A Beautiful Unraveling

A Beautiful Unraveling

I’ve been quiet around here lately.

It’s not because I don’t have any words, I do. A lot of them really. It’s just that they haven’t found their way out of my heart yet.

Also, it’s been a really hard few weeks.

I still haven’t learned exactly how to share the hard without sharing my children’s stories. In the very beginning of our journey, I shared a lot. Probably too much. As I grew as their mama and learned more and more about adoption along the way, I realized their story wasn’t mine to share.

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Sweet Days

The kids are napping. My house is quiet, except for the steady hum of the dish washer. And I felt these keys calling to me. So here I am, filling you in with our summer days.

I can't believe it's already half way through the summer. I walked into Hobby Lobby the other day and was bombarded with Christmas decorations! What in the world?!

Part of me wants summer to last forever, but then again, there's something inviting about a crisp, fall morning with hot coffee and football weekends. But for now, we're living in our bathing suits and puddle jumpers. My hair stays in a messy top knot (not the cute kind on Pinterest) and my yoga pants are worn thin. It's hotter than hades down here in the south. I walk out of our house and my glasses immediately fog from the humidity. But this summer has held sweet days for our family.

Micah is doing so well! He is gaining weight and WALKING everywhere! My baby with Cerebral Palsy is walking. It's truly a miracle. He's started saying a few words, and we'll say, "Raise your hand if you love Mommy." And every time he raises two! It's the cutest thing ever. We haven't been in the hospital since May and every day has been such a blessing. I'm breathing in these baby smells and holding on to every second of this season. It has been such a needed season of rest for us and we couldn't be more thankful.

Selah decided she was ready to potty train last week. Bahahaha!!! I still can't believe her! I am always late with everything, like taking the bottle away, pacis, big girl bed, blah blah blah... I have been in no rush to potty train her because quite frankly, diapers seem easier. Since I'm not going back to work in the fall, I haven't been rushed about it and figured when I was ready, we'd give it a shot. Well last week she came up to me and said, "Mommy, I potty twain now." She took off her diaper and went to the potty. Also, I realized we could save about fifty dollars a month...

So we spent last weekend getting her Elsa panties and M&Ms at Target. Monday she had three accidents and hasn't had one since. I guess she was ready. Today we ventured out and to my surprise, waited to potty until we got home. I took extra panties and shorts because I was positive she would have an accident, but I was wrong! Most of me is so incredibly proud of her. She makes up her mind about something and does it! That's a great quality. The other part of me is so sad she's not a baby anymore. She is looking more like a little girl everyday. But, whether I like it or not, she's growing up and I love the little girl she's becoming.

Brandon booked a trip last October when Micah was so sick. He heard on the radio that people who have something to look forward to in life are much happier. October wasn't a happy time for us. That whole season when we were trying to keep Micah alive was stressful to say the least. We had no idea what our life would look like this summer with him, but we booked the trip anyway. And I'm so thankful we did.

We have a thing for cruises. We like boats. We like all the food. We like the ocean. So we left our babies and every single one of Micah's specialist's number with our favorite nanny ever and went to the Bahamas. She is super responsible and just has a mama heart. She has been with us since the beginning of Micah's story, so she knows his medical needs very well, and loves my babies something fierce. Everyone told me, "I can't believe you're leaving your babies for a week! I could never do that!"

Well, I'm not gonna lie, it was hard, but I promised God my marriage would always be my first ministry. Time alone with my husband, investing in our marriage, is loving our babies well. I spent a whole week eating without being interrupted, drinking fruity umbrella drinks, and reading. Among other things you do with your husband when you don't have kids for a week. (Ahem.) And the sleep! We slept like we haven't slept in several years now. It was so wonderful!

We were able to reconnect. We talked, we dreamed, we planned, but mostly we just enjoyed one another. Father breathed the sweetest love into our marriage that week and made me want to marry that man all over again.

Not only was I able to fall in love with my husband again, but I did the same with Jesus. Everywhere I looked, He was so beautiful. He spoke so much truth into my heart that week. At one point, I was sitting in a beach chair, laying out in the sun, feeling the ocean breeze blow against my face and I started sobbing. I'm not much of a crier. I always end up with a headache later and it feels like it takes up so much energy. But it was as if all of the hard we have walked through in this year, just released.

And I let it.

I let myself feel the weight of watching him turn blue all those times. I let myself feel the fear of every hospital stay, every surgery, and every diagnosis. For the past year, I have lived in a constant state of panic. And to be able to release that was so freeing. I remembered every piece of the hard and thanked Papa for being right there through it all. He was so faithful then.

There will be more hard days ahead, but He'll be there again, right beside me. Loving me, drawing me to Himself, and inviting me to come in closer. But these sweet days of rest are so lovely. I'm finding Him here too. Lots of Him. Parts of Him I never knew existed. These days feel normal. And normal isn't something we've felt in a while. I'm soaking it all in over here.

I just can't thank you enough for following along with me in this journey. So many of you have emailed the perfect encouragement when I feel my voice is just another in all the noise. You, friends, have prayed for my baby and for my family. You've invested eternally into our lives and for that I am so thankful.

I'm excited to share with you that pretty soon things will look a little different around here. But it'll still be the same me behind these keys, typing away in my not so cute top knot and thin yoga pants. Sharing with you the sometimes ugly parts of me, hard and beautiful parts of following Jesus.

I love you, friends. I'm honored you meet me here. Praying for you today. That today would be one filled with warm coffee, belly laughs, and joy no matter what circumstances you find yourself in.

-Jessica

When God Gives Us Too Much To Handle

I cringe when I hear these words, "But God will never give you more than you can handle." I literally bite my tongue and start twitching. I've heard it said to others and it's been said to me more times than I can count. The intentions of those words are meant to be encouraging, but they aren't. Because if you are anything like me, when you are standing in the middle of the darkest season of your life, it IS too much to handle. And saying those words and believing them is just plain, bad theology.

When those words are spoken, they often are referring to the passage in 1 Corinthians 10:13 that says, "No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it." We're talking about temptation here, not suffering.

Jesus tells us all throughout the New Testament to not be surprised when suffering comes. He tells us to even expect it. He invites us to "share in His suffering." Suffering is something we all experience. No one can escape it. Sometimes we think God's ultimate plan for our lives if for us to be happy. When really His plan for us is to be stripped of ourselves so only He remains.

That's a good Father. Giving His children what He knows is best for them... Him.

So when I hear those words about Him not giving me too much to handle, it can send my brain and my heart down a dangerous path. Because if He's a good Father, He knows me and every detail of my life, and wants only for me to look more like Him, then He knows the suffering I am enduring is too much for me to handle.

He knows because He watched my heart break over and over when I saw those negative pregnancy tests. He knows because there were days I couldn't even watch commercials on TV without aching to be a mom.  He knows because He saw my heart break when I heard those results yesterday.  He knows because He watched me melt in the shower. He sees me broken and crushed. And He and I both know it is too much.

But yet, in His goodness, that's exactly what He wants for me. When it's too much, He becomes more, and I become less. When it's too much, those rough pieces of my heart begin to be refined. The parts of me I continue to hold more dearly than Him, begin to slip away as He helps me open up my hands to Him.

When it's too much, I am exactly where He wants me to be. I nestle up in His lap, my weary head rests on His chest, and I am able to hear His heartbeat.

When it's too much, I run to my Daddy.

Of course He gives us too much to handle. If He didn't we wouldn't need Him. We would do hard by ourselves. Our hearts would continue to grow more independent of Him, and any victory would be for our glory, not His. We would miss out on the privilege, the honor, of knowing intimately the Creator of the universe.

I'm glad He gives me too much to handle. It takes all the pressure off of me to perform and allows me to put it back on Him, the Savior, the One who redeems, the One who has already done it all.

Let me tell you sister, God gives us too much to handle.

And He does it in the most loving way. His intentions are truly good, wanting us to become more like Him. So if you're like me today, standing in the middle of what feels like total darkness, with no end in sight, feeling like it's absolutely too much, just know it is.

So run to Him. Or crawl. Or stay where you are and He'll meet you there.

Let Him scoop you up in His big, strong arms. Rest your weary head on His chest and listen to the cadence of His heartbeat. Breathe in His nearness. Savor the smell of His faithfulness.

And let Daddy handle it.

Because He can.