Friday, December 31, 2010

The Greatest Mistake of My Life

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! 



  1. Wow. This post was really inspiring. I only found your blog for the first time yesterday so this would be the firt time Ive read about this. But I must say that you absolutely did the right thing putting your faith and fears in God. He lives in our heart and when we sin he "shines the light on it" and we're not supposed to feel good about it, because it was in fact a sin, BUT we can face it and ask for His mercy and forgiveness and He will wash us of them and help us not so much forget about them but be able to live with it and go forward in our lives. We all make or have made mistakes big & small but God won't make a mountain we can't climb and He does everything for a reason!! You seem like a wonderful Mom and wife and I hope that 2011 brings you/all of us great new beginnings! We must never live in the past because how will we enjoy the present or future? We must march on. May God and Peace be with you :-)

  2. You never cease to amaze me. Your writing is beautiful, I appreciate your honesty and vulnerability so much! You have grown tremendously in just the short time I have known you! I know that although you will always feel a great deal of guilt, the forgiveness you've received will bring you peace. I hope that you can always remember how much good you have done in your life. You are so giving, and so loving. Your little girl is so so so lucky to have you!!!
    Love you very much, Jhen!

  3. Over from Live Beautiful to pay a visit. What a strong woman you must be. I am sure that experience ways heavy on your heart but so glad you are healing. We all make mistakes but sometimes, selfish as it may seem to onlookers, we also have to do what's right for ourselves and our family too. Im wishing you, your family, and those 7 boys you love a wonderful 2011.

  4. Wow, what a moving post. Like the ladies said above, you did what you thought was in the best interest of your family...that is our job and Christ kids to make these difficult decisions. Things will be better because you are stronger. XOXO

  5. Jhen, can't wait to see what the Lord has for you coming up in 2011. I look forward to being apart of your 'new' journey. The Lord can make beauty out of ashes and He does and will. We have an amazing loving and forgiving Father don't we? And, we get to grow and be transformed in the mean time. I pray your New Year is full of 'renewing'....

    Love to you Jhen, Marlece

  6. Thank you for a beautiful testimony about you facing fear. There have been these times in life -- like when my husband had cancer -- or when our finances were a nightmare -- that I let fear creep into my demeanor. I didn't lose. My whole family lost.

    I have such hopes for 2011. Praying for you and that this year is amazing!!


  7. Another open and unbelievable heart-felt post. You're honesty inspires me and drives me to be better. I applaud you for being so open. And I applaud you even more for learning from your mistakes and embracing them. I look forward to reading more in 2011. Happy New Year my far away friend!

  8. I dont think I can really add to the comments above, but as a brand new reader I can tell you I am looking forward to reading more!

  9. Wow this is an amazing testimony. I just "met" you but you are already inspiring me. I can not wait to see more!

  10. Beautiful. I don't know the full story but it sounds like what you did while you were there was amazing. But, you had to do what you thought was best for your family, and that takes a lot of strength. I'm sure those boys will forgive you and realize what a blessing you were for them. Keep your head held high, you're a wonderful person and great mommy!

  11. Oh Jhen, I am so glad I have been led to your blog and have been privileged to read even a few words of your heart. Thank you so much for your honesty, for speaking truth, for admitting that the enemy took control, but that grace won out.

    "And I can tell you that the Greatest Mistake of My Life is being transformed into beautiful new choices of good." God is so good!! Even in the darkest moments there is a small light calling us onward.

    From one sister in Christ to another....I love you!

  12. You've had quite the year Jhen...
    It can be so hard to forgive ourselves can't it?
    I think 2011 is going to be amazing for you...
    I'm so happy to happy to have met you,
    you are a gem :)

  13. That opened my eyes more to what it was like for you to leave those boys. I'm so sorry you have so much regret. You seem to have such a healthy perspective of moving forward and being forgiven. Although, forgiveness seems harsh to feel you needed. You were a new mom, filled with hormones, overwhelmed at the new little life, and in a position that required a TON of you. I don't look down on what you did at all...although I can completely understand your feelings of sadness over it.

  14. Powerful confession. Took some strength and conviction to share that. God bless, and I hope/pray 2011 will hold some happier memories.

  15. part of the good news with grace and forgiveness is that it removes guilt as well. guilt is meant to be an indicator of sin - to help point us toward dealing with it (confession, repentance, embracing forgiveness) but then as we deal with it God can remove the guilt. guilt felt after that is "false guilt" and it straight from the pit of hell. you may always feel pain related to your sorrow and mistakes, but you don't need to feel guilt any more. the old has passed and the new has come! praise God for a new year jhen!! you are a mighty woman of faith! xx