Friday, July 5, 2013

a testimony.

i have wrestled hard over the last many months with why it is i feel like i do.  we've been through quite a bit in the last four years of life.  perhaps it's all just catching up to me.  either way, i had hit a place i hadn't experienced before where i questioned much.  i never felt good enough.  i never felt strong enough.  and there were days i was certain that i was the worst parent available for my two littles, and the worst wife for my husband.
and then, in a moment of desperation, and strength, i chose to ask for help.  i made a phone call, and an appointment.  i spilled my hard and ugly out for her to hear.  in a few weeks she'll listen to me again.  it was not miraculous.  i didn't walk out a new person.  but i walked out realizing something.
sometimes, real, is the most beautiful testimony one can give.  i hear stories of people healed, of lives turned around, and of hard things completely gone.  they're beautiful stories.  and as i'm laying there, at the end of the day, feeling like i'm less than, each story whispers to me, 'you don't have much to offer.'
so in my story, the hard things are still there.  broken relationships, that i have prayed for reconciliation, i have reached out my hand to try to make it happen, and yet they still leave me lying awake at night and wondering if they will ever be restored.  and perhaps the testimony will never be that of being fixed.  perhaps the testimony will be one where i admit that i have fallen short, but worked hard to live out the idea, 'if it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.'  romans 12:18.
and i will loudly declare that it's not a lack of faith that prevented healing in so many different things throughout my life.  it actually had nothing to do with me.  we live in a fallen world.  for that reason, we experience things that feel bad.  and sometimes, healing doesn't happen on this side of heaven.  and i'll take that lack of healing, and i'll use it to show that world that just like shadrach, meshach and abednego, that i believe my God can heal, but even if He doesn't, i still will not bow down to something else.  following God doesn't mean getting what we want.  it means having faith, even when things suck.
my testimony will include how very normal we are.  how, even though we have adopted two children with special needs, that at the end of the night we are still glad both of our girls are in bed and we can sit and rest.  it will include the moments i get angry and yell, and then have to come back an apologize.  it will definitely include the nights i cry because i have no idea what i'm doing, and the prayer that always follows, 'please make up for my mistakes.  there are many.'  it will be full of days where i just want to go out to eat without having to pre-blend something, pack meds, and pre-read a menu to make sure there's something my big can have with her multiple food allergies.
it will be the sort of testimony that those coming after me can read, and know, they too have much too offer.  cleaning up toys and reloading the dishwasher do have an effect on eternity, even if i have no idea what it is.  playing candy land, and watching your daughter persevere in trying to ride a bike most definitely have an effect on eternity.  tea parties and bed jumping, you got it, effect eternity.  and probably more than any of those things i just listed, the next paragraph will effect eternity.
i struggled with depression when i was in high school.  i have struggled with it quite a bit since returning home from our hospital stay a little over a year ago.  i believed that home should be easier (it wasn't), and that i should just learn to be thankful.  sometimes, even when you really love your child(ren), you still struggle. and by being brave enough to share this, i hope that somebody, somewhere, is able to realize that they don't need to wait until they are all better.
my testimony isn't about how i stepped up and did what God was calling us to, and it was amazing and beautiful, and there were rainbows always shining over our house.  mine is how my husband and i stepped out in faith, and did what God called us to, twice.  it was hard, there was ugly, and at the end of the day, we still believed God was good.  we didn't become rich.  i'm pretty sure we aren't going to be famous.  we didn't even live 'happily ever after' the way most people think that looks like.
happily ever after looks more like this:



and snuggles.

messy living room.

messy play room.

polly pockets parked under a chair.

leaves and rocks brought in from a 'grill.'

shilo's past time while i cook.

...and while i go to the bathroom.

and what our happily ever after looks like in the kitchen.

because happily ever after is sometimes filled with tears among the laughter.  and it's always filled with undone dishes, strewn about toys, and unmade beds.