Friday, December 10, 2010

The Wilderness and the Fight to Emerge

*Hey guys, just a quick note about adoption stuff. I leave for court in one short week and then as long as all goes as planned, J and I will pick Mercy girl up and bring her home in February. We have raised $15,000 (can we all say THANK YOU JESUS) and we are waiting to hear back from 2 grants so pray pray! Also, beads, if you need beads, especially for Christmas presents, let me know right away. If you are local I can meet you and if you are not I can mail them out this week in plenty of time for Christmas. They make beautiful gifts if I do say so myself! I will do another t-shirt order in January so it is not too late for those either. Love you all! Ok, back to the topic at hand...........

Hello Blog World,

This is the 3rd time I have sat and attempted this post so we will see if it actually comes to fruition this go around. This is a hard topic for me to type and although I have several myths about adoption that I still want to post, I know that this post must come first. It is my real life, my real journey, my real pain. I have avoided the topic at times in an attempt to not be so wo is me, but I know deep down that it will minister to you and I pray deep down that you will know my heart ahead of time, people have lived through much worse, but this is my cup and it hasn't always been pleasant.

To give you a bit of background, especially for those I have only been dear friends with through cyberspace, I did not grow up with a family who was madly in love with Jesus. I have awesome parents who both did the best they could with the dish they had been served, but I suffered a lot and I mean a LOT of heart ache growing up and the previous part was not one bit my fault yet the 2nd half was almost solely. At the ripe young age of 23 I was living in Clarksville, freshly out of college, and I had an encounter with Jesus that has rocked my life ever since. He met me in my deepest pit of sin, said enough is enough, and He rescued me. From that time up until Cross was born, God showered down His blessings upon me, almost 24/7. Within weeks of overcoming my last addiction I met the man of my dreams. That handsome guy you see at the top of the blog is my husband of 6 years, Jeremy. God gave us a beautiful home. Jeremy got a great job right out of college, I got a great job at Hope Pregnancy Center, and then finally, the surprise of our life, little Cross was created and we couldn't have been more happy. Now please hear me say that those years were not gloriously perfect. We have both said many times before that year number one of our marriage felt often times a tad too close to HELL. We were two people with plenty of baggage and we worked through so much, but over all we were just so incredibly blessed. I was so in love with my Father. I loved life. I knew He had a GREAT plan for our lives, the list could go on and on.

And then 2008 hit. We had our share of financial problems in 2007, but things were okay, Jeremy was in seminary, we were pregnant, but God had provided. I really don't remember all hell breaking lose until 2008. In one short year we had a son, moved as far east as the states would allow, battled loneliness and the start of my adrenal fatigue, went from an adorable house to a rental that was not so glamorous to say the least and then ran head on into the largest decision of our lives. Jeremy and I both felt God was calling him to resign from his current job without knowing what we were going to do next. So we did obey but with great expectations of the doors that were going to swing wide open. Except...........they didn't. It seemed more like a crack in the wall was the only opening we could find.

Let me back up and tell you another tiny detail, I was also newly pregnant, again, and sick as a dog at the time. I remembered this mom who had joyfully made all of Cross' baby food, who had probably never even let his diaper get too wet, and now I was laying on the couch 24/7, the house a complete wreck and I was dumping a box of Cheerios on the ottoman for Cross as a snack. I remember God sending my precious friend over to my house and her pulling me into a chair while she scurried around and changed Cross' diaper, fed him a real meal, gave him a bath and started our dinner. I was a HOT MESS!

Then to move this portion of our story along, we moved back to Clarksville, I lost my sweet baby boy, Cade. One year later I lost my dearest friend Shawnna to breast cancer, and all along Jeremy never found another job that would pay the bills. That precious man applied for literally hundreds of jobs and not one, NOT ONE, came through. So he took the only jobs he could find making very little money (not much more than minimum wage) and working extremely long hours just trying to make ends meet.

I remember hours and hours of begging God to reveal where we had gone wrong. I would have turned and repented from a tooth ache if it would have stopped the insanity of what honestly felt like a curse. I remembered Joyce Meyer talking about a wilderness, hers with finances had lasted 3 years, THREE WHOLE YEARS, I remember specifically thinking I would just DIE if ours lasted that long. During all this time too I was (and have been) in constant battle with a new term that is oddly growing dear to my heart, adrenal fatigue. I was diagnosed with this in North Carolina, given what I for sure referred to as my happy pill, an all natural supplement, and I was good to go in a matter of weeks. After losing the baby it came on again in overwhelming force. I literally could not stay awake for much longer than 3 hours at a time. I would get up, go for a few hours and then drag myself to the couch for Cross' 3 hour nap, then I would muster up everything my body could give to make it from the deathly long stretch from 3-7p.m. and then I would crawl in the bed for the night. This time I made the possible mistake of going to the "real doctors" who after hundreds of dollars in medical expenses (that we obviously couldn't spare) I was told that I was perfectly healthy. I thought that was great news and all except for the fact that I could hardly DRIVE without falling asleep. I went back on the supplements and again, a million times better in a matter of weeks. Not to mention and this is worth mentioning because it is a huge deal, especially for a woman, I lost several pounds in a weeks time as well. When you are exhausted, you eat to try to fuel yourself to go on with life and when that was fixed, pounds literally fell off. Really that whole topic was another journey in my wilderness, no money for clothes, hair, couldn't get rid of weight. I felt horrible inside and then daily I stared at what seemed like horrible on the outside to match. I remember days thinking to myself, "what has happened, I used to be so positive, I used to enjoy life". This was another sign of adrenal fatigue and now after just getting my hands on a book to read about it, I had gone through almost ever single stress trigger that was listed, tragic loss, major life change and a constant stressor (sometimes financial), can I say check, check, check.

So with all of that, I have now stared in the face what I am certainly coming to terms with and that has been a wilderness. God has promised me over and over that although we have certainly not been perfect these past few years that we have not rebelled against Him or stepped away from His will. He has shown me a million things, too many to list really, but a few include that we are being tested to make sure our faith will withstand suffering, that we are being humbled and reminded that REAL life is really hard so we will have grace and mercy on others and then certainly, we are not exempt from the curse and the fall. Loss happens, even to good people. Death strikes, even when you pray your little heart out. Life sucks sometimes, even when you are madly in love with Jesus.

And then finally, we are learning the fight to emerge. Good gravy does life often give you a spoonful that will just about make you wanna quit. I have never longed for Heaven so much in my life. I am staring at the decision daily, where will I go from here? I am sure someone else quoted this great phrase and I have read it along the way, but I thought a few months ago, "The greatest successes in your life may be how you emerge from your failures". I look at Joyce Meyer now and think to myself, she doesn't even seem to have ever had a bad day, but I know that is very far from the truth. She put in her time in the hot desert and now she is reaping the harvest. I wanna get to the other side, heck, most days I just want to really believe that there is another side. I have had to force myself to find and then fork out the money to buy the supplements for my fatigue so that I could go on with life and further the Kingdom. I have had to forgive myself for being a not so great mom these last two years of Cross' life. I have been short tempered and just plain tired for the most part, but I can't change the past, I can only change the future. I have to dream again although most days my dreams don't seem to go any further than paying our bills for the current month. I have had to KEEP reading my Bible, KEEP my butt around crazy sold out women, KEEP singing songs of praise in church even when my chest was caving in and then I think most importantly, go rescue this little girl from Ethiopia, even if I think God's timing in the call was a bit odd. I have to obey what He has called me to do, even when I am desperately awaiting other break throughs.

So that is it my friends, even if it seemed long, I can assure you that was a very short account of our recent wilderness. Daily it seems to be disappearing, daily my Spirit tells me we are ALMOST on the other side. I will never probably wish for it to return, but I can say with total certainty, I have grown more in the wilderness than I did in the promise land. I pray I cling to my Savior just as much in the years to come. I pray that when the prosperity is there that I cling to the only One who gives just as closely as I had to cling when He took away. I pray that we exit this season, but I pray that the scar that is left will be a reminder to me as I minister to other women that life is just dang hard. I pray that anyone watching our crazy life unfold will know and remember that there is no greater joy than that of the living Christ. I have said a million times over when satan temped me to turn my back because God didn't seem to be listening that better is one day is His courts than a thousand elsewhere. I have lived well over a thousand elsewhere and I know my best day there couldn't even shine a light on my worst day here. He is it, He is everything, He is worth it!


1 comment:

Living With Purpose said...

Now that's a blog post!! I've missed these from you. I am just wondering when you will discover that you have a book to write and a testimony to be shared.

I need a necklace. ASAP :)