Sunday, August 21, 2011

It doesn't always end well.

If you've followed my blog for any amount of time, you'd know we've had two boys living with us for almost four years. Unless, of course, you've only been reading my blog for a few months and in that case, you've been iill-informed on the goings on in my house and in West Dallas and frankly, probably bored.

I blame the heat. The heat and the extreme lack of anything funny to write about.

Except for the day I sprayed my entire body with self-tanner only to find out I had used leave-in conditioner instead. Smooth. No, really, my skin was smooth.

Anyway. Dea and Darius have become a part of our family to the extent they could when they actually have a mom and dad living 20 minutes away. It's been great and hard and confusing and frustrating all at the same time. We learned a long time ago that our job wasn't to replace their parents but at the same time, we had to act like their parents when they were living under our roof.

The Lord has provided for all of us in every imaginable way.

A couple weeks ago, Darius moved out of our house. It was an impossibly hard decision for us to make but we felt - because of the decisions he was making - he had left us with no other choice.

We've wrestled with all the questions...was it the right thing to do? Would we ever make that decision with our own kids? What does loving someone well really look like? Does, as Tim Keller has been quoted often saying, mercy really limit mercy?

It has absolutely been one of the hardest things we've experienced as a family. Dea stayed but of course, our kids have had all kinds of questions about Darius. Sadie was only three when the boys moved in and she really doesn't remember both boys not being part of our family. Graham was five, Olivia six, and Tee eight.

Although we've tried to explain all that went into the decision - and most of it, they were aware of - they've still been left feeling a little empty.

This weekend has been particularly difficult. We had talked all summer about it. Dea and Darius would both move into their places at UTA and UNT and we would be right there to help. Instead, we moved Dea into his apartment yesterday and he was ready. At lunch, he told me he wasn't nervous at all. That he knew he was going to make it and was excited about all the girls he would meet, I mean, things he would learn. Darius, on the other hand, dropped by this morning picked up the rest of his things and headed off to UNT. And when he left, I cried.

For years, I thought this day would end another way - with pictures, and making beds and parking tickets. Instead, he left to go meet up with his friend and move in on his own. I'm learning, still, that things don't always end like we think they will. That just when you think you're finishing the race, the course can change and your largest hurdle can actually come in the homestretch.

So, tonight when I ran to the grocery store for dinner the difference was immediately evident. A package of six rolls was enough for our family again and the two dozen eggs I was used to buying seemed like way too many. We have some readjusting to do here at the Hill house and, at least for a while, it's going to sound really quiet and smell a little less like teenage boys.

Our prayer for Dea and Darius is that they will learn to love and follow the most faithful Lord who has cared for them and protected them all these years and who promises to never forsake those who trust in Him.


18 comments:

Amy said...

I'm so sorry. I've been reading your blog for awhile (and love it!) but this is my first time commenting. It is so apparent how much you love Dea and Darius. I'm so sorry that you missed out on such an important milestone; one you were so instrumental in helping Darius reach. My heart is hurting for you...

Traci said...

Ugggh. I'm so sorry; I don't know what else to say. God will work it out, sometimes mercy takes longer than a minute- it'll come- he knows you love him. Congrats to both boys on starting school- and best wishes to the first round of Hills starting school too.

TDM Wendy said...

Tears.

Jen said...

This breaks my heart as well! Praying for him and you all!

Deidra said...

I join my prayers with yours. And my own son leaves us (he comes and goes) pretty much the same way: wishing for something different, and wondering what love really looks like...

kristen said...

Praying with you. I so appreciate your honesty. Loving people is hard. And there isn't always a happily ever after.

Missy @ It's Almost Naptime said...

My heart is hurting for you my friend.

Love and long virtual hugs from Houston.

Following Jesus ain't for sissies.

pendy said...

In spite of your hurting heart, he's still in a better position for the rest of his life because of his time with y'all.

Cara A. said...

I hate that y'all are hurting and going through this difficult time right now. I know that he does love you all dearly, so it's disheartening that he made the choices he did. I know that Ben has reached out to him, but hasn't gotten a call back. On a brighter note, we're going to see Dea this evening :-)

Becca said...

Melissa I am so sorry - we will be praying for Darius, and for your family and hearts -- you guys are amazing!

OTRgirl said...

Tough love is never fun, but my prayer is that in the long run he'll know deep in his gut that "The Lord disciplines those he loves". That he's worth all the investment you've poured into him and his actions matter (for bad or for good). I HATE 'ragged endings' though and this one sounds painful.

Ann Furnish said...

I know what you are feeling. And I am so sorry for your pain. Our family too has gone through this similar pain back in January. Our 16 son, DeShawn who began living with us over 5years ago began to make some choices which eventually left our family no choice then to send him home for an extended period of time. It was the hardest choice for us to make. He wanted the freedoms that his home allowed. The structure and rules and love we provided no longer was something he desired. Our faith was tested. His room remains untouched. His sweet face remains in every family photograph on every wall. Memories are all around us. We want him to return to his home here with us but he has chosen for the time being to remain in touch but stay with his Mama. I always was acutely aware of my place in his life and never wanted to disrespect his love and connections to his family but unfortunately what my head understood my heart ignored and my love for my son ran deep. I have felt so alone. I don't know other families who have gone through this. I am riddled with guilt, did I make the right decision? what about my two biological children who feel as if they have lost their brother and their pain and confusion. How do I help him and yet keep boundaries so I do not enable his bad choices. I don't understand why God has us separated right now but my faith tells me to trust Him and hang on. We remind De that he is loved and God loves him no matter what on every occasion we get to see him. Grateful for those small moments. Our son always felt he was caught between two worlds. I wonder now if he was given encouragement and pushed towards us all those years ago by his family there would he still be with us. Those kinds of what ifs questions haunt me during the night when the house is still and I worry where my son is, has he eaten and what is on his heart. thank you for sharing your story with me and others. I know now I am not alone. It's funny how some people think it's easier to let go of a child who was never really mine in the first place but I don't feel like that. When that sweet boy walked through my back kitchen door all those years ago with that big grin and said "I'm here!" it was as if God had known that our family of four was always supposed to have been a party of five. I'm gonna stay on my knees talking to that Man above for guidance. God's at work, I just know it.

Elizabeth Mahlou said...

Praying for you...it is sad when things take a turn in this direction (I won't say end because clearly there is a future and the end is not clear).

Kim said...

My heart aches for you. And for the whole family, including the boys. Praying right along with you.

So very, very true how things can change when we think we're in the home stretch. Sometimes those are the hardest times because we have been lulled into believing things will turn out "right". But then we can't know the entirety of anything and can only trust and pray that God will use even the tough stuff to His glory.

Leventhal Family said...

I'm obviously a little late in reading this...but wanted to let you know that my heart aches for you Melissa. I can't imagine the processing and heart ache that went into the decision. You are doing a great job...impacting those in your home as well as those of us watching. Keep pressing on. God is glorified through your faithfulness...on the easy days and the hard!

Flower Patch Farmgirl said...

I can't tell you how much this resonates with me. Thanks for sharing and I'm over here praying along with you.

Mama Brown said...

Hi. A friend told me about your blog and I sit here crying as I read your post. My husband and I and our seven kids live in one of the "hoods" of Fort Worth, Como. He has mentored 10 boys called Dr. Brown's Mighty Men for the past 7 years. They are all now in high school and while some are doing well, one is homeless and a few others are making choices that leave you wondering about what God is up to. All I can say is that as I read your post, I actually had faith that it's not the "end." I know that's easy for me to say, but just know that there is no way that all the love and time you've invested has been wasted. Those seeds go much deeper than we can imagine. Believing that God will be glorified in his life!! Blessings from another "hood mama".
love,
Anda Brown

Mama Brown said...

Hi. A friend told me about your blog and I sit here crying as I read your post. My husband and I and our seven kids live in one of the "hoods" of Fort Worth, Como. He has mentored 10 boys called Dr. Brown's Mighty Men for the past 7 years. They are all now in high school and while some are doing well, one is homeless and a few others are making choices that leave you wondering about what God is up to. All I can say is that as I read your post, I actually had faith that it's not the "end." I know that's easy for me to say, but just know that there is no way that all the love and time you've invested has been wasted. Those seeds go much deeper than we can imagine. Believing that God will be glorified in his life!! Blessings from another "hood mama".
love,
Anda Brown