Thursday, December 22, 2016

Shameless Authenticity From A Special Needs Mom

Hello Dear Ones:

Over the course of my life what has always ministered to me most is authenticity. People who are willing to risk laying themselves bare before others. Putting away the masks that make us look good, for the sake of looking like we have it all together. People like this have always brought me so much comfort. Like a warm cozy blanket on a cold day, authenticity can envelope you and let you know you are not alone in this world. That is my hope as I reveal a messy part about me today.

Do you know the quote by Eric Liddell "I believe God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast. And when I run I feel His pleasure." That is how I feel when I write. Especially when I share my true vulnerable authentic self. So today as I sit at my keyboard I take that risk to be shamelessly authentic again.

Last night as my husband and I laid in bed together I asked him a question. Out of the prayers you have been praying, what prayer would you like to wake up to tomorrow and have it answered? He blew me away with his answers. He had BIG faith filled prayers that made me feel a little ashamed that I didn't have that kind of big faith. I feel more comfortable with the prayers that there is a possibility that they will actually happen. That somehow I can actually rely on myself and work it out. So impressive right? But I am being transparent here.

At the top of my prayer list is a struggle I have been wrestling with for far too long and relying on myself has proven over and over again to fall flat. As I opened up about what has been weighing me down tears streamed down both sides of my face soaking my pillow.

Years ago a seed was planted in my heart to adopt, and that seed sprouted and blossomed into reality. I yearned to be a mother to someone who needed a mother. Motherhood was a part of my calling that I felt the absolute most passion for and actually felt good at most of the time. God had created me to be a Mom. So the dream was now a reality six times over with four sons and two daughters.

Our adopted blessings didn't have a birth mom that took care of them from the moment of conception. They were in fact permanently damaged by drugs and alcohol and now live with the effects of fetal alcohol syndrome. This permanent brain damage completely stripped away every single parenting tool that worked so well with our boys. The day in and day out battle with these hidden disabilities can make you discouraged at least and feeling utterly hopeless at worst.

Lately I have been in the worst case scenario with one daughter in particular. It started going down hill after a $16,000 plumbing disaster in October that is still in the process of repair as I sit here and type. She daily lies,  and is sneaky. I have been exhausted with it all. No time away seems to be enough to refill my mom gas tank. I find myself just wanting distance and then immersed with an overwhelming sense of guilt and failure. Didn't I desire this assignment? Didn't I pray for this? Didn't I once celebrate that this dream was no longer a dream but my reality? What has happened to me? And why do I even make this about me anyhow?

I often times think in my mind that so many others would do this assignment soooooo much better than me. Someone more kind, more patient, more equipped. Someone more trusting of Jesus and not so self reliant. I fear that her birth mother damaged her brain and I will end up damaging her emotions. Who would ever want to be raised by a Mom who makes it about her anyhow? That is the antithesis of what motherhood should be.

It's so very hard to feel like your doing a good job when everything you try to teach or instill doesn't stick. It's groundhog day almost every day. This may be part of why I have been frustrated but its not why my pillow was soaked last night. I just am not proud of the truth about me. I am not proud that this is even a struggle. Where is the Jesus in me? Where is the love that covers a multitude of sins and the lying down of my life for another? Where is the who cares what others think about me and my family but the as unto the Lord and that's all that matters part of me?

Yesterday I saw a video clip on FaceBook by Pastor Craig Groeschel and this is what he said:

"What's true about you now, doesn't have to be true about you later. His power is stronger than your past and His grace is stronger than any label."

So my tear soaked pillow was a cry for help. Please change my truth Lord Jesus. Please take away the label of bad Mother that I have embraced. Pastor Groeschel said to name the label something different. I remember years ago changing F.A.S (Fetal Alcohol Syndrome) to F.A.S (Fulfilling Almighty's Story)  I think this writer needs to get back to that. But also to surrendering the authorship to the writer of my story and the writer of my daughters story. I don't get to write our story but I do get to write about how the true author designs it to happen. I choose today to drop the bad mother label and pick up the shamelessly authentic mother who doesn't quit label. The mother who fights not against but for the Fulfilling of Almighty's Story. As soon as I typed those words my body took a deep breath. Yes this is my true authentic self. My son Noah has a friend Ryan that posted these words on Instagram yesterday "Authentic air is just easy to breath." How true that is! So I inhale and exhale this authentic air and I breath in the hope that what is true about me now, won't be true about me later.

"Forget former things; do not dwell on the past. See I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up, do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland."
Isaiah 43: 18 & 19

Praise the Lamb who makes all things new!

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