It's been two weeks since my last post, and quite honestly, I just haven't had the words.
I've had many thoughts flitting around in my head, and my emotions have been all over the place, but when I've sat down to write, the words simply wouldn't come.
My last post came at the end of a long, painful week filled with unexpected encounters with my oldest daughter.
My heart had been full of sadness and pain, my conversations with her very real, playing over and over in my mind.
It's been hard for me to believe that in the two years since she first left, things between her and us haven't gotten any better–only worse.
We've gone from frequent conversations with her (where we all pretend that things are good between us), to her now informing us to never contact her again.
I never dreamed I'd hear those words from her, never thought our relationship would be completely severed, but it is.
Over the past two years, I've wondered time and time again how things could've gotten this way;
I've beaten myself up trying to figure out where I went wrong, and have wondered if I'm really fit to be a mom.
I can't begin to tell you the weight of guilt that I've carried in my heart; a weight that has brought me down, time and time again.
I've gone down many roads of “what ifs” and “if onlys“, only to come up empty handed; realizing that what's done is done and I can't change any of it.
It's been really, really hard for me to accept the reality that I can't “fix any” of this, and I've had to lay this trial at God's feet daily, sometimes hourly.
I feel as though we've been walking through a huge storm, and occasionally the winds will die down and things will be somewhat quiet; but then, when I least expect it, the storm will pick up, with thunder so loud that it shakes me to the very core.
There are times when I wonder how long this storm will last, times when I've begged God to lift the storm and restore what's been lost.
And yet, the storm goes on, with no relief in sight.
Though there's been much pain and loss, this storm has also brought much gain….
God has used this storm to show me his unfailing love, and to remind me that He'll never let me go.
He's used the repeated pain and grief to bring me to my knees, so that in my weakness His strength can be revealed.
As I look back to who I was two years ago, compared to who I am now, I see how God has changed me…
I can see that where I once would beg God to take this trial from me, I now instead ask God to show me what He wants me to learn from this, and to help me to lean on Him.
God has graciously and lovingly shown me that the guilt is not mine to bear, because He already took that guilt on the cross, and that's where it needs to stay.
He's reminded me that I'm his daughter, his beloved child, and that just as I want what's best for my kids, He wants what's best for me….
And I now know that what's best for me, may in fact, be this trial, because though it's hard and painful, He's using it to make me more like Him.