Bigger 2016 faith heartbreak The Road to Love

When there are no explanations

June 20, 2016

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Real talk today, ok?

If we were having coffee, and you convinced me to stop asking you questions and to instead answer yours (and I’d really fight you on that for a good ten minutes), I would tell you that the month of May was… hard. So hard. It was beautiful and heartbreaking, all at the same time. Christian and I were on quite the roller coaster ride in our adoption journey last month, a ride I feel I’m just now really recouping from. We are finding that within THE adoption journey, there are various roads that can be traveled… and we traveled a few new ones with all the love, hope, and faith that we had inside. It brought the two of us closer and more importantly, it brought us closer to Jesus, instilling a new understanding of trust with Him… the kind that you can’t establish unless you actually go through something that requires great trust. And I’m so grateful for that.

A sweet friend of mine shared something with me last month, written by the wonderful Lysa TerKeurst:

“God is teaching me so much about really trusting Him. Fully. Completely. Without suggestions or projections I just need to embrace the very next thing He shows me. And then the next. Though the long path is uncertain, He’s so faithful to shed just enough light to see the very next step. This isn’t Him being mysterious. This is a great demonstration of His mercy. Too much revelation and we’d pridefully run ahead of Him. Too little and we’d be paralyzed with fear. So I’m seeking slivers of His light just for today and filling the gaps of the unknown with trust.”


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Not all endings are easy, especially when there’s no rhyme or apparent reason, but I’m remembering that with each ending brings a new beginning, and while sometimes I feel utterly exhausted – like the kind of exhaustion that goes deep to your soul – I also know that each day I can choose HOPE over doubt. Waiting, for anything, can be hard. Even when you know the truth of it all (it will all be worth it, one day you’ll be on the other side of this, God’s timing is perfect, etc. etc. etc.) – even when you KNOW that all of those things are true, that doesn’t mean the emotions from the journey don’t belong or aren’t justified. Sometimes you just have to feel it as you go through it, and get through it as you feel it all. Sometimes there just ISN’T “the right thing” to say or do or think or feel, you just have to experience it. That’s what The Journey is all about – experiencing, and I believe that means experiencing it to the fullest, in the truest form. You don’t start a journey and then just arrive at your destination – you must go through it and I am going through it and embracing each bump in the road, feeling it completely when my heart connects to it.

While last month brought a LOT of emotion, I’m also grateful for it all. To me, it means I’m alive. It means I am me. I love and hope and feel things with all that I am. As many times as I might mentally tell myself (or have someone else suggest it) to “remain guarded” when going through something I can’t see the ending to – the truth of the matter is, that’s not who I am. I don’t want to live a life in fear, or to hold onto doubt, or to approach each new situation with a tall wall around my heart. I want to connect to things, to feel them deeply and in a big way and while ten years ago I may have told you I disliked that about myself, today I can honestly say I know it’s how God made me… like, on purpose 😉

I wanted to share some additional thoughts today, but to make mention that the rest of this post is about life in general, and not just about our adoption journey. (**I also will not be answering any questions about the adoption chapters we went through last month – not to family or friends or on this blog – and I hope everyone can respect that. Perhaps one day I will share parts of that chapter but for now, they belong only between Christian and me.)

I have always preferred stories that have clear explanations – reasons to every part of the story – and yet sometimes that’s just not how it is. Because what about the chapters that can’t be wrapped in a pretty little bow? What about the ones that are bruised and haphazardly bandaged and splayed out with wounds both visible and not – the ones that can’t be explained, that never have a clear reason as to why they were a part of our overall story to begin with? Some endings to some stories do not, in fact, come full circle. While some of those hard chapters can be understood when looking back on them later, which is amazing and you know I love when that happens!, sometimes we just don’t ever get the answers… and so perhaps it’s important to not place such importance on that – for ourselves and for others. Sometimes life doesn’t make sense to us. Life just is. And while there have been many moments where I haven’t liked that fact (and, in all honesty, have cursed that fact) – the older I get the more I’m softening to the idea that I don’t have to know it all. And perhaps it’s not even fair for me to guess and try to know it all. I can take comfort in the fact that, should I have wounds from a bumpy ride, Jesus will bandage them up – He will heal them. (here). Jesus will comfort me (here), and He will never leave me (here). I’m learning to take my life’s journey one day at a time… to pray for and expect great joy in Him (here), but to also live in the moment – embracing the frustration when life feels frustrating, allowing myself to bawl my eyes out when life breaks the heart, and celebrating THE CRAP OUT OF LIFE when it’s time to celebrate – which, truly, should be and can be done more often.

We tend to (try to) put God in a box, would you agree? We try to guess His next move and make sense of things that have happened that our human brains and hearts don’t understand – we do this for ourselves and we do this for others (because yes, pinpointing a “reason” makes us feel better). But why must everything be explained in terms that we are always “in the know”? Can it be okay to just admit we actually don’t know it all? Can we trust God even when we’re not promised answers or explanations while on this earth? The Bible says that we can still trust Him (here) and I am learning the beautiful importance of doing just that – choosing to trust Him, whether I understand things happening in this world or not. God is not in a box – He is in everything. And in the good chapters and the hard chapters, I am choosing to acknowledge all of His goodness – instead of demanding the answers to things I don’t understand. (Because sometimes, guys, it’s just none of our business.)

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As much as I’d love to wrap this recent hard chapter up with a pretty blog post of a bow and explanation, there is only one “bow” of truth I can wrap this chapter and every chapter with: My God is a BIG God. My God is a GOOD God. And my God loves me. (And He loves you too.) And at the beginning, middle, and end of every chapter, of every journey – that has to be enough. It can be enough. It is enough.

Amen? Amen, friends. Now, let’s celebrate.

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  • AMEN!

  • God bless you Em. That was so touching. And beautiful. And I am so happy to have you and your words in my life ?

  • Love you, friend. I’ve been struggling with something, too, and sometimes it’s so hard to trust that everything will be okay. But it will. Thinking of you always.

  • You are a precious and wise and lovely human.

  • Amen!

  • Goodness gracious. What you guys are doing is hard (heck, what we all are doing- just living- is hard), but I know that someday, even if there isn’t a cute little bow on top, your reward will be so, so great.
    As a Type-A control freak I get very very uncomfortable when the chapters don’t close neatly and orderly. I really love that quote about being shown only so much- the perfect amount, really. Enough to know, but not enough to be reckless 🙂

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  • chall1018

    This post. All of it. So many feelings and things that I have experienced and felt lately. I am so sorry that May was a hard month, but so thankful it brought you closer to Jesus. Saving that excerpt from Lysa TerKerust because I so needed to read that. Thank you for sharing it. Praying so big for you guys and sending you hugs and love.

  • Liz

    Oh, sweet friend, I love this. Love it. SO PERFECTLY WRITTEN. I adore you. And your amazing heart. And you couldn’t be more correct…God does have some very, very, very big and amazing plans for you, and I can’t wait to see them! <3 <3 <3

  • Yes, sweet one, God is enough and His ways are enough. I love the paragraph by Lysa T. because I need her words along with yours. My husband and I are learning to walk with Him on a journey we cannot see past that which is right in front of us, yet we have a long way to go. So I am sharing this with him because we need the reminder that God is enough. Thank you.

  • Oh, I have so much to say to this! But I’ll just say, I’m with you and my heart is with your heart. I like clear paths, and we rarely get those with Him. And it is one hundred percent possible to completely trust Him AND have a hard time with it at the same time.

  • I’m sorry it’s been tough, friend. As I’ve said before, if you ever want to reach out to me about any of this journey, I’m here.

  • And sometimes our friends across the miles desperately wish they could just hug you in person and tell you that you are loved and that despite the fact that I hate saying it will work out bc it seems so petty and trite, I know that it will because your heart and faith are just so strong. Sending you hugs and strength! XO

  • Sending you so many good vibes. You handle everything with such grace; I know that no matter what comes, you will always be amazing. And you will deserve every good thing that comes to you, forever.

  • My goodness, you have no idea how much I needed to read those words right now. Knowing that I can trust God to handle the twists and turns in the roads is so comforting. I’m learning to be patient in the midst of Him turning the page to our next chapter/adventure in life.

  • My mind understands that God is for me and not against me and that I can trust Him in all of the things, but right now for the last several whiles I just feel like I’ve almost forgotten how to pray, how to connect to Him. My mind understands that I can go to Him with anything and everything because He already knows, for whatever reason, my heart is stayed lock on key even though I know He already knows everything about me. Your words helped me turn the key just a little bit more today, to figure out how I can quit feeling like a Christian fraud & be just who He created me to be. Thank you.

  • Sometimes it’s so hard to remember God’s goodness and give praise to Him in the midst of the hard times and the unknown, and I’m so encouraged that that’s exactly what you did! Remembering how big and good He is always helps me through trials, though sometimes it takes me so long to think of Him!

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