Monday, February 25, 2008

The real test

This weekend it became clear to me why I truly had needed to read Kay Warren's book- Dangerous Surrender. Let me explain.

Saturday morning I got up early and drove an hour to our Foster agencies office to pick up Kaden's files. I was so excited to get them. Excited to get to see more pictures of him and to learn more about our new son. Our caseworker told us that we needed to read the files and then say yes or no by Monday morning. I had already known we would say yes. There was never a doubt in my mind that I would say no...until I read the files.

Until I saw first hand the horror, and let the reality of it sink in.

Then, my big talk, brave attitude, devotion, save the world ideas, ran out the door- leaving me alone, crumbled, and full of FEAR.

Raw fear.

It shakes you to the core.

Paralyzes you.

Consumes you.

Overcomes you.

Now I've had bad days like everybody else. I've experienced loss, been defeated- felt like I had hit rock bottom. But nothing, nothing prepared me to look wide eyes opened at this file before me and straight into the face of evil. Nothing.

Two complete files- each 6 inches thick... with more information on Kaden's past than I even had on my other children. More than my heart could bare to read.

Now I have to admit that I am the type of person that truly does turn off the news because I cannot stand to hear or see the evil in the world. I don't like reading the newspaper either. The 'news' is often more than I can handle. I've become an expert at looking the other way, letting someone else take care of the 'dirty' work. I prefer to stay in my own little world where wild flowers grow in my backyard, children swing on tire swings and the biggest complaint in my life is the rising cost of gasoline.

So, as I opened Kaden's file and began to flip through the pages I felt myself go into shut down mode.Visibly shaken I had to walk away. Close the files. Run. Hide-under my pillow, in a closet-anywhere.Find safety. Leave the room. Leave the horror that my son had lived over the past 16 months and walk away. It was more than I could handle. I didn't want to step into this pain- the real deal of what Kaden had actually lived. I wanted to go back to my safe little world, shut the door, lock the windows, turn off the news. My life is good, it's easy. We do not not associate with that kind of evil. We don't let it become real in our lives because we run from it, hide from it. We don't let it in.

We pretend it doesn't even exist.

I began to panic... my insides were screaming "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO", I could feel my heart beating faster, I felt my mind kick into over drive coming up with all sorts of good excuses to say no. I thought of ways we could explain to people that we just had to say no. I thought of how we could just make a clean break, walk away... no, better yet RUN away as fast as we could. We could keep living our life as we knew it. Forget about Kaden. Forget he even existed. Forget that even without us he would still face this past. After all, we are good people you know. We go to church every Sunday and pray for those who are hurting. Heck, we even throw a check into the offering. We bring meals to those who have new babies, we go on missions trips, and we read our bible every day. There, good enough. Or is it?

And then those words that I had read in the bible came creeping into my mind... the ones I had read daily, quoted to others, said I lived by- you know the ones... you can see throughout my blog. They became almost alive...

"Whatever you have commanded us we will do, and wherever you send us we will go. " Joshua 1:16

"But the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength." 2 Timothy 4:17

"The thing you should want most is God's kingdom and doing what God wants. Then all these other things you need will be given to you". Matthew 6:33

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge him and he shall direct your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6”

Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?Then I said, Here am I; send me. Isaiah 6:8

Matthew 18:5 reads “Whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me”.

“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9

Slowly, throughout the course of the day God gave me the strength to read through the rest of the files. God made it clear to me the real horror that so many children just like our sweet Kaden face every day. There are Kaden's all over this world, hoping for a chance. File after file of them filled with the unimaginable- the pain, the suffering these children face at the hands of evil that exists in this world today. We can choose to look away or we can choose to step into the pain and be God's hands and feet.

As I finished, I closed the file, and looked over at my husband... with tears streaming down our faces we held onto eachother, bowed our heads and whispered "yes Lord... your will be done."

“And God said, “I will be with you.” Exodus 3:12


TracyC said...

Amy--that is sooo brave! Praying for you!

Sarah said...

Amy, your faith is truly an inspiration to me. I am praying for you as you continue to trust and rest in His strength!

KelseyChristine said...

Wow, wow, wow. This was amazing--thanks for being so transparent and honest in your posts. It will be so much better for Kaden to face his past with a family who loves him by his side, encouraging him and giving him the strength to rise above all the evil in this world.

Jennifer said...

I have to admit... I have been blog stalking to hear more news about Kaden. When you didn't update for a few days, I began to worry... (I ENJOY YOUR BLOG SO MUCH!!!) But I started to pray for you - hoping that everything was okay. I am so sad about Kaden's past... but it is such a relief to know that he is joining a family that loves him, and is so anchored in God and His love.

I will be praying for you and your family as you continue this journey! God Bless You!!

Mandy said...

You and your family are amazing and inspirational. I can't imagine, I too live a life of comfort and too often do the easy thing. Thank you for such an honest post.

samhenry said...

Amy, thank you for your candid post. My best friend once taught me that courage means 'doing [it] while you're still afraid' - how courageous your family is...I can only imagine the wealth of character your children are learning as they watch you live.

My little Lilly asked me why I was crying...the irony...when I told her why, she said, "let's do something else mommy..." Deep down, I think we all have a "run" response to pain and fear. None of us know when God will will ask us to do these things that paralyze us...I pray that when he asks me, I am as resolved and courageous as you are today.

Jman's momma said...

That is quite possibly one of the most amazing things I have read. No one says these things but I know we ALL feel them.

Praise God!! for sharing how His character, His will, His love is more powerful than our feelings.