Tuesday, January 21, 2014

He Isn't Safe

Like a dog kicked by his master, I curled into a protective ball licking my wounds and keeping myself safe. There was a subtle fear, a lack of trust, that turned into a defensive barrier that separated me from God. 

This post-adoption year was hard. 

Adding a child is never easy, but this has little to do with Bo or his transition to our family. We had our moments and crazy stress, but he has been worth every second of the adventure. For the most part, I am amazed by how easy it was to assimilate him into our family.

I'm talking about the spiritual assault that followed his adoption and knocked me flat. 

I've heard of post-adoption depression which is similar to postpartum depression, something in which I am well versed. I don't know if that's what I had, or not. With my illness in country and subsequent hospitalization upon our return home, I suppose I was ripe for it. I've mentioned before feeling like I may have had some PTSD from the experience.

I just never felt like I regained my spiritual or emotional footing. 

God felt very, very far away. 

I felt isolated. Having two kids with special needs, one with some pretty bizarre behavior, further separated us from other families. I didn't know what to do with him at church. He didn't really fit into any classroom situation and I didn't really know him well enough to know what supports he needed. It seemed like a lot of effort to get everyone ready for church only to have to step out of the service with him. 

So, I just stopped going. 

As the lack of trust intensified, confusion set in. My attention span waned and reading Scripture became a chore for which I couldn't muster energy. My prayers continued, but I felt unheard. 

Everything was hard. I felt raw initially, reacting to everything, and later numb, responding to nothing. While I had visits to clarity, deep fog was my address and I had no idea how to move. 

Bitterness danced at my heart's door. My softness toward my savior disappeared beneath a crusty layer. I was suspicious of those who were plunging ahead in the faith, convinced they didn't fully know what they were doing. 

Several posted on Facebook the lyrics to "Oceans" by Hillsong United:

And I remember thinking in my arrogance, "You have no idea what you're singing. Do you really want to go deeper than your feet could ever wander?!? Are you willing to go without a full night's sleep two hundred thirty-seven nights in a row? What if, instead of stronger faith, you're left without a faith, at all?" 

Toward the end of the year, I recognized some pretty significant lies I'd been believing, which set me on the path to healing. I uncurled from my ball and reviewed the year through fresh eyes. I was able to really see His faithfulness in all of it, even though He felt hidden from me at the time. 

The fog lifted and clarity is returning. I can trust Him. I know this. I'm reminded of my favorite quote about Aslan in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe:
Who said anything about safe? 'Course he isn't safe. But he's good.
It turns out that the song with the haunting tune and the lyrics that bugged me so much, was right, after all. My faith has been made stronger and I can sing that song with open arms, willing again to go deeper than my feet would ever wander. 

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