One Week.

It’s been one week since our “light at the end of the tunnel” became at least four more months of darkness. Trusting God as we hold His arm through pitch black, with no hope in sight. What a week.

The first few days I was a wreck. One sweet friend brought me the most beautiful flower arrangement and note of encouragement. Which made me feel like I’d had another miscarriage or like someone had died or something, but oddly, didn’t feel strange or over the top. She knew best how much I’d been hoping for a moving forward…a change. Everyone called to see how I was doing, and I didn’t call them back. What is there to say? Anything can happen in four months. Which makes it hard to talk about.

Tomorrow is Midge’s first visitation in a while. She’s been so settled, happy, relaxed during her little “break,” and I’m not looking forward to seeing her thrown into confusion again. I’m also not looking forward to all the driving.

Seventeen weeks left.

But there are signs of grace every day. Moments when I feel a smile spread across my face or hear myself laugh and I realize God has given me the gift of momentary joy. I’m working on the thankfulness thing. MUCH work left to do there. I don’t think I’ve moved from anger or frustration or impatience to thankfulness even once yet. But I will. A trite thank-you won’t do it. It must be a feeling of thankfulness to edge out the feeling of negativity. My feelings are still rubbed raw and angry, but I’ll get there.

On Monday I called my little kiddos’ current foster mom and asked if I could come and bring Middle Boy (aka Athlete) home with me for a few days. It was just what I needed. He is three and a half now and so amazing. I could barely wait to get him out of my house most days when he lived with us, and now I would keep him here all the time if I could. What a turnaround. It was pure joy to keep him for three days…a good distraction, a good treat for him, a reminder of why we do this fostering mess.

Then I returned him home. Where their “family” had grown by two while he was gone. I babysat 12 kids for 45 minutes or so and saw what a life of sacrificial giving is like. Two biological children. Our Small Girl and Tall Girl and Little Boy and Middle Boy. Those six were a breeze. Then the little girl for whom they’ve done day care since birth. Also easy. Two biological grandsons who were over for a few minutes to play. Then sweet little Baby O, who joined their foster home a few weeks ago. And his siblings, five year old K Girl and six year old E Boy, who I’m sure were still in shock about everything. In the span of two weeks they are taken from their Auntie and Grandma to a hospital, sent straight to one Emergency Shelter home for a week, on to a respite home for a few days, and then just two days ago brought here. E Boy, whining about needing food. Although he’d just eaten. Not sure if he’d get enough and worried about it, at age six.

Perspective is a good thing.

But that doesn’t mean I’m growing in wisdom and grace at a normal maturing rate. The lessons need reteaching just about every few hours. What can I say, I’m a remedial student.

Today, a morning of unhappy phone calls. Much angry whining and childish complaining to poor husband, who always bears the brunt of it. I don’t want to do any chores around the house. I just want to sit here and mope.

Doorbell rings.

It is the mailman, delivering hope. Three new books that I’d purchased a few weeks ago. An impulse buy that was delivered at just the right moment. A baby who slept extra long at naptime so that I could soak in the sunshine (eighty degrees!) on the back porch swing while I read and renewed. I spot the first pink plum blossoms between me and the bright blue sky!

Refreshed.

At just the right time. In the middle of darkness. A tiny joy to get me through today. (Until the tantrum after tennis lessons. Isn’t that just life? Smile.)

Isaiah 58:11, a longtime favorite:

The LORD will guide you continually, giving you water when you are dry and restoring your strength. You will be like a well-watered garden, like an ever-flowing spring.

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