Driving Home.

Driving home from dropping Midge off at her visits is a hard time for me. The car is too quiet. I think about the coming weeks when the house will be too quiet and the dinners too easy and the living spaces too clean.

Greg and I talk about what it will be like to lose her, our daughter of two years. It will be impossible. And yet our family will survive together. It’s when we think about her alone that we feel the tears well up. She will think we have abandoned her. She won’t understand why we’re not coming back to get her, why we’ve left her. She will cry for her brothers, whom she asks for all day long, every day when they’re at school. She will feel betrayed. She will wonder if we loved her and why we didn’t want to keep her.

Today, driving home in the silence, I wondered about my perception of God in all of this. I blame Him completely, because I know that He is all-powerful. He can make anything work out the way He wants it to. My good friend reminds me that there is sin in this world, and bad things happen because of it. And I remind her that while that is true, God is over it all. “Who can command things to happen without the Lord’s permission?  Does not the Most High send both calamity and good?” (Lamentations 3:38) Think of the demons in the man on the hill…they had to beg Jesus to let them stay…to let them into the herd of pigs on the hillside. Even the demons are under His control. 

Deep tragedy makes me ponder God’s goodness, God’s power, free will and sin. Ann Voskamp uses the word picture of Satan being a lion prowling the earth seeking to destroy, but he is a lion on a leash. Which doesn’t help me and my blaming, because I would blame a dog’s owner if their leashed dog mauled somebody…it would be their fault because they are in charge.

And then I think about Midge’s perspective: Mommy and Daddy are in charge of everything in her world. So when Mommy and Daddy suddenly stop being around and leave her with someone else, it must be our choice, right?

And I wonder about me, as God’s child, yelling at Him for taking her away and hurting her so. But He really IS in charge of everything, so it makes sense to take it out on Him, right? But then there’s the interplay of sin and free will and a child suffering for her parents’ actions and looking at the big picture and God is over it all and it doesn’t make any sense to me.

She will blame us for abandoning her. That is an inevitable outcome of this experience. She is too young to understand what has happened to her.

And I don’t understand what is happening to her or to me, so I will blame God. But I don’t want to. Because I’m spiritually mature enough to know that there’s more to it than what I understand. But not quite spiritually mature enough to actually understand or to get past doing the blaming. I guess I’m stuck in the middle, so I’ll keep blaming God for a while, while knowing that He is love and there’s a bigger picture and a plan and He is beyond my knowledge. And then I’ll feel guilty about blaming Him.

Sound like a plan?


8 thoughts on “Driving Home.

  1. I’m so so sorry that you are going through this. The pain is so very real and it feels like a death. And the waiting for it to happen can be excruciating. BUT, I just want to encourage you, that if this truly is God’s plan, it is for your best, your family’s best, and for Midge’s best. It has to be because God is good. We had our babies for fifteen months and they moved on. I know it’s not as long as you’ve had Midge, but it was so so hard. Now, being on the other side of it for a little over a year, I can truly say that God sustained us and brought us peace. I don’t know why He does what He does, and I had those same thoughts about Him being ABLE to do anything, but choosing not to do what I thought He should. But if He should choose for Midge to move out of your house, He WILL sustain you. He will.

  2. It breaks my heart to read this as I have been where you are. Our children (sister and brother) came to us at the ages of 4 and 20 months. They were with us for 18 months and were returned to their birth mother. It was devestating, unimaginable and I cried out in the same ways you are. But as Carrie said above God gave us a peace and sustained us. In the moments I was sure I couldn’t take another breath, it came from Him. In my anger, wavering faith and lack of understanding, He lifted me up. He never left me. Three and a half years ago, our children came back to us after two years with their birth mother. We have adopted them and they are now almost 11 and 8. There is always hope. I will be praying for you and for your family and your baby girl.

  3. As I’ve told you, I am so heartbroken for this turn of events. It is enough for anyone to cry out why? why? why?

    I think it’s perfectly acceptable to be in a place of anger and hurt and blame towards God. And the loving Father that He is, He already knows this storm of your heart is coming, is happening, and that it will rage. And He will not abandon you in it.

    I think of that line from How He Loves Us … “Loves like a hurricane, I am the tree, bending beneath the weight of His wind and mercy.” Such a strange analogy for God, isn’t it? A hurricane? That rips through strong and hard and unrelentless – this is how God loves? But sometimes, yes. Sometimes all we can do is bend to the wind and wait on His mercy.

    My heart is with you as you all work through this loss and grief. May joy come in the morning.

  4. I can understand what you are feeling. Don’t think it’s immature to question God and feel the very real pain you’re going through… maturity comes with the ability to be totally honest with Him and yet never let go of total faith in Him at the same time. Just remember, He can give your daughter what she needs … more than you ever could, even if she stayed with you.

  5. Hi again – I’ve thought about you a lot since I came upon your blog yesterday. I want to remind you that the Father knows what you are going through. Here’s a passage about Jesus that has encouraged me in the midst of suffering:

    Hebrews 5:7-9
    In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence.
    Although he was a son, he learned obedience through what he suffered.
    And being made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him.

    Here it is again in my own words:

    Before the cross, Jesus pled with the Father to save him from death. He pled loudly, he wept, he had tears rolling down his face. He knew that horrible suffering lay on the path before him, and like any human, he dreaded and hated suffering.

    But at the same time, he pled reverently – humbly, making his request known, then accepting the Father’s answer, whatever it was. And the Father did answer – by pointing to the path of suffering, to the cross.

    And Jesus obeyed. He willingly suffered as the Father directed, and through that suffering learned obedience. He didn’t demand his rights, although he had the very rights of the God and Creator of the universe! He gave them up, and accepted the suffering that was part of the Father’s plan for him.

    I hope that helps a little as you also walk the path of suffering that the Father has directed you to.

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