It’s taken me nearly two years, but I think the time is coming. Time to share a little here and a little there, because, honestly, if I shared it all at once you might find it overwhelming. When I’ve shared pieces verbally with those who wish to hear, I’ve watched many a face perplexed at it all. I’ve seen the cast looks of a mind that says, “no more”.

I get it. Really, I do.

Even so, God tugs my heart to walk with Him, step by step, through the pain & into healing.

I hesitate to write much about our time at “the ranch” for many reasons. But I wonder if my readers know what I mean when I say ‘the ranch’? Or why I refer to it as ‘an intense season of serving’?

Every time I want to begin the writing, I stop.

What can I say? What can I share that won’t disparage others or reveal private stories that aren’t mine to share? How do I honor the story and God’s work without revealing things I’m obligated not to reveal? What if I share and it makes others decide NOT to foster children? Definitely not a desired outcome.

And to be real honest, and maybe a bit paranoid, what if I share and it sparks yet another investigation because yet another person doesn’t have a clue. They don’t understand what all we tried to manage at once while the odds were stacked against us?. Or how we tried our very best in all things because so many were counting on us; but still, it wasn’t enough.

For some reason, when you take on the great responsibility to love and care for a foster child, those who aren’t doing the same somehow come to believe that that foster child belongs to “all of us” even though “one of us” is caring for them. I digress, that’s another story for another day.

When I feel confident enough to get past these questions & fears, the words often stop short while tears flow freely. My body recoils in visible response. If you were to be near me when I share, perhaps you would notice my left arm and hand shaking wildly. Not a mild tremor, but an all out flapping around while my right fist clenches over and over again.

If I get more anxious, you might see me scratching my head vigorously. But, hopefully, before it gets that far you’ll care for the underlying hurt and help calm me through your comfort. Really, I’m safe but my mind doesn’t know it. Not deep in “the knower” anyway.

At any minute I feel as if the boulder of pressure and the straps of expectations might completely engulf me.I need His message of grace daily. We all do. Over and over again.  Slowly, I become freer as my heart learns to rest in the hands of a loving God.

Anxiety isn’t pretty y’all. I rarely talk about it. It’s hard to admit that two years later I’m still physically at a point where it hits hard. It’s hard to admit because I’ve been told it shouldn’t take this long to heal, that I just need meds, and that I’ve allowed the enemy to have a hay day with me.

It may all be true, but it’s not really comforting. Sometimes you need comfort first, in order to receive the care you need.

Can I just say this? You can fight the enemies’ lies with prayer & God’s truths; and you need to. You can learn to care for your self and your body; and you need to. You may or may not take meds as the Lord leads; and it’s His voice you need to listen to. But in the end, my experiences tells me it may not be the “fix it all” answer.

There isn’t one simple solution that works for all of us. Everyone’s trauma mixes with their personalities & experiences & physical makeup. Even when there are similarities, the responses are different. So are the needs.

Thankfully, regardless of the combinations that ignite the responses that show the needs, God is good and He is faithful. Of this, I am certain.

So, may I add, you can live through trauma and need a lot of time, care & comfort from others. I hope you (and I) receive it, by His grace.

Did I mention yet that once I start sharing the words about our experiences I tend to go sideways and not stay on point? Well, it happens a lot in my journals & I’m going to leave it in this post here. Because it’s real.

There’s something else that hinders me from writing it all down too. It’s also hard to admit. Too often I want to be more than I am. I try to be something now that I’m not yet.

God asks us to accept the truth of who and where we are, then trust Him for all we aren’t.

You see, I don’t write about trusting God and seeing with eyes of faith because it’s something I’ve mastered. I write because it ministers to my soul as a reminder of the things my heart sorely needs.

One of the most amazing and blessed things about being a writer is the way God shows up. Fingers type or hands write and somewhere along the way, from brain to bodily extensions, the Spirit moves. A writer often writes the words God reveals. The message is just as much for the heart of a writer as for anyone else. 

This writer will write some of the hard things, even though tears will come. I know His words will soothe this weary, writer soul.

with love, Jolene


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