Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Christmas that wasn't. And was.

So, very long story, very short, the Christmas we thought we would have with Dea and Darius - hoped we would have - went as things often do, very awry.

The whole thing has me in angst and sleeping isn't coming so easily. Sadie came in to 'fnuggle at 2:15 a.m., and I've been up thinking about it ever since.

The boys had both made some really poor choices over the past few months and continued to enjoy the benefits of living in our home without putting much effort into actually participating in our family. We feel hurt, disrespected, and used.

As we watched the Christmas we had planned fall apart, Trey and I realized how often we treat the Lord with the exact same disdain and disregard.

We love the benefits that belonging to the kingdom brings. The gifts. But we take for granted the call to pursue the union. To participate in the relationship, giving ourselves to it wholly, wanting nothing more in return than what has already been given. We are easily distracted by anything and everything that pretends to offer us "joy". The "joy" is artificial and temporary and pales in comparison to the one true joy that was given to us that first Christmas centuries ago.

In this circumstance, we feel hopeful and are learning about how to love these boys without treating them like, or having them act like, our personal Angel Tree Project. We have invited them in as sons but for this to work, it has to be about more than a warm bed, clean clothes, food on the table whenever they feel hungry, and a chauffeur. If it's going to be long term, it has to be about family - for us and for them.

We've asked that they spend the week at their mom's apartment to give us time to pray about this going forward and we've asked them to pray about it as well.

Our pastor used this quote on Sunday from the movie, Shadowlands; "Experience is a brutal teacher, but you learn, by God, you learn." It struck me as so true. This whole thing is painful because we love these boys and want the very best for them. We're learning about mercy. And about when mercy limits mercy. We're learning about the darkness in our own hearts of pride and selfishness. And we're learning more about a God who left paradise to come and dwell among us, so that we could be welcomed into His family and our hope could depend on more than our own successes or failures. That our hope could rest on one who has loved us from eternity past and into eternity future and who refines us, even with fire, so that our name is His name.

Please pray for the boys, and for us as we swim once again into some new waters.

If I were still at the Theta house, now would be the time I would walk downstairs and get another bowl of Lucky Charms from a big tub that was available for times such as these. And while I'm kind of spilling my guts - sometimes, when I'm mad or hurt, I say bad words.

It's true.

*

24 comments:

Abby said...

Although I hate it that you guys are going through this, what a perfect illustration. Being a child of God is an honor, and we take it so for granted.
I'll be praying for everyone involved. God is using you guys more than you know, I just know it.

emily said...

Now that explains the facebook comment at 4 am.

We love you guys and are blessed to watch you walk through this with authenticity and grace.

Anonymous said...

Never posted before, but, just wanted to hopefully be an encourager. We are a family of 7...two older children, 20 and 18, three younger, 8 through 5 years of age. Parenting older and younger children....and, somewhat, sometimes young adults:) is surely a blessed challenge. It does present us with a clear picture of our loving Father. He does give us free choice yet also provides us with the structure and foundation of Him, He hopes we will be obedient to His will. Yet, we make human choices....our older children, in your case, these two young men...are making choices...I pray and hope for your children, mine, and ultimately and always, they are God's children, that through their choices, good and for sure some not so good, God is working His way to them always...it is the relationship with them He is after, also!!!

Praying for all our older children/young adults for them to see God walking with them!!!

Diane...Mama to Joe, Jen, Jana Mei, Jadyn Hua and JOY Hua said...

Not sure why my comment posted "Anonymous", happy to be named Diane ;)

Susan said...

Thank you Melissa and Trey for living your life outloud for us to learn from your trials and wisdom...by your trials, I learn and see God's love in action. It's easier to have a Lucky Charms existence but we'd live life with a sugar hangover!!! The Orlies wish you a Happy New Year!

fivehawks2 said...

Melissa - so sorry to hear about the challenges you are facing...
You have considered the ultimate truth, however...your boys are no different than all of us who attempt to walk with Christ (and fail regularly). I will be praying for you and your husband...and your children. May God give you wisdom and peace as you move forward in His work. A special prayer for you and Trey - that God will keep you in harmony as you face this together.
Natalie

Happy Mommy said...

I'll be thinking and praying for you and Trey and the boys...please keep us updated on the situation. Love,Amy

Anonymous said...

Hi- I've read your blog for a few months now, I really enjoy it, it is an encouragement to me! I will be praying for you and your family as you make this tough decision.

-Rachelle

Guard Wife said...

I hope this time of reflection brings clarity and purpose for all of you. We will pray for all of you.

Elizabeth Biar said...

Melissa, God is with y'all. I hope you feel His guidance and strength. And, more good news is that the new mini-kitchen at the Theta House is even bigger and better than before. I'm sure there are Lucky Charms there with your name on them! Of course, HEB may be closer.

Heather Holland said...

I love praying scripture for my kids, and I stumbled across a new one today (well, new to me) and I will pray it for Darius and Dea... from Luke 2:20...
May they grow and become strong in spirit, filled with wisdom and may the grace of God be upon them.

Kim said...

Thanks for sharing your heart. Will be praying as you seek God's plan for your family and the boys.

We were houseparents for nine years (17-to-19-year-old teens), so I can well imagine what you've been dealing with.

Tracy said...

Praying for you, Trey, and the boys. This must be so hard for all of you.

RosyRose said...

Disappointment is one of the hardest things to deal with!..One of the things I repeat to myself over and over in the midst of trials is a quote from Beth Moore "God is not so interested in my comfort as my character". What is God growing in these boys now? What is he growing in you?
From the little I know of you guys I can see that your hearts are pressed into His.
I see your desire to know his will...if this is so he will give you the knowledge. He will give you the peace.
I will pray for your family tonight that you will be able to discern the good and perfect will of God!

Angela said...

Melissa,

We've walked through a "kinda" similar situation with friends of ours, in fact she reads this blog too. Their situation was and yours is a heartfelt one.

Keep going to our Savior--he'll provide you with the exact thing to do.

God Bless,
Angela

Kim said...

Praying and trusting in God's will. Thank you for sharing so openly and always keeping it real. We all learn from your faithful walk.

Kate said...

Ah, dear friend...I can feel the sadness of your heart in this post. I am sorry for the holiday that didn't go as planned....hang in there as you hang onto HIM for He knows where you are and where your boys are in heart and body!! Love to you! xoxo

Pam from alertandorientedx4 said...

Wow--your words strike a note with me...especially the part about mercy limiting mercy.
I am praying for you all.

Staci said...

Melissa,

Feeling a little sorry for myself for a moment, I came to your blog... always good for a laugh or smile. Now, I just want to give you a big hug!

I will pray for you, and your family. I know that God has wonderful plans for you.

Thank you for your refreshingly honest words.

Staci

Traci said...

I've beeng thinking about you and praying. I'm so sorry- I know it's been a tough week.

These Three Kings said...

praying for you...
Oh dont we know this feeling oh so well..the LORD girl..we really have to remind ourselves that we are doing this for the LORD....
it hurts like hell...but the LORD and his goodness towards me compels me every time not to give up or go off on these chilren!! yes... I said chil-ren!



love you and always remember you and trey's labor is not in vain...the LORD uses thses tough times to reveal to us what our hold in this life is...dont I know it

Stacy Ann said...

I'll be praying! And sometimes I say bad words too.

Hauswife said...

Man, it's so hard when our encouragement/discipline of our kids doesn't change their direction or decisions! I'll be praying for your boys that the Lord chastens them and that experience brings wisdom... just wish they didn't have to walk down the hard road to get there. It amazes me that God has given us a taste of His grief over His children's waywardness in our own parenting experience. God is GOOD, and He WILL give them painful lessons to correct their wrong choices, just as He does for you and me. I'm sorry you're going through this right now, Melissa, but WOW what a gift you are to these boys! Your sacrifice is life-saving, soul-saving work. That's what encourages me when I'm suffering through dealing with my wayward one. God continues to shape me, and humble me, and remind me of my own sinfulness through the frustration of disciplining my little rebel. (And, yeah, I have to wash my mouth/mind out with soap sometimes, too.)

Jo said...

I know I'm catching up on old posts. But I just found your blog and the quote about mercy really encouraged me today. Thanks for sharing so honestly about your calling. Bless you.