We are still the crazy-fun family that has lots of energy, many littles, and big faith. On the surface, I still love the new year because it's a time to reflect...plan...dream. And mine are supersized.
We each made goals:
But if you dare scratch my heart - even a little - I might start sobbing. I don't feel my usual excitement for the new year and my abilities are stretched to the point of near-balloon pop.
My seasoned faith doesn't question God or beg for relief. I know he's here moving. But I do cry. I cry because I'm tired and sad and because - really - there's not much else I can do.
We are heart-deep in mud.
Little Miss is our daughter in every way, but one. We are well-beyond the days of turning back or reminding case workers that we didn't sign-up for this. We're invested. We're family. There's no other option but to drag through.
Her biological dad is early to every visit. He dotes and plays and plans. He tells her about their family and his GiGi (her namesake). He talks about all the things they will do when this is over.
We plaster smiles and make brave.
We lie in bed at night staring up, lost in the hardship of it. Sometimes Ben reminds me, "My gut says we'll say goodbye."
I choke back tears.
Life goes on as usual.
School, work, dinner, bedtime. It all goes in perfect rhythm. In the car, Ben says, "Sissy, who's number one?" and she throws her chubby finger in the air, squealing, "Dad-eee!"
It's a new year, but the fresh beginning escaped me and the dark challenge rolled forward. Unlike Ben, I don't have an instinct on this. I feel too much. I see too much. I know life well enough. Every scenario exposes heartache and disqualifies any right answer.
Yet, people keep asking me what I "think".
I think we've done everything asked of us.
It doesn't wash the mud from my fingers or dull the sadness in my heart, but it does provide one massive blast of sunshine up above the cloud.
So, can we survive the new year without hearts full of prospect and rainbow?
Yeah. We can.
It doesn't always have to be a storybook start.
Sometimes, it's a dark and stormy night where gusts of wind are violent "rattling along the housetops, and fiercely agitating the scanty flame of the lamps that struggle against the darkness." --Edward George Bulwer-Lytton, Paul Clifford (1830)
Sometimes, God's presence is most palpable in the disorder.
Always, God's goodness finds its way.