Roots, Fence Posts, and a Random Rock

I’m not even gonna lie. Love hurts.

In fact, I’ve had moments in the past few days where I’ve lamented through hot, messy tears that love “isn’t fair,” and it feels like a “gamble,” and like “a pile of no guarantees,” and like “a pit in the stomach and a punch in the gut.” And I’m sure I’ve uttered a few other overwhelmed, Eeyore kind of sentiments, but I can’t remember them all and probably shouldn’t.

To be perfectly honest, that drive from the agency to the metro park was a blur–a blur of tears and a blur of emotions.

I can’t share all of the details, and I have no desire to…but suffice to say: Yesterday morning, we were reminded again that we may not get to forever love the little soul we now hold in our arms.

I’m pretty sure the words sounded jumbled as they tumbled from our case worker’s mouth. It sounded like slow-mo, if you ask me.

“There is a possibility that a next of kin is interested in custody.”

I felt the breath leave me.

Sure, we always knew this was a possibility. And sure, we know we signed up for this. And yet…it still hurts. Why? Because the knowing doesn’t prevent the “ouch.”

We’ve loved this soul for exactly two months, and it’s been a fierce kind of love. The kind of love that leaves a hole when it’s removed; the kind of love that makes your heart ache and your arms heavy. The kind of love that can’t hug enough, hold enough, squeeze enough, or take enough pictures. The kind of love that day dreams and prays real long. It’s been that kind of love.

And yet…we always knew this was a possibility.

So as we meandered our way through bumpkin’ roads that resembled more of my Pennsylvania roots than that of the suburban Ohio roads we frequent, I asked God to meet us in the middle of our hurt. I didn’t utter the words out loud, and I didn’t close my eyes; I just prayed them in my heart.

As we got out of the car to hike a new metro park, two text messages popped up from two different friends on the face of my black screen.

One read: May today be yet another fence post moment of your story and your trust in Him.

Another read: Praying you will continue to live your lives rooted and built up in Him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, overflowing with thankfulness. Colossians 2:6 

More tears pooled in my eyes as I thanked the Lord for dear friends who encourage with the Truth.

And then I moved on.

Walking the wooded paths, lined with wild, pink lilies, scared deer, and a babbling stream streaked with morning sun, I found myself calmed. Surrounded by the beauty of God’s creation, I had this recurring thought: If I can trust that He made all of THIS, then I can trust that He knows all of THAT. 

Plodding on, through what felt like a Secret Garden of sorts, we stumbled upon butterflies, moss-covered logs, stone overpasses, and this GIANT tree.

IMG-1230

As we drew closer to the tree, I found the following sign:

IMG-1231

Growing since the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Over 241 years old. WOW.

I started to think about all the tree had endured in its lifetime.

Obviously, it endured a flood (as noted on the sign post) but what about storms? Lightning strikes? Excavation opportunities? Changes in soil? Bug infestations? Too much sun? Not enough water? Kids obsessed with peeling bark?

As I pondered, I marveled.

ROOTS. 

What incredible roots this tree must have!

And as I looked to very top, where the sun was shining, I was overcome with the way the Creator had provided for this creation over the course of its many, long years.

And just as quickly as that thought came, the content of one of those texts stumbled into my mind.

Praying you will continue to live your lives rooted and built up in Him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, overflowing with thankfulness.

Rooted. In what? In Him.

Strengthened. How? Though faith.

Overflowing. With what? With thankfulness.

Because we are rooted in Him, we can be strengthened through these faith-building moments. These moments of unknowns, gambles, and no guarantees–these moments that don’t feel fair and certainly not fun. We can be rooted in His character–steadfast, immovable, and faithful to His promises–because He is a good, good Father who cares for His creation through all weathers and all wearying moments. And when we find ourselves rooted in Him and strengthened through faith, we can be thankful.

Thankful? Thankful for what?

Thankful He knows what’s best for this little one. Thankful He knows what’s good for our family. Thankful He knows what will grow us and change us the most. Thankful He knows the future, our fears, and our frustrations. Thankful He is faithful to His people and to His never-broken promises. Thankful for the hard.

Thankful.

And just as quickly as those reassuring thoughts were marinading, the content of the other text barraged my mind.

May today be yet another fence post moment of your story and your trust in Him.

FENCE POSTS. 

What are they for; what is their purpose?

To ground the fence.

They must be sturdy, steady, and straightened correctly. They must be set correctly and spaced appropriately.

Why?

Because if your posts aren’t set correctly, your fence will fall and your posts will rot. And when your posts rot and fall, your fence is not only susceptible to inclement weather, but it’s also vulnerable to all kinds of unwanted animals.

What did she say?

May today be yet another fence post moment of your story and your trust in Him.

And yesterday was.

Another moment and another part of our story–a story that God is writing and a fence that He is building for our good and His glory. A fence that will not fall and will not rot. A fence that can be TRUSTED; a fence that can weather the storms and stand the test of time.

Yes. He is THAT kind of Father.

We may not know what tomorrow holds, or if our arms will be wrapped around this little soul we hold today, but we can know this:

We follow a Father who ROOTS us–a Father who SECURES us–a Father we can TRUST through every event and through every storm. 

And if those text messages, and that tree, and that walk in the woods didn’t grab my soul in a tender, fast way, well…I don’t know what else would. Except this.

As we finished the last leg of our walk, I happened to look down. There, in the middle of a little cove of flowers, lay this rock. It was a painted rock from the “Ohio Rocks” movement–started in Northeast Ohio that has spread all over the state. What’s their purpose? To make people smile as they hide painted rocks for others to find.

Boy, did they fulfill their purpose!

Not sure how this rock got planted in Southwest Ohio or who hid it but looking down at that rock, it was as if Jesus planted it there Himself.

Live and love in the moment, Jessica…for however long or short that may be. Because love will never, ever be taken away. 

IMG-1257

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s