness of life and wrong choices of broken mamas and daddies.

Innocent children unfairly suffering the consequences.

His provisions and faithfulness of the past become foggy when I'm in despair.

I can't remember truth when I'm in that black cave of unbelief.

I crumbled onto the floor this morning as the sun rose.

I felt like all our efforts were futile.  Layering on makeup and dressing in my Sunday best seemed pointless.

We were notified yesterday that this court date would likely be rescheduled.

More dropped balls.  Paperwork.  Legal stuff.

I didn't want to talk to God this morning.  It felt like a waste.

I was angry.

The spot on the hardwood floors where I was lying and weeping was near my devotional.  I hesitantly cracked it open.

And there it was...Isaiah 43:1-4.

My verses from our year in the RV.  The promises I securely clung to during one of the most grueling years of our marriage.

The same verses were spoken over us at our wedding vow renewal on our 15-year anniversary-- a re-commitment to each other and Him.  A celebration that He sustained us.

The same verses a dear friend and I discussed last week, hanging out on my den couch.  The chocolate brown corduroy cushioning the pain of our stories, our wounded hearts.  In the midst of hot coffee and sugary treats, our hearts bonded over how He often rips away the things of life.  His goodness in spite of our questioning, aching, and grief.

Here it was again.  In the quiet of my bedroom.  Him awakening my heart to truth in the early morning hours.

He poured Isaiah 43 over my soul like a parent calming their child:

But now, this is what the Lord says— he who created you, Jacob, he who formed you, Israel: 'Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.  When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.  When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.  For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior; I give Egypt for your ransom, Cush and Seba in your stead. Since you are precious and honored in my sight, and because I love you, I will give people in exchange for you, nations in exchange for your life.'

I wept.

He has not forgotten these children.

He has not forgotten us.
We may feel weak and ill-equipped, but we are not.  His spirit is fully able to strengthen and give us everything we need  (2 Cor 12:9, 2 Pet 1:3).

May He rescue me over and over from my unbelief!

So, after we sat at court a few hours and got a new court date, we came home, packed up the kids and headed to the pool.

Celebrating life.  Living in the now.


Jeanne Takenaka said...

What a vulnerable post, Melanie. And beautiful. Life's disappointments, it's hurts, discourage us. I love how the Lord met you in your place of desperation and anger and poured His love and reassurance over you. Keep pressing in to Him. Trusting Him. May He be your strength each day on this journey.

Karen Brown said...

It's so encouraging when others share their wrestlings with God and how He extends His Grace, time after time. Thank you for sharing yours so very beautifully. Blessings to you for your ministry to children and for your ministry of words. Peace.

Meredith Bernard said...

Wow, what a message, Melanie. I can’t imagine what you are going through, but I’m so glad you see God meeting you in your dark place. He has met me in mine. Always. And when I forget, He reminds me just like He reminded you. Sometimes I think He gets the most glory and pleasure from seeing us celebrating life and living in the now. Bless you, Meredith

annierim said...

I love those verses - we are redeemed! Thank you for your perspective and your story.

e t said...

So cool how God desires our weakness, our ill-equipped-ness! He redeems it all for HIs glory and our good.

Beth said...

Excellent and vulnerable post. I appreciate the admittance of "dark days". I have experienced so many since starting this journey. I was encouraged by my husband last week when he taught on the book of Daniel...reminded that the "system" is under the control of Sovereign God, and not one thing will happen to these children that is outside of his watchful eye. Thank you for sharing!