Again, I say… Rejoice

I try to present myself on this site as a real person, with struggles and victories and everything in between that comes with life’s package deal. The hard stuff and major details, I tend to leave out. But today, I’d be lying if I didn’t tell you it’s been a rough day. And here are some details.

Through a series of events too long and confusing to get into, I lost custody of my son. Some of it was because I was accused of child abuse. But I was cleared and not charged with any crime. But the bigger reason is because my mother got temporary custody and refuses to let me see him. And besides the fact that I’ve literally lost the single most important thing in the world to me, the worst part of the whole mess is… I’m innocent.

[By the way… In case anyone out there was thinking to themselves, “They all say they’re innocent,” you should google ‘DCS legal kidnapping.’ I found an entire world of parents out there who have lost their kids to foster care in horrific ways; parents who could literally PROVE their innocence, and still had their children taken away.]

I couldn’t even begin to guess at the number of times I’ve begged God to bring him home, how many times I’ve pleaded with Him to give my mom clarity, or how many tears and restless nights I’ve gone through. With anything, people will tell you that time is a healer. But when you lose a child, it’s the opposite. It’s been a year now since I lost him. And as time goes on, it sinks in more and more that he’s gone. And the more it sinks in, the more it hurts. Some days, I do okay. Other days, he’s all I can think about.

I’ve walked this walk of faith for almost seven years now. And never have I found myself so helpless, or so dependent on God. I never had to trust God with anything as much as I’ve had to trust Him with this. And we’re not talking about some small thing that you just know will work itself out eventually. This is the life of my son. His life. And because of the lies, because of a mom who is as cruel as she is clueless, I’ve lost him.

When I moved back to Knoxville, I met with some ladies from the church and told them the situation. They began to pray that my mom would realize what she was doing and allow me to see him. They prayed his heart would turn to his mother, and that doing so would soften my mom’s heart. But that prayer didn’t sit right with me.

I want him back more than I’ve ever wanted anything in my life, and I’d give anything to make it happen. But I still had to pray the hardest thing I’ve ever had to pray, and that’s that his heart would turn towards The Lord. Even if it means never seeing him again. We all belong to God, anyway. So I know that even if I’ve lost him for good, God can never lose him. If I can never get him back, God can bring him back to Him. God honors our faith, and I believe He honors the prayers of righteous mothers. And in knowing that, in trusting Him, I know that goodbye for any length of time will always be temporary. If God pursues my son, because I have prayed and I believe He will, then we will be united on the other side. So until then, I will never say goodbye. Never.

The next hardest thing I ever had to pray was that God would forgive my mother. And then, bless her. I am not afraid to let anyone know that I absolutely, with every fiber of my being, hate my mother. (I’m just keeping it real.) I didn’t know it was possible to hate someone that much. On days like this when I start to miss my son more, it coincides with hate for her. But forgiveness is a choice. You don’t have to feel like you’ve forgiven someone to actually forgive. And it’s hardly ever a done deal right away. I’m okay admitting that I hate my mom because I choose every moment to extend forgiveness. I’ve got a long way to go before I don’t want to throw my laptop on the wall every time she shows up on my news feed, but I forgive her for everything. Still mad as hell… But I forgive her. I am CHOOSING in this moment to forgive. And I’ll have to forgive her again tonight. (If for no other reason, for me. So that I don’t have to deal with anymore.)

The agony is indescribably horrible. I am convinced there’s not a heart in this world that can ever hurt to the level a mother’s heart can. It is a special kind of pain that goes deeper than any other pain ever could. And I am hurting. So. So. Badly. And sometimes the struggle is so overwhelming, I don’t know how I’ll make it through the day. Never mind an entire lifetime.

Still, I thank Him.

I thank God that I am in a desperate place, because out of desperation comes deliverance.

I thank God that He is writing a testimony to turn our stories into His glory, because out of testimony comes redemption.

I thank God that He has shown such incredible love to us, because out of love comes healing.

I thank God that I have been stripped of all human capability and left with no other choice but to trust in Him, because out of trust comes faith.

I thank Him for death; death to self, death to the things of the world, death to the idea that there is no hope. Because out death comes life. And life is found in Jesus Christ.

There is joy to be had in the suffering, because it’s in the middle of our storms and pain that God comes closer. Scripture says He is near to the broken-hearted. He says, “I will never leave you.” When we are lost in complete despair, when we don’t have it in us to take even one more step, He goes to those broken places within us. Those wounds that never healed, your shattered heart, your painful memories, whatever hurts… He’s there. The level of turmoil and pain could never be so deep as to cast a shadow dark enough to hide His light. 

I may or may not ever see my son again. But rest assured for me and you both, we have hope. We can win this battle. Even if we don’t, the war was already fought and won at the cross. So as we go on with our lives and all of its trials, we can rejoice. While you wait for the healing to come, rejoice. While you wait for a rescue, rejoice. While you mourn and grieve, rejoice. Rejoice in the storm where His perfect peace is found. And praise Him.

Again, I say, rejoice.

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