Last year my resolution, or my "word" for the year that I felt God wanted me to focus on was "LOVE."
I wanted to love. Just love. My resolution was to just focus on loving.
Where do I even start with this…
Well, first off, I feel that I have learned from trying so hard to live out love is that its soul changing.
Love is not just a feeling. Its not just something you do when you are happy.
Love is a verb. It is an action in every sense of the word. ACTION.
I love my children so deeply, and I thought that by focusing on "love" I would simply focus on the mushy side of it. The part that made me feel good. God apparently had other plans. He used the love that I have for my kids, the love that goes so deep it hurts, and He motivated me to change things, big things, with it.
Love has kept me going when nothing else would have. There have been so many times I wanted to just cry and give up, but love… Love tried again. And again.
When my heart was tired, love pushed me on. When I questioned myself, love was there to remind me why I was doing these hard things. Love is a powerful force. There is nothing else like it in the world. Love dares all things. Love hopes all things. Nothing can stand in its path.
The one question I am left with at the end of this year is what would love do now? Love has fought a hard fight, but its far from over. Does love continue to fight? Or does love look indifference in the eye and walk away with its head held high?
What does 2015 hold for us?
After the year I have had, I am almost scared to consider the possibilities. My perceptions of people and places that I esteemed have been stripped away, revealing things I never wanted to see. We are left with no place to call our church at the end of this year. That has been a hard pill to swallow (and I'm still sputtering) considering that both of us were raised in church, and we thought we had found the church to raise our children in. To have that stripped away because of the things love motivated us to do has been so painful. So many people have shown their true loyalties when honesty and morality required a line to be drawn. So many people have come down on the opposite side of the line from what we expected. A few have proven themselves to be true friends, not because of some sense of loyalty to us but because of their character. That's the thing about standing up for what you believe though. Its not popular, but you will find the select others that also have a sense of justice.
What I am really trying to say is that I have been disappointed. All of my life I have been taught to stand up for what is right no.matter.what. What I found the actual reality to be is that people only want you to stand up for what's right, as long as you aren't taking a stand against them. Indifference is the most powerful tool in the toolbox of inequality. As long as no one else cares, nothing will ever change. When those who preach love, and tell us to go out and change the world are actually part of the problem, its no longer popular even in the church to be a voice for the voiceless. In fact its downright scandalous. This is the reality I have suddenly slipped into. Actually doing what has been preached to me my entire life has resulted in being unwelcome in the very place it was preached!
In this new reality I'm living, I find myself angry at God.
WHY GOD!? WHY!? How can this be!? Is there to be no place for us!?
But here's what I've found. He said "In this world you will have trouble." And what I thought it meant was literally,
"In this world (but not in the church) you will have trouble."
"In this world (but not if you do what I say) you will have trouble."
But that's not what He said.
So I've had to do a lot of re-reading of the Bible. I've done a lot of questioning. I've done a lot of searching. I've read series on how Israel was reborn as a nation after WWII. The Jews also questioned God for years as their lives were torn apart in Europe. WHY GOD!? Is there no place for us?? I do not have all of my answers yet, but my heart has been comforted to see that God's chosen people asked the same questions I do. There can be no answers without questions. There is no need for faith unless you are waiting for a miracle.
God's hand is holding us. I can feel His presence even more closely as my heart breaks. The love I prayed for and hoped to live out this past year has become a burning flame that I couldn't put out if I tried. Sometimes I feel like Jeremiah, with a fire shut up in my bones. It HAS to come out. It cannot remain inside of me. These feelings, experiences, thoughts, and realizations, they must be given a voice or I will be driven crazy.
I have had issues with "friends" taking things I've said on my personal Facebook page (set to friends only) and this blog and using them against me and my children. Because of that, I have neglected to post many things. What I have started to think about is the possibility of writing a book about my experiences with our adoptions as well as the many struggles we've encountered with the school.
Like Jeremiah, the fire is shut up in my bones and it has to come out. If it can't come out on social media or my blog then it must still come out somewhere. I have these nights where I lay awake composing a chapter to an imaginary book. If I don't actually type it out, I get no peace from it. I have been both blessed and cursed with a remarkable memory. I can remember where people sat around a table at meetings. I can close my eyes and see them there. I can hear them talking. I can remember ridiculous details about every email I have sent or received. I can recall conversations, years after I had them. After a while, these things are all buzzing around in my head just giving me no peace. I have considered that if I gave my story a voice, I might feel more at ease.
This year my resolution will be to write this book. I've already worked up a title (or my brain did when it should have been letting me sleep.
One mother's encounter with inequality towards adopted children in the hallways of *our state's* Public Schools."
This story is running around in my brain, giving me no peace, coming out whenever I open my mouth or try to type anything else. Its literally physically painful to deny this story a voice.
My New Year's Resolution is to write this story.