Last week when I was at Disney I got to meet a couple of y’all and that was wonderful! I love meeting you all in person and getting to chat with you. Each of the ladies I met asked me the same question that many of you ask me, “How are things going with your daughter?”.
I have stayed away from this subject on the blog for several reasons.
- There really isn’t anything to tell. We don’t hear from her and know very little about her life.
- It is painful. I like to be positive and encouraging here, but I want to be honest. This is a very hard subject for me and frankly I just don’t like to talk about it.
- The haters. It is a sad, sad world out there and people sure do enjoy tearing others apart. Every time I mention anything about my hurt over this situation people come out of the woodwork to throw stones at me and it’s just so dumb and mean. I simply don’t want to dredge up the crazy.
- The very, very limited accessibility we have with her is a precious treasure to me and I don’t want to lose that by saying anything that would hurt her in any way. Sometimes you just need to keep quiet and pray, so that’s what we’re doing.
But I know that many of you care about us and wonder how I am. I get asked about it several times a day, and your tenderness has been a blessing!!!
Here’s the answer: I am really, really sad, but I am OK. In fact, I am finding places of joy and peace that I never knew existed before because I never needed it so much. I am learning humility and hope and trust in the God who knows exactly what we need.
I am still working on some other lessons I need to learn, like forgiveness and confidence in who I am in Christ without being affected by what other people think. Those 2 things, yeah, not easy. I read once that if we won’t forgive someone else then we don’t fully understand the depths of our own depravity. That really helps me remember that I am no more deserving of forgiveness than anyone else, no matter what they’ve done. The Bible is clear on that. But honestly, there are a few people that my flesh would rather never see or hear from again. Just being real, not saying it’s right.
God is even using that battle to grow me into a stronger, wiser, more valuable member of the Kingdom. I do want that, even though it hurts like H-E-double-hockeysticks.
This week, as we move into the holidays I am fighting the grief again. My heart breaks daily and God beautifully mends it every single time. He often uses you all to be His messenger of love. Those of you who have sent me cards and messages, you have held me together. Every note of encouragement is a healing balm to me. Isn’t it amazing how you find out who your true friends are through these kinds of trials? I have been shocked (and saddened) at who has been hateful and even more surprised at many who came out in force to stand firm by my side. Those people are my earth angels (great, now I’m picturing Marty McFly from Back to the Future and that song “Earth Angel”).
God uses our suffering for our good, and knowing who you can really trust is a very good thing! I have been so, so grateful for that. And He has shown me where I am strong, thickened my skin, held me up in times of trial and proved to me that I can survive what I would have thought would kill me.
OK, I am reading back through this and it sounds like a real downer. I don’t want to leave you with anything but the tremendous hope and gratitude that I have in what God can do and how great He is to use my hardships to help me and the people I love. Nothing but good will come of this trial, that I am sure of.
Here are a few things that I am so, so thankful for…
- He has lovingly removed some toxic people from my life.
- He is teaching me to forgive, which is my biggest challenge.
- He is showing me where my value lies, which is in Him!
- He is making me more loving and understanding.
- He is giving me new friends who are trustworthy.
- He is strengthening my relationship with my other kids (this part has been SUCH a blessing!)
- He is teaching me blind trust and giving me that kind of joy that only comes from the Holy Spirit and has nothing to do with circumstance.
- He has strengthened my marriage through this, when it could have easily gone the other way.
- He has blessed my business, how amazing!!!
- He has give me the opportunity through this to encourage thousands of you who are going through a similar trial, which is an incredible gift to me.
Yippee!! Look at what a great list that is! I hope that encourages you to be thankful this week and for whatever God is doing in your life. It can get really hard, but oh so rich with blessings along the way! Make your own list and see what great things God is doing.
Happy Thanksgiving! May the joy of the Lord be your strength!