In our hearts, our family is still a family of 11 but if you physically line us up and count us, there are only 10. And none of this was our will or our plan. We promised to love until the end and we will. But sometimes love is rejected and when one chooses to leave, begs to be removed, there is nothing that foster parents without rights can do but watch it unfold. When one rejects love so forcefully that they can't see truth among the lies they've created, not even speaking truth to them will make a difference. At least not now. But we pray that seeds were planted that the Holy Spirit can bring to bloom in due time.
I love how God knew before time began what I'd be dealing with today and where I would be in my daily read through the Bible. This morning I was in 1 Samuel. I got to chapter 8 where the Israelites are asking Samuel for a king. He doesn't want to comply because he knows what is going to happen but the people insist so he takes it to God. Verse 7 popped right out at me, "...it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected me..." Just the reminder I needed. While I feel betrayed and rejected, it's really not about me at all. I love with the love of God so who is ultimately being rejected?
And the picture I have is of the rich young ruler who came to Jesus looking for one thing, was offered everything but walked away dejected, understanding on one level what he was leaving behind yet not really understanding at all. He thought he knew what he wanted, Jesus offered him so much more, but he couldn't see past what he would need to give up. We watched as one dear to us couldn't give up the need to be in control, the need to use self-preserving habits that weren't working, the need to run every time the going got too rough, one that wasn't ready to let the heart of stone be chiseled into a heart of flesh. Instead it was easier to build a kingdom that seemed safe and a reality that was a dream that can never come true and in so doing be convinced that the grass would be greener anywhere but here.
"I want out of here," was spoken so many times in the past week that the wish came true not because we wanted it or asked for it but because the one who wanted it was willing to sign it into being. But when the wish became a reality it was not really what was desired but it was too late; the wheels of "the system" had been set into motion and could only be stopped by the one who started it but that would mean admitting a mistake had been made and that is still just too difficult.
We hurt because we loved but we also hurt because there is one hurting more than us, who is now alone again. We pray that someday the heart will soften and be open to allowing us in. Until then...we pray. And we will continue to do what we are asked to do - love the one in front of us and encourage others to do the same. For all of the "ones" out there.
Ezekial 36:26-27 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.