My heart broke for my kids today.
Usually they get more of an “Oh, you’re fine. Such is life!” kind of reaction from me.
But not this. And about this, until now, for some inexplicable reason, I’ve had optimism. But that ended today. My brain could have and should have told my heart weeks ago: it’s just not possible for this to work out. But I hoped for a miracle.
For their sakes.
Today, and it certainly felt an odd thing for me, I quit hoping for them and started crying for them.
A high school junior, an eighth grader, and a fifth, third, and first grader, not to mention a we-have-no-idea grader, will begin school this month in the US of A. And today I admitted to myself for the first time: they won’t be starting the year in the same schools they’ll finish. In other words, instead of one big transition, they’ll have two.
It hurts. In that intimately individualized way other parents will understand.
Don’t get me wrong—there is good news in our life: We’ll be moving into a temporary house at the end of this week and finally, after a month of wandering, be getting our own space. And we have a beautiful vehicle. It was waiting for us when we landed, and we’ll have soon put over 4000 miles on it. And my job search is going fine. Normally. But, unfortunately for my kids, “normal” in the hiring process means time. Procedures and interviews. Phone calls and visits and time.
Did I mention time?
“Lord, we’re grateful for the housing. Thank you. We’re amazed at your provision of an 8-passenger vehicle. We’re thankful for health and fun and families and swimming pools, and cash gifts that have kept us eating at restaurants during endless unpacking and repacking and moving and transitioning. But, Lord, our kids. They’re children, and their understanding is so limited. You know we agonized this past year over them more than anything. You know I would give up the rest if I could exchange it for landing in our new home before they start school.
“Haven’t they known enough trauma, Lord?
“Haven’t we all known enough difficult transition? [This is our fourth move in five years.] Haven’t we gone through enough meltdowns in this month of no routines? [Everett’s latest, though fewer and further between, usually require both of us to get him through them.]
“The adopted 3 are living at the end of their tethers.
“Because of them… so are the rest of us.”
So it breaks my heart now to have to tell all my kids: “We won’t land before you start school. I am so, so sorry.”
It’s hard to describe just how strongly I wish I didn’t have to.
Sure, for us adults I’m not exactly yearning for yet another difficult assignment, either. Nor would we be excited for any more more attack or resistance or oppression from the enemy. But I’d gladly accept the former or fight the latter if it could mean saving our kids.
But where was I when God laid the foundations of the world?
I am small, and the slice of reality I see is small.
So, just as no one will blame me for not understanding why my children have to suffer, neither is it possible for me to curse God and die. I can’t see what he sees; I don’t know what he knows.
Once again at the end of another rope, we find the only choice is trust. I’m choosing it consciously and quite apart from what I see coming. For when I succeed in looking higher than my fear and and objections and the humorous misapprehension that my ideas are superior, this truth always awaits me: trust doesn’t require “my approval.”
Trust is here. Though strain remains.