Monday, March 26, 2012


It's been a little quiet around here, I know.  It's been a little weird around here as well. I've always planned to be honest and open on this blog as often as I possibly can.  But this blog is not my I know better than to treat it as such.  However, for a girl like me who can be easily distracted (I blame the artsy side of my's totally taking over my practical, type-A side), sometimes the best thing I can do is's how I try to make sense of things that really can't ever make sense.  My hope is that while I'm working out some things in my head, that maybe something written here will resonate with you. That you will be able to look past the cryptic-ness of this post, and see it for what it needs to be...a road to healing and forgiveness.

When something happens that I don't understand, when I'm hurt and disappointed and feel betrayed, my instinct is to retreat.  To run.  To become a hardcore hermit.  I busy myself with reorganizing something, or working in the yard, or I do something crazy like paint a tree in my house. Like this one:

Actually I painted this last month, before things got weird. But this tree helped me get my first real, paying wall art job for a church's children's area...long story that's not really relevant.  The new creative outlet has been good for me though. I crave any kind of distraction that will keep me from having to deal with feelings about things I can't understand.....but I know better.  I know that I have to deal with stuff because it's not going to go away until I do.

While I can't tell you the details of what has happened, I will tell you what I'm learning from it....let me the stress the learning, because I still have a ways to go.  I promise you that the details surrounding what has happened really aren't relevant to the lesson coming from least as it pertains to you that read this.

I'm starting to understand that sometimes God brings people into our lives for only a season.  Honestly, I wish that wasn't the case.  When I become friends with someone, typically I'm in it for the long haul.  I prefer to have a small handful of friends that are going to go the distance for me and with me, knowing full well I would do the same for them.  And I am ridiculously blessed with a perfect handful of friends who are exactly that. 

Sometimes, though, friendships have to end.  It's hard, and it hurts, and it's sad.  What I'm learning from all of this is that sometimes God removes people from our life...and it is for our best.  It has to be, or He wouldn't do it.  I have to trust that it's for our protection. Even if it makes me sad right now.

While my flesh is longing to fight, to have the last heart knows better. It knows that I don't need to do anything.  That it's not going to change things, that I really won't feel any better anyway.

"The Lord will fight for you.  You need only be still."
Exodus 14:14

People are going to fail us.  They just are.  I will hurt and disappoint people.  You will too.  
It's inevitable...we're human. 
That's not a cop out...we still need to try our best to be kind and good. 
But we're still going to mess up here and there....not intentionally, I hope.  
It's unfortunate, but it's reality.

 But I have good news. :)  God never will leave us behind.  Not ever.
And through all of this hurt and anger and disappointment, He has reminded me of this very thing, 
and that has been very good. He is faithful.  He is constant. He makes sense of what I can't reconcile in my head...or in this case, shows me that I don't need to try.  I just need to walk away.

You might be wondering what the take-away is here.  Let's no one?, that's not it.  ;) 
I can't wrap up the lesson here in a neat, tidy bow.  This one is too messy.  My hope is that at some point down the road that I will be able to look back on the time I had with these friendships and be thankful.  That I can remember the good....because there was good.  I'm choosing to believe that.  I'm determined to reach a place of forgiveness.  I'm hoping that this won't change me too much...that I will get to a place where I can trust new friendships again...where I can let people in the way I used to.  It's definitely shown me the importance of preserving the friendships I have, making sure they know that I'm not going anywhere, that they are important.  It's reminded me of the people who have been my friends for longer than I can remember, who have stuck by me no matter what.  Of the friends I've made here who have quickly shown me that they aren't going anywhere as well.  God is faithful to provide exactly what I've needed. And I've come to understand that what has happened is somewhat of a fluke, and I'm working to not be afraid that it will happen again.  I've spent a lot of time hiding out, keeping to myself, sticking close to B and the boys...I needed that time. I've spent some time walking, listening to music...God has used that to help heal my heart.  But now I know that it's time to start  getting back to normal, and I'm ready.

Thanks for reading as I've worked through this....I'm sorry if I've confused you, or if the cryptic nature of this post has frustrated you.  That wasn't my intention, but certainly now you understand why I couldn't be specific. My hope is that if you have dealt with something like this that you will be able to take away some part of what I've written that will be helpful to you.  In the meantime, I'll leave you with this...because  it can be applied to just about any situation:

"And we know God works ALL things together for GOOD, 
for those who love God and are called according to His purpose."
Romans 8:28

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Hard Things

I've had a bit of writer's block lately.
Ok...I've had a lot of writer's block lately. ;)
Started a few different posts, only to be unsure how to finish them.
So those unfinished posts are hanging out, waiting to be complete....hopefully they will be at some point.

There's been this theme running through my head for the past 2 and half years since God called us here....a theme that, simply stated, is "sometimes God calls us to do the hard thing." Or the hard things. In October of 2009, God clearly and distinctly called us to a church in Georgia.  I cringe a little at having to type that He clearly and distinctly called us...or more specifically, that it took the clearly and distinctly part to convince me.  I blogged about all of this here if you haven't read it before and would like to. It will definitely give you a better understanding of the start of this part of our journey...a better understanding of me. But took a lot, and it both breaks my heart that God had to be that obvious to convince me, and fills my heart with happiness that He loves me and knows me so well that He was willing to make it that obvious for me.  So I wouldn't doubt, so I could trust Him completely.

How very much He loves us.

I wish I could say that I jumped headfirst into this new ministry opportunity, but it didn't really go like that.  You see,  I may have gone obediently to Georgia, but I didn't go happily.  But I can look back now with a different perspective than when all of this started. Now I can see how God has handled the well He has taken care of us here. And that even though there have plenty of bumps in the road in my life....things I would have rather avoided, THIS was the first real, big, out-of-my-comfort-zone thing.  I hibernated for the first few months, making sure the boys were good, that they were making friends, that they liked school, that they were happy.  But I laid low and didn't try to do much of anything. And I believed that it was ok to do that....and really, I needed that time. The 5 of us have relied even more on each other than we did before....and we are happiest when we're all together.  Thankfully, God cares about the details of our lives, and He knew I needed friends here too.  So He provided them. It's a rather small handful, but that handful gets me, they love me, they understand that this has been hard, and they've been patient and encouraging. And while I miss my people back home more than ever, so much so that sometimes it feels as if the wind has been knocked out of me, I'm trusting that what we have is solid and unchanging.  God knows the desire of my heart. Period.

Where do we go from here?  I know that God allowed me some much-needed time to recoup from the move, but I feel quite certain that He does not intend for me to hibernate in this house forever. ;) Some really cool things are happening in our family....right now, more specifically, with part of our extended family. Ironically, (or really not...just how God works sometimes) at the time when our family of 5's "hard" was beginning, someone (2 someones, actually) were already embarking on their "hard" as well.
This is my sister, Reagan. She's 2 years younger than me, and one of my very best friends in the whole world. The pic was taken last summer when she and Brian pulled off the biggest surprise ever for me by planning a weekend visit for her to come see me. He just pulled in the driveway after a regular day at work, with her in the car. :)  I seriously had NO idea, and some time with her was just what I needed. Love her....not only for thoughtful things like this, but for lots of other things too.  She's funny, and hardworking, so much fun, and understands me like nobody else does.  She also is one of the very strongest people I know.  She and her darling hubs have been on a ridiculously difficult journey to become parents.  Trust would have been way easier to just forget the whole thing and be thankful they had each other.  And they are pretty fantastic all by themselves, so that would be understandable. ;)
However, they knew that God was calling them to do something hard. Something He knew they could handle, but still hard. Reagan and Jon knew they wanted to be parents. I knew they HAD to be parents....given how amazing they were at being an aunt and uncle to the boys, I could only imagine how much more amazing they would be with their own kiddos.

Now, I'm always careful when telling someone else's story.  I want to be respectful of boundaries and all. So I'll leave the details out.  Just know that they went through a lot of testing, treatments, and other procedures in effort to have a baby.  And it wasn't too long before they realized that maybe God had something different in mind.

....there were these two little munchkins living not too far away who had gotten a pretty rough start in life. All the while Reagan and Jon were starting to see that God had called them to a different way of becoming a mom and dad, there was more and more proof that these two were going to need to be rescued.  And soon.

When Reagan and Jon decided to adopt they realized there were different ways to go about doing that. And all of those ways are special.  And noble. They make each family's story unique and wonderful. For this family to come together, R and J had to work with the foster care system...a riskier way, with less of a guarantee of a permanent placement.  But they knew it was what they were supposed to do, so they started on the journey that would eventually lead them to the children that we believe they were always supposed to have. Twins.  A boy and a girl, whose birthday happens to be the same day as R and J's anniversary. The timing had to be perfect, the waiting had to be endured for God's perfect plan for this family to become reality. I LOVE it when God does stuff like this....little details that double as amazing confirmation that He really is in the details.  All of them. :)

In October Finn and Bailey joined Reagan and Jon through the foster care program.
On April 4 they will officially, legally, become a forever family.
And I am so completely ecstatic that the boys and I will get to be there to witness this
incredibly important, unforgettable day.
(and in case you're wondering...after this blessed April 4 day we will FINALLY be able to share photos of these darling babies' faces.  Hang in there.;)

When I met the twins back in November I wasn't sure how they would respond to me.  They had been through an awful lot, and I was just going to be there for a couple days.  But when we met the bond was instant. It was as if I'd known them forever....not quite the same feeling as when I saw my own boys face to face on the days they were born, of course, but undoubtedly, exactly the way an aunt should feel the second she meets her niece and nephew for the first time. :) I am in love with those kiddos, and absolutely LOVE being their Aunt Jac. And not to brag...but I'm pretty sure they're crazy about me too. ;) 

It is downright magical getting to watch this family together.  Reagan and Jon's "hard" isn't quite over yet.  They are having to undo a lot of what happened during Finn and Bailey's first two years...and they are doing an incredible job at it.  Thankfully everything is fixable, and they are healthy, and strong, and loving, and so very beautiful. :) Thriving and amazing us all with how wonderfully they are doing. 

And all of this has encouraged me more than I could ever adequately express on this blog.  It has also pushed me forward in an effort to make sure that we rejoice in God's timing and take joy in waiting on His plan.  And I can't wait to see what He has up next for our family.  A few weeks ago Hunter informed me that there were way more boys than girls in our family, and that he wanted a sister. After reminding him that I can't have any more babies, he quickly responded with, "That's ok, Mom.  Let's just 'dopt one like Aunt Reagan and Uncle Jon did.  I'll talk to Dad about it."  ;)  I don't know yet if that is what God's plan is for us...but I can't wait to find out.

The takeaway?  God's plan doesn't always look like you think it will.  It isn't always rainbows and butterflies, and it doesn't always come in a pretty wrapped package with a bow on top. But it is always exactly what we need at EXACTLY the time we need it. His gifts are always the most thoughtful, the most perfect....His absolute best for us.

God is good.  ALL the time. :)

So I'll leave you with that for now...even though I have much more to say.  
Guess I have some making up to do for the 2+ weeks I've kept quiet, right?