I’m decompressing from lots of things this morning, coming here after waking and pouring my coffee to get more off my chest; writing has become a way I process the big and emotional things in life. I also want to bring clarity to my post as my heart was filled with so many words I missed some nuggets and got one totally wrong. There is a knowledge and a genesis of trust happening deep in my soul that we really can “be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good,” (Romans 8:28, the Message.) I sense this invisible God and He is alive and active and present. Even with the things that happen or was chosen from a defiant (or ignorant) life that not only doesn’t love God, but could have cared less. Truly, readers, I am stunned. For all the shame I have felt over much of my life’s choices and anger at how some things were handed to me, uninvited, He is filling it with His purpose and His love and His beautiful and mysterious way of redeeming.
This changes my heart and how I view my past as well as the lives of those who surround me or cross my path. I have a favorite Oswald Chambers quote: “I am so amazed that God has altered me that I can never despair of anybody.” Or to change one word to mirror this particular season of my life: “I am so amazed that God has (or is) redeemed(ing) my past that I can never despair of anyone’s.” Do you know what this does? It leaves me surging with hope.
Now for some clarification.
“The boyfriend and I were young. We tried. It isn’t easy. Ever. Life pulls all of us at the seams. We broke up. Got back together. And broke up again. During this unstable time, which would not be my first,”
I read and re-read my post before publishing and never caught the mistake in that sentence. That unstable time would not be my LAST. I seemed to live for the ups and downs, birthed from a place of unworthiness and distrust.
“When it came time to leave the hospital the woman from the adoption agency came in my room, had me sign a paper and then took the baby from me and walked away.”
Before this took place there was a day where I was in my hospital room alone, lying in bed, trying to soak up the reality of things and my brother, Doug (who had been dating the girl with the toddler and had loaned us all the baby things), he came in to visit me, his little sister. I can see it in my minds eye right now – he was standing over by the large picture window that looked out onto the parking lot on that blazing hot July day and he spoke words into my world no one had up to that very moment: “I don’t want you to do this.”
My heart heaved. My lungs let out a deep sigh. My life forever shifted.
I do not recall the conversation that followed. But my brother was courageous enough to say what he was feeling in a hard and dark place. I have mentioned it to him numerous times over the years. I didn’t know if he was going to make it to her wedding or not until the night before. I didn’t tell her so it would be a surprise. The venue for the wedding/reception had a small room at the back of the log lakehouse for changing, she was in there when her Uncle Doug turned the corner to surprise her and she cried for the first time that day. A beautiful moment between an uncle and his niece who have a connection that runs deep.
“We started dating immediately. I was eighteen going on forty. I wanted a husband and a house and a white picket fence. I think I scared him, but not for long.”
There was a time I had to run an errand and left this new boyfriend with my little girl, she was about 15 months old. When I came home I saw her asleep on his bare chest in the old faux leather a.k.a. plastic recliner in my first apartment. Right then and there I knew I would marry him. He took us both in without flinching. He was twenty.
There have been some painful water that has flowed under the bridge of our lives since we became a family:
Just over twenty-five years later, to see the man I love walk his daughter down the aisle, it took my breath away and leaves me surging with hope: