You know how sometimes someone says one thing or tells one story and ***poof*** something else in your brain clicks and you are surprised by those connecting synapses??
(I think Oprah deemed it an “aha moment”)
Well- let me share one with you from last night’s conversations with friends.
First, let me back up and say- I haven’t written as much lately, there isn’t much to share other than the daily grind. Life in general, just playing out, day after day. And while that seems to be a peaceful place to be right now, it also means there aren’t any stories that have made sense to share. But I am telling you this because it’s part of my “aha moment”. You see some of our best sharable stories spring from a “messy” moment and we just haven’t been in that place too much recently.
So we are eating dinner with friends last night and a story is shared with us. A story involving kids, parents who are in a bad place, CPS, the police, a mess. These are people I do not know, but it impacts our friends so I am listening- and I am nodding- and I am CRINGING… my thoughts are just let things be, my advice or responses probably reflect the same, and I am flashing back to the messiest of times in our own lives. I am thinking run away, I am thinking…oh it sucks when you are in the path of situations like this. And as I am sharing bits of our chaos, our mess, our frustration from that season of our lives, while I am thinking in my head- oh, thank God I don’t have to live it again.
But topics change throughout the night as they do and we have a wonderful time just enjoying each other’s company. We finish dinner and part ways and as Bob and I are driving home I get lost in my own thoughts and it hits me.
What has happened to me?
See, a long time ago, I shared a story of our “mess” with adults I trusted to give sound advice, and as I poured out my heart, our plans, and the situation we were in- I was told to run the other way. I was told by another person later on, once the situation took a turn for the even “messy-er”- “well you certainly can’t raise all those kids”. And yet, thank God, in spite of that logical advice, I didn’t listen. Thank God I was the girl who choose to run TOWARDS the mess, not away. Thank God, he knew better than any of us did. And thank God we made it out on the other side.
So, when did my thoughts on running towards the messiness, and “going all in”- change?
You know when it started to change?
When our lives stopped being messy.
We ended our time in Foster Care officially this past January but really, we were just waiting on adoptions to finalize and had “checked out” months before. There isn’t any drama, no opinions or standards we have to meet anymore- other than our own. We could up and leave tomorrow for vacation and no one has to be alerted. Life just isn’t messy right now, and I am soaking that up. Our whole family is. We are thriving.
But I need to put my heart in check for a minute. Because even though our “messy season” is over, it doesn’t mean it was some atrocity we just survived. It was a beautiful, humbling, generous time of growth and discovery. There were so many unparalleled moments of grace and blessing intertwined in our mess the whole time. It made us who we are. We are forever changed for the better solely because of it.
So incase my advice should ever be to run the other direction or look the other way. Should I ever suggest you shelter and protect yourselves and your family from the “messes” of life that you have been placed in the path of … I am wrong. That is against the very core of who I know myself to be.
Jump in! You are crossing the paths, and living the seasons you are in, with a purpose.
Trust God and your gut. Have faith that you are presented with opportunities and choices and messes intentionally.
Know that you will receive far more than you could ever give of yourself. The ripple effect you will create, the joy you will find, the peace you will experience from watching God move will be worth it every time.
Until the next sharable story, Happy Wednesday friends.