Today has nothing too exciting in store for me. And I'm ok with that. This time last year my heart was in turmoil. And I'm about to go back and address it.
You might have heard a mention or two about the events that took place last year that caused my world to go spinning. Or so it seemed to me. But its been a year since I made the greatest mistake of my life. I let fear win.
Their faces are so vivid in my memory and I dread the day when they're gone. Most times I try to repress it because the pain is still so real. I'll admit, with each day, the pain pierced a little less, but some days, days when I would least expect, the pain hurt beyond my control and I would just weep.
I had grown to love seven beautiful hearts that belonged to seven handsome boys. Jon and I were given the job to provide a loving, family oriented home to children who's parents couldn't or wouldn't take care of them. It seemed like our dream job. We were paid to be full time stay at home parents. And it was perfect. But time allowed my enemy to creep in and instill a tiny seed of fear that would grow and one day sprout its ugly head.
We weren't perfect at our job. And I could list many regrets (yes, I will openly and honestly say that I have regrets). But I LOVE those boys. And after the birth of my daughter, all I wanted to do was go back home and be with them, as one BIG LOVING FAMILY. But it was then FEAR took over and I couldn't handle it.
I believe I had post-partum blues. I'm sure many can relate. Not quiet diagnosed as depression, but a temporary state when sorrow takes over and nothing to little can console it. I burried my daughter and myself deep into our room wanting no one near. I watched episodes of 19 Kids and Counting to distract myself from the little whispers of fear I was hearing. I would just sit, rock my newborn baby, and cry. And honestly, I grew angry at every little voice I heard from the boys in my home. I wanted them gone.
I begged and pleaded for Jon to take me away. To rescue me. I was desperate for help. But I got nothing. So, what he thought was best, Jon listened to my cries and drove me and our new bundle the 20+ hours to California, leaving behind 7 very confused and broken hearted souls. We had just a few minutes to say goodbyes and they were stripped from our lives and our ability to communicate seems held on by only the prayers of my heart.
And on that long drive back, it hit me. I MADE A MISTAKE! I had let the whispers of FEAR grow loud enough that the Voice of TRUTH couldn't be heard. And so marked the first day of 2010. It was downhill from there. The pain in my heart only fueled the GUILT that I would feel. And that guilt would be my greatest obstacle this past year!
And that obstacle still stands before me as I welcome the day that rings in 2011. A fresh year with many memories of my past running as fast as they can to cross over with me.
Some memories are lovely. Like the day we all went out driving through the city trying to find a park with a lake. And after 4 hours of driving around a city 20 minutes wide, we found it only to be too tired to enjoy it. But the laughter, songs, and terrible belting noises coming out of our 17 year old, made it one of the greatest days of my life.
And some memories, not so much lovely. But I've trucked on. And the consequences for my choice will leave a few battle scars. Scars that will show great pain with Beautiful Healing.
And although I can stand before you and say "Hello, My name is Jhen and I've abandoned a child (or seven)..." I can finish it with "... but I've been forgiven."
I may never know if the boys will ever forgive me. Some may, some wont. And I have to learn to be ok with that. And I have fought this year with the greatest fight in me yet. I have been beaten, bruised, and torn down by the words spoken about me and the whispers spoken to me, but I am not dead. And in that, I can see that the strength in me is not that of my own. I gave up. I thew in the towel, laid flat on my face before the enemy and said "You're right, I'm guilty. I did a bad thing." But someone took a step and stood between me as I laid battered and torn and spared my life. And as the enemy retreated, I was held. And I wept. And I continue to weep. But in my tears I can see joy. I can see the beauty starting to shine through and each day, I'm finding Love and Grace.
And I can tell you that the Greatest Mistake of My Life is being transformed into beautiful new choices of good. I can't take back what I did. I can't fix it. But I can, instead, move forward and allow My God to take a mistake and make it into something Beautiful!
So friends, as you've joined me on this crazy adventure this past year, I invite you to travel a little further with me. Because, in all of our mistakes, Good Can Come. And each of you are just a little good that has entered my life and I'm grateful for it! You have entered my family and my heart!
So, to 2011, you can only go UP from here!