A week and a half ago, I made the trip to Arkansas fully expecting my girls to come home with me. I have explained to them and their dad (and anyone else who'll listen) my reasons for believing that they need to be here with their mother. They don't necessarily disagree, it's just not what they want. Their dad disagrees that it's what they need because it's not what they want. I've been praying non-stop, and countless others have joined me in prayer over them, and I trust they (and you) will continue to do so. I know God is listening. He's working on it. On them. On me.
Making the trip home without them was next to unbearable. I was angry. I was heartbroken. The pain was overwhelming, and I was tempted to stifle my feelings, but I realized that was my old way of coping. I would retreat into "safe" mode, behind a wall of denial and a facade of happy-go-lucky. I had many people fooled, including myself, for many years. Pretending not to care can lead to actually not caring. I don't want that. God doesn't want that. As much as I would like to not feel the pain, I can't be that person anymore.
Bev's comments on Captivating - Chapter 8 reminded me again that I am not who I was then. This quote resonates with me: "But the experience of sorrow in no way diminishes the joy of living. Rather, it enhances it. A heart awakened to its sorrow is more aware, more present, and more alive, to all the facets of life." That is so true! Numbing my heart to pain robbed me of the ability to feel much of anything. My empathy turned to apathy. How pathetic is that?
I still have moments when I wish I could retreat into oblivion, but God has been at work tearing down that wall. What then shall I do? I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust. (Psalm 91:2)