Sometimes God calls us to to do hard things. Sometimes those things do not turn out as we dreamed they would. Sometimes God puts us on a path we never imagined, a path that twists and turns so that we can’t see what is around the corner. Sometimes it is very difficult to understand the journey. Sometimes it is tough to fully trust God with our path.
(Okay, actually, this seems to be most of the time!)
You may have been following our family’s journey, and you may be wondering what in the world is going on lately. It has taken me a couple of weeks to find the words and to muster up the courage to share this part of our journey. This is the hardest blog post I’ve ever written, and to be honest I have struggled with whether I even should. In the end I feel I owe it to those of you who have faithfully prayed for us and stood by us through every twist and turn of our path. (I know we are not easy to keep up with.)
Two weeks ago today on October 12, 2015, we lost a family member. Our 7 year old daughter, Diamond, who has been a part of our family for a year and half, was put back into foster care. This has been the hardest, most heart breaking decision we have ever made, and I am fully aware that many will judge us for such a decision. If you follow my blog and our family you know things have been hard for us for some time. As with most children who have gone through the foster care system, Diamond has a complicated and very difficult past. There are issues and trauma she has experienced that have hurt her very deeply and our family was causing her even more pain. Through much prayer, counseling and conversation with DCFS it was decided this was the best course of action for Diamond. Diamond is very happy back in foster care. This is what she has wanted for some time. We have had multiple confirmations every step of the way that this was in fact the best decision, and while it is impossibly hard, we do have a peace that goes beyond understanding. We truly want the best for Diamond, and we want her to be happy. She has not been happy with us for a long time. The day we dropped her and all her belongings off at the DCFS office she was as happy as we have ever seen her. As we spoke to her case worker and foster mother and as we loaded all her things into another vehicle, Diamond was giddy with excitement. I know this is very difficult to understand and even imagine, but Diamond’s story is not for me to tell or even to try to figure out. I do know she will always have a piece of our hearts, and we will never stop praying for her.
I can, however, share with you our part of the story. When we dropped Diamond off and she was bubbling with happiness it made things easier and harder for us at the same time. We are now left to process and heal as a family. We stayed in Arkansas the rest of that week and surrounded ourselves with people who love us. I cannot express how much good that did us. We have been so humbled by the ways those closest to us have reached out and shown God’s love to us.
As you might be able to imagine, we have wrestled with God a lot over the past months. When God found our family for Diamond we never imagined things would turn out like this. We didn’t even know this was possible! I do know that if God had shown us this end we would have never put our hearts out there like we did, so in a way I am thankful for that. We have questioned God, we have questioned our choices, and we have questioned our faith. We are still wrestling to make sense of a situation that will probably never make sense to us. Please pray for us as we seek how to move forward from here. We are now back in North Carolina to finish out Joey’s sabbatical and to begin to heal.
I am struggling. I am struggling with what I could have done differently. I am struggling with the fact that it almost feels like it never happened. This has been and continues to be the hardest season of our lives. How do I hold on to what God wants me to learn from it all? What do I do with it?
I know none of this is without purpose. For now I am doing my best to be grateful, choose joy, and trust God.
This the song that has helped me to keep trusting through the hard days…