No one told me, that the minute I held my baby girl in my arms my heart would begin to break. It began to break when she got that first blood draw poke and she cried--and it hasn't quit breaking since.
It breaks every time I fail as a Mama.
When miraclegirl is sobbing because something has hurt her heart.
When either of my children are sick.
While little man goes through recent blood draws and I can't explain to him why we're putting him through it.
My heart breaks a bit more when anxiety kicks in and I imagine all the horrible things that can happen to them--kidnapping, being trapped in a fire, hurt in a car accident, the victim of a terrible storm damaging our house, chronic or terminal illness. I imagine them alone, frightened, hurting, and me being unable to help them.
And my mind thinks, "I can't take this heartache. No one told me my heart would hurt so much when I had kids."
As a Mama more prone to anxiety and worst-case scenario thinking than most, the heartache probably grabs me more intensely than it does others. However, anxiety prone or not, I think every Mama goes through this heart-ache to some degree or another, as we worry over our children.
How do we keep it from consuming us? Keep us from enjoying the moment because we're so caught up in the possible (scary) future?
We have to remind ourselves that our children are not ours. They are Gods. They are His, on loan to us.
Somehow I find that a bit freeing to realize this. They are not solely mine to protect and prevent bad things from happening to. They are His and that is His job too--and He has more ability in that department than I do.
This is exceptionally difficult for me to fall back into and rest in. Bad things happen. I know this first-hand. How do I trust a God that lets bad things happen to small children? Things like abuse or chronic illness or bad accidents?
Is God trustworthy with my children?
This is a question that has echoed in the chambers of my heart time and again.
In some ways, to be quite frank, no, He does not feel at all trustworthy.
And yet, I have to believe that He is. Because to not believe it, creates more burden to be the total protector of my babies. And that's exhausting. Which leads to more anxiety and depression.
I have to choose to trust Him with my babies even when I don't feel He is trustworthy. I have to choose to remember they are His kids, not fully mine. I have to believe that He is good and that He will only allow what is for their best in the ultimate end.
The closer we get to Shiloh, the more I realized this heartache doesn't stop with my biological kids. As much as I fear accidents and fires and dangerous people, there are more things to cause fear as the years progress. As our angel babies come our way, I know that the uncertainty of blood relatives coming along and trying to re-gain custody will always hover in the recesses of my mind. That on any given day, someone can come and stake a claim and worse, some judge can grant them that claim. I've heard the stories before and I fear I may be one of them.
Fears like this, whether with biological children or adopted children, can cause us to turn our hearts off somewhat. In an effort to not hurt, we close down our love. It's a risky thing to love our kids. The more we love, the more our hearts break for our children.
We can't shut down in an effort to protect ourselves from the heartache that can come though. We must love fully and completely, every day, every hour. A love so full it floods our heart and permeates every cell of our body. A love that carries great potential for devastation if and when, the trials rock our world.
I've given this much thought concerning future adopted and foster children. I can love to an extent and keep my heart from loving with utter abandon so it doesn't hurt as much if (when) I say goodbye to some of these children. Because the reality is, I may give my entire heart to a child only to wave goodbye to that child. Can I---I who have such tendencies to worst-case thinking and heartbreak---do that?
Can I pour my life and heart into a child that won't be mine forever?
I can. I can because my heart is the channel for God's heart.
He loves them with full abandon and if I surrender my heart to His, I too can love them with full abandon. I will hold them tight, but I will also let them go. I l will et them go in surrender to Him. Trusting Him to work out what is best for them in the end. Whether it's my son now and whatever is causing his mystery illness or my daughter who is easily crushed by mean people or future foster children who may not be with us forever, I have to trust He will work everything out to their good. I can love, because I have a hope that He will only allow what is His best for them. I can love, because I choose to believe that He will hold them, even when I can't.
Just because I write this doesn't mean it's over for me, this agony of loving so much my heart breaks. It just means that slowly but surely, I am learning how to love with all my might and hold tightly, even as I let go in surrender.