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.