Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Not Crushed.

I'm going to attempt the story of our house situation so we can gently lay it to rest, and while I do that, I'm going to post photos of our family cooking lobster together.  It's not at all connected, and it makes no sense, which actually kind of does make sense, if you know me very well at all. 

For the past year, we've been on an amazing adventure, trying to change our environment, our lifestyle, and our mission in life, bit by bit.  To do some of that, we felt led to sell our house and get a less expensive one.  We had so many arrows pointing us this direction, we were confident it was the path God wanted us to take.  We were sure He would work out the details and make all the pieces come together.  Little did we know that our idea of "pieces fitting together" can differ somewhat from God's idea of the very same.  We hunted to find just the right, more affordable house, and then when we found it, we discovered that it was also connected to the sweetest couple doing life in a similar way.  Everything just seemed to "fit," from our perspective.  We were so excited.  We did a lot of waiting on God, and as most of you remember, we jumped for joy when we finally got an offer on our house.  We were sad, yet trusting when our "cash offer" turned out to be a misled elderly woman's conviction that she had won some money through the Publisher's Clearing House Sweepstakes.  Looking back it's almost laughable.  Almost. 
 Most of you know that she didn't win, and we spent three months tentatively unpacking, all the while hoping our home would still sell.  It didn't, but somewhere in there, I was flailing about for the faith to believe that God was still going to sweep in and rescue us at the final moment.  Wasn't that kind of God's specialty? I was convinced that it was, especially since we really felt we'd been led to this point.  Our contingent offer on the house we wanted, was drawing to a close, and in the midst of everything, we were experiencing a private storm on our home front with one of our children that was leaving us clutching one another, crying out to God, and drawing daily ragged breaths. 
 We cocooned ourselves in our home, attempting to fix what was wrong, and the exhaustion level has been reaching new heights.  We were (and are) beyond ourselves, as decisions about disorders, schooling, special ed programs, psychologist evaluations, assessments, and so much more began swirling around our heads.  Words could never do the past three months justice, so Adrain and I decided to do something we'd never done before when facing a decision of ginormous magnitudes.  (In our case, the first decision of the many awaiting us, was to "Keep the house on the market or take it off and focus our energies fully on the situation with our child?")  We fasted and prayed for three days asking for absolute clarity one way of the other.  We were fully willing to do whatever God wanted, but we asked for a very clear shout as to that, with no guessing games. 
 It would require an entire post to walk you through those three days, but we both felt dumbfounded when nothing but more silence ensued.  There were no lightning bolts of confirmation in either direction from God.  No "finding Me when when you seek Me with your whole heart moments."  We were left questioning, "Did we do this wrong? Is there a Dummies Guide to Prayer and Fasting that we should have read beforehand?"  Everything in us wanted to scream that God was letting us down and forgetting about us.  But then one small thing happened and we both knew that God wasn't speaking in ways we wanted Him to, and He wasn't directing our paths in an outrightly obvious way, but He was speaking softly into our situation. 
 The thing that happened, was that we were hashing things out, trying to make sense of our situation with our child later that same week, and I mentioned two specific names in history to Adrain that had been brought to my mind over that week, and I'd been unable to stop relating them to my son.  I know this probably sounds insignificant in the retelling, but Adrain had been thinking about the exact same two people I'd mentioned, and we'd never talked about it with each other!  The names were just offbeat enough that we knew this was not coincidence.  Our "Change the World" mentality has always begun with our family, so it seems possible that God is once again refocusing the span of our energies and reminding us of what we've always known;  That our children are our number one mission field and our main priority.
 I'll be honest, and admit there have been moments when both Adrain and I wondered if God was rejecting us for service somehow, not that the sale or non-sale of a house could indicate such a thing!  We wanted to be used in His plan but so often, we think we know His plan, and how exactly we fit into it.  It's awfully easy to make each moment about us... Isn't that funny?  Those are moments of raw human frailty and of course when the day is done, we know that our ways are not His ways. It's all about Him.  Every little thing, is for His glory alone.   Tears fill my eyes as I begin down the path I've walked before when it comes to my son. I don't want to take this path right now.  But on the mama front, I wonder if a change of neighborhood, house, and school would have all been too much for him. Too much for me even?

So for now, we continue down the path we are currently on. But we do so with heads lifted and hearts changed in many ways. Adrain has an amazing chance to go to Africa this summer, and once again, I'm excitedly anticipating what God might have in store for our entire family.  I bet it doesn't look a thing like we think it will.  And right now, (today anyway) I can live with that.  I appreciate your comments, encouragement, and support so much.  I've been the worst at reaching out to you blog land gals, and have inadvertently pulled away from so many of those of you I know in real life, because it's just been excruciating.  Yet you all continue to shower me with friendship, love, and words of affirmation. 
 Thank you for pursuing me.  Thank you for continuing to read and pray for our family.  Thank you for not giving up on me.  You mean so much to me.



"The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.  A righteous man may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all...The Lord redeems his servants; no one will be condemned who takes refuge in him." (Psalm 34:18-19 & 22)

34 comments:

  1. Why is it so hard to remember that our children/family are our first mission field? I occasionally have to remind myself of that too. Praying for you. Know that God is leading you and guiding you, every step of the way, even when it doesn't feel like it. The sun doesn't go away when the clouds cover it--it is always there. Just like God and his love, guidance and direction in our lives.

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  2. Bless your heart, sweet lady! All of what you said is so true, it is our first and ultimate responsibility to tend the souls in our home before we can even fathom extending our hands to help others. God is so gracious, and He is good. Especially when His answer is different than ours. Yes, especially then.

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  3. I don't comment here often but I had to today. I can feel your broken heart right through the screen! I'm praying for you and your family today! God is good. All the time.

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  4. Tears!! This is such a raw post, when I read your blog I feel like I'm part of the family, LOL :)

    Keep your trust and faith in HIM and he'll lead you to where you're supposed to be. I said a prayer for you and your son and hope you'll get an answer to the direction you're supposed to take.

    On a lighter note, that lobster looks delicious!!

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  5. Oh my goodness... I love you girls so much! You have no idea how much I needed all these "comment hugs!"

    Mwah!!

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  6. I've been reading your blog for awhile, but I think this is the first time I've ever commented. I just want to say that your blog is so inspirational to me, and thank you so much for posting this today. I'm in a slightly similar situation to you where I thought God was leading me one way with all my heart, so I changed a lot of things in my life to prepare for that. And then the past year I've been waiting for Him to fulfill what I thought He was going to do, and...Nothing. I can relate to how broken-hearted you feel. There are days when I just constantly ask God why? It seems so unfair and like He's just forgotten about me. But now I realize that He just has something even better in store. So I'm trying to step out in faith and just let God use me and do whatever He wants in my life. You are so right...it's not about us. It's about Him. Thanks for reminding me of that :-)

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  7. Ohh sweet girl.

    Sometimes the stillness and quiet in the lack of the answer can be as booming in our ears as thunder, can't it? :(

    This is an excerpt from Beth Moore's "Beloved Disciple"...I have soooo been there when I just thought or just knew I was doing everything I was supposed to as a woman of faith..and still the silence loomed.

    I can read it and reread it and the truth behind it is so raw. It's like that painful removing of a band-aid in order for the healing to begin.


    "Solitude is not so much the place we find answers as the place we decide if we're going on, possibly alone- without them. Many of us will. Why? Because the privilege of wrestling with such a holy and majestic God still beats the numbness and pitiful mediocrity of life otherwise. Sometimes we don't realize how real He is until we've experienced the awesomeness of His answerless presence. He knows that what we crave far more than explanations is the unshakable conviction that He is utterly and supremely God."

    Prayers your way that you relish in the Peace of your decisions. Putting children/family first can never, ever lead you astray. :)

    xoxoxo

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  8. Hugs and continued prayers to your family.

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  9. Thank you for being so honest and sharing more of your story. Reminds me I still have more to share!

    A few years ago Darin and I read "Choosing to Cheat" by Andy Stanley that talks a lot about the collision between work and family. And often, in ministry, this collision is even more acutely felt as demands from "work" pile up and up, but we should be okay with these demands and the sacrifices of our families because its "The Lord's Work" right? Well, Darin and I are convinced that "The Lord's Work" for us is first & foremost our family. NO ONE can be the wife to Darin and the mother to these kiddos like me, THAT is the first job God has given me. Anyone can be a program director, or a pastor, or a missionary, or what not. But no one can be the mama to those kiddos that you can. (This was a major reason for us leaving camp, Darin was being asked for more and more and we were being asked to sacrifice more and more all in the name of ministry. I don't believe God honors it when we sacrifice our families at the alter of "ministry".)

    Anyway, I just wanted to share that with you to let you know how much we whole-heartedly concur with your decision here, and I'll be praying for you as it all unfolds in the months to come.

    Miss you friend...

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  10. uh i'll be over in a jiffy...please save me some! that was just coolest thing to make. makes me think of anthony's:) oh good times.

    you know i just love you. i'm so proud of who you are and what God has shown you in the last year. i know there is some huge let down feelings right now, but never forget there is a great big plan. and He's got you! HE'S GOT YOU! it will all unfold in time.

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  11. Being a mum is an enormous ministry. Being a mum to a child with additional needs (even if you're unsure of the diagnosis!) is an even bigger one. You may not have chosen that ministry for yourselves but God has given you this role. It's tough and, in our experience, has meant multiple sacrifices that make no sense to others but mean *survival* for us. God will honour you for honouring him. Thank you for sharing. It helps me so much. Xxx

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  12. Know that prayers are being sent up for your family in this rough time. The rainbow will show itself in God's time.

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  13. blessings to you and your family Sasha, sometimes there is 'so much good we want to do in the world', that we forget our good is right here, with our babies. i forget it all.the.time. may He grant you peace in your heart!

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  14. So hearing your heart on this one; we have been in a similar place in many ways. Praying for you and your family.

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  15. I am busy packing our family for an 11 day vacation and didn't really have time to be on the computer. I started reading your post and couldn't stop. I'm positive you have made the right decision and I don't even know you. Whenever we put our family first, it is ALWAYS the right decision. Keep posting. You tell great stories and many of us can relate and empathize with you. When one door closes, another always opens. We just have to see it.

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  16. Thanks so much for sharing your story...love how God speaks so personally and in His own unique way with each of us. Praying that you will walk confidently in the way the Lord has marked out for you. He is so faithful. I'll be keeping up. :)

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  17. Your awesome and I think you made the right decisions for your family at this time. God is good all the time! I love reading your posts..your so transparent how could we not be drawn to your honesty and love?!

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  18. I just read the first paragraph out loud to Cory and he laughed, because it sounds SO familiar. I'll be writing a similar update post here in the next week or so. I keep putting it off...because I'm still not exactly sure what to say? So crazy that you're still there and I'm still here. I never would've guessed it! In the midst of it all, I've been comforted, knowing that I am not alone in this. Who knows what the next year will bring us, Sash. :) XO!

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  19. Hugs to you sweet girl! I'm catching up in blogland....and praying for you right now. Sometimes I just wish it all came with a crystal ball. But it doesn't....and you will continue to make lemonade with the lemons that come your way. You are a blessing and an encouragement to me as I've struggled with the questions I have about one of my children. I'm learning to block the noise in my head, and just love her...for all she is...
    hugs to you,
    julie

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  20. Wow! This post spoke to my heart as a mom who just had a child diagnosed as being on the Autism spectrum this year. I can totally relate to how the changes and our stress levels impact the little people in the house and how we have to now take so many more things into consideration with planning for change or even planning a family vacation!!

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  21. You're amazing Sash and sharing your story has blessed many! Thank you for being so brave and for sharing one of life's spiritual journeys.
    love ya!

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  22. sasha,

    you are the mama who was chosen for your sweet boy. and him for you.

    you are holy
    you are good
    you are enough.

    sisters in christ. we r out here. youre not alone.

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  23. I've been following your story and have been praying for you all along. The Lord knows your desire to serve Him and will honor that. I remember when John was in Bible college and had various ministries as a student and all I could do was stay home with the kids, I felt cheated. I had always wanted to be a missionary since I was a teenager. I don't remember how it happened but I remember how good I felt when I realized I was a missionary and I had a mission field right in front of me, four little boys.(Jen came later) We can't take our prized possessions to heaven with us but we can take our precious children and we need to teach them and train them in the way they should go.
    I also was very disappointed once when we didn't get a house that I dearly wanted but a few months later I saw God's hand in it because He opened up a ministry for us in another state, Montana to be exact. God knows His plans for us, they are plans for good and not disaster to give us a future and a hope. (Jer.29:11) His timing is best and we know in his time we will know what is His best for us. Keep trusting and listening because sometimes He speaks in a still small voice
    The Lord will bless you for your willing submission to His Will I will continue to pray for the decisions you have to make and for you to have complete peace in them.

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  24. Lifting you and your family up in my prayers. Remind yourself that God knows the end of the story and His timing isn't our timing (I know hard to remember). I'm giving you a hug.

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  25. I have been reading your blog for awhile now and LOVE it so much....the sweetness and authenticity are what draws me to it. I have never commented...I have just enjoyed your great recipes, pics and crafts! :) But today, sweet sister in Christ, I wanted to say that I do believe God has led you.......to right where you have been all along! By putting your hubby and your kiddos first, you are honoring Him, and in doing that, you are being obedient to Him. As I look back on my own life, it is through obedience that i have learned the most about my Lord and where I have also seen the most blessings. God is so good!! Prayers and love~ NHB

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  26. Hugs to you, LMM. You are so precious to me.

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  27. Sometimes you have to just..........be.....still.

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  28. Sasha, you seem like a truly wonderful person. You absolutely deserve the best and God will guide you in the way He has planned for you. I'll keep thinking of you and praying for you!

    P.S. Lobster looks delicious!

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  29. My heart goes out to you at this time of challenge. I know just where you sit. Keep in mind that things always work out the way they are supposed to. We just need to learn to surrender to the greatness that God has planned for us. Peace to you this day. daisy

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  30. Oh sister, I am so excited for what is in store for you!

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  31. Really beautiful post. I am so sorry that you are going through such a hard time. Please know you are in my thoughts and prayers.

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  32. I really felt for you when you started listing assessments, psychologists, test, etc. as we just finished a year of all of the above for our daughter. And yup, it sucked a LOT of the strength out of me to get through it and not yell, scream, cry and just collapse. The unexpected thing was, even getting the info we didn't want, that we worried about, that cause us to change direction in schooling and other things, I feel o.k. and maybe even a little uplifted. I didn't expect that. I hope you get the answer you seek, however quietly it is sent.

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  33. Beautiful heartfelt post, you said it perfectly, God's plan for us is always a thing of wonder and your path right now, with our family, precious children is a blessing, Wishing you the very best!!!!!
    xo,
    LuLu

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