Corner of the World

>> Thursday, June 28, 2007

This is a strange question but have you ever felt like a Google Earth map? You know, how it starts in outer space somewhere and zooms in closer and closer and closer until the details of your destination are so close you can almost touch it? Sometimes, I'll be sitting somewhere, like on my back porch and all the sudden it will hit me, how did I land here? On this exact coordinate, at this exact moment? Of all the zillions of places on the earth, and all the zillions of people I landed here...on this corner of the world. Somewhere out there is a boy herding sheep in Ireland in his corner of the world. Somewhere else is a girl in Iraq shielding her ears from gunfire and that's her unfortunate corner of the world. Yet in another corner is a woman walking down her own corner street to get fresh fruit. But how did my corner become XYZ Street, USA? Choice? Somewhat. Destiny? Maybe. Purpose? Absolutely.

Over the last year, I've been thinking a lot about purpose. Most people define their purpose in life by what they do. For most men, this is obvious...they are where they work. For most women their purpose is wrapped up in their families. For some their purpose is to grab all they can out of life and buy as many toys as possible. I'm sure many others are muddling through without any sense of purpose at all. I guess I thought I knew what my purpose was this time last year. Wife. Homeschooling Mom. Graphic Designer. Foster Mother. I wore many hats, had many roles and thought I had life figured out. Until I got sick. When I found myself in bed day in and day out unable to wear any of my "hats" I started doubting my purpose. I wasn't much of a mom in bed, I certainly wasn't getting any homeschool done. I lost several graphic design clients because I couldn't get their work done and a couple of our foster kids had to be moved on. I felt like God had stripped me of everything I "was". What's worse? I think the house somewhat ran better without me. I would have liked to think the whole world would have stopped when I did, but that wasn't the case. Instead the world kept right on ticking as if I wasn't even there. If life keeps going with me and all that I "do" then why am I even here in the first place? What is my purpose?

Lately, we've been fostering some very sick right after the other. The most recent one is going to stay. We're fortunate enough to adopt him. He has a rare birth defect causing severe neurological damage. He's blind and has pituitary problems. We're told he may never learn to walk or talk. He will have feeding issues and will never lead a so-called normal life. So what is his purpose? I've struggled with this question almost more than my own sense of purpose. I know this can't be a senseless act of God. But when then? The answer I've come up with so far He brings joy to everyone in our family. When he hears my voice his face lights up making me weep for joy. Once I watched him laugh so hard at a funny sound that I actually cried tears of joy. I see him sleeping peacefully, and a smile of joy comes across my face. He brings joy to us, and we bring joy to him...that's his purpose. In fact, we named him Nathan meaning "gift of God". He came to us Christmas weekend and he has brought us the gift of joy.

Job was stripped of everything he had in a much more dramatic way than I ever was. But I feel God's message was the same, "Am I enough for you? Even if I take away everything you *think* your purpose is...your spouse, your livelihood, your children, your things...will I still be enough?" Why does God even care? He can have anything He wants in this whole world!! Anything. So why does He bother with little old me on this very teeny tiny, miniscule corner of the world? Because I bring Him joy. Just like our son brings us intense joy, I bring God joy. Wow. He is like the ultimate Google Map zooming in closer and closer and closer to my heart. My heart. Because I bring him joy. So wherever our corner of the world is...God sees us and we bring him joy no matter what our circumstances. No matter who we are. We don't have to perform our motherly duties to achieve purpose. We don't have to work 60 hours a week or own many toys. We don't have to "do" anything. My little corner of the world is enough for Him and He is enough for me! Pretty cool.

Oh, and coincidentally, *my* middle name is Joy.


Ream of Paper

>> Tuesday, June 26, 2007

When I saw the mail truck stop in front of our house today, I got all excited. It's not often we receive packages of any kind, much less certified mail. But when I read the return address my heart sank. It was from our lawyer. She had promised to send my file in case I wanted to pursue my lawsuit with another lawyer. I set the 4" thick package down on the kitchen table where it still sits. I can't bring myself to open it. I may never open it. I don't want to see my whole horrible experience reduced to a ream of 8.5 x 11 paper.

I realize this journey is my own. I can't expect a doctor, a lawyer or even a loved one to walk in my shoes and feel what I feel. But it sure is hard to see my journey reduced to a ream of paper. Stark white paper at that. Couldn't it at least have been colored paper? And am I somehow supposed to gain closure by seeing my journey compiled in such a nice, neat little package? There was nothing neat and tidy about what I went through. I spent months being sick. I counted 6 weeks just in the hospital alone by the time it was all added up. And even after it was all said and done I went through a horrible depression. So much more went through my mind than went through my body. So you can't quantify my experience in days, weeks, or even months. And you certainly can't boil my experience down to ream of paper. The scar from my belly has long since healed, but the scar that remains in my heart is still healing.



>> Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Forgiveness. It can be a heart-wrenching, agonizing, tortuous thing to wrestle with.

Forgiveness. A couple months ago we were fostering a baby girl that was very sickly. I nursed this baby girl for weeks. Three of those weeks were spent in the hospital holding her, kissing on her, nurturing her, loving her. We sacrificed our time and our money to be by her side, and she wasn't even our child. There was an adoptive couple who was going to adopt her but when they found out the reality of her situation they backed out. It's probably a good thing. We were determined we were not going to abandon her though and decided to adopt her ourselves. We even went to court and the judge granted us permission to adopt her. But before taking her home from the hospital, the caseworker came in and informed us that they had decided to place her in another foster home. What??!! There was little rhyme or reason why they decided to do this. How could they undermine a judge??? How could they rip this child from my arms after what I had been through with her. It didn't make sense and I was angry! I came home from the hospital with empty arms and cried for days. How could I forgive the people who took her from me? How could I accept the injustice?

Forgiveness. Today I find myself wrestling with forgiveness for very different reasons. I thought I had made peace with it but after one single phone call all those feelings have been drudged up all over again. You see, one year ago I had pancreatitis and needed a feeding tube, but the feeding tube was misplaced. I needed emergency surgery and spent weeks in the hospital. The depth of my anger toward the doctors who not only misplaced my tube but also treated me so poorly, doesn't even begin to describe my tumultuous feelings. But to make matters worse the docs lied about misplacing the tube and blamed it on me, saying I must have messed with it. If it's one thing I don't's when someone attacks my character! In the end, we decided to file a lawsuit. We had obtained an xray taken immediately after my tube was placed which was b/w evidence that they had placed it wrong. I had been told by numerous people that it was an open and shut case. However, the lawyer called yesterday to inform me that she doesn't want to proceed with the case. She feels the money we'll get in the end will not justify her expenses. I can totally see her side of things and don't blame her but to me it's not about the money, it's about the principle. These docs need to be held accountable!!! So now I have a choice...I can find another lawyer and insist on being heard...or I can find forgiveness in my heart with no earthly reward.

Forgiveness. But I hate injustice!! I hate that a caseworker undermined a judge and jeopardized an innocent baby's life. If it's one thing I've learned it's that the foster care system is FULL of injustice. I also hate that a doc violated my body, lied about his actions and I'm left with nothing more than a ugly old scar in my belly and a bruised ego. I know God hates injustice too so forgiveness doesn't make sense to me.

Forgiveness. I know God is calling me to it. I know in my head I will find peace once I embrace it. But right this minute I can't wrap my heart around it. I want the truth to be known. I want to tell it like it is. I want to be heard. I want justice. I want accountability. I want all those earthly things that my flesh demands. But I also know that I serve a King who has upside-down standards. In His kingdom the first shall be last and the last shall be first. When we are weak, we are strong. His grace is sufficient for me.

Forgiveness. I'm not there yet. I have a lot of forgiving to do. But as of right now...I'm still wrestling with it.


  © Blogger templates Shiny by 2008

Back to TOP