Getting Your Heart Broken..

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

How many of you automaticly got sad just reading that title? So many times in life we associate the possibilty of a broken heart with only negative emotion. What I have learned in this past year or so is that getting your heart broken, while painful allows for much greater growth that coasting through life not allowing yourself the oppertunity to be broken. Brent and I have had our hearts broken by countless children searching for so many different things and God has BLESSED us with a BURDEN and BROKEN heart. The journey is painful. I've decided the only thing harder than loving your own kids is loving someone elses. Your own children present challenges and hurts and pains and fears that you have at least got some history of and assuming yours is a healthy family they know your love will always be there through each of them. Loving someone elses children doesn't allow you those things and as small as they seem boy do they make a difference. This is an attempt to catch you all up on our fostering journey since that is why this log was originally created. A new season is upon us and we are moving into a new stage of this broken heart. Make no mistake. We grieve, we hurt, we cry and we mourn the loss of things hoped for, but we rejoice, we celebrate and we remember always the amazing gifts we have been given and the unbelievable ways in which our family has grown. We are nothing special, please don't read this and think we are some how different than any of you. We simply have been transformed into people who think differently about heartbreak.
Heartbreak #1 Jesus....... I grew up in church, I had great teachers, preachers and mentors, but it wasn't until adulthood that I really knew what it meant to have a realtionship with Jesus. As I have grown and read and learned I have fallen in love with the man who gave it all for me. If you are waiting on a religion or a Sunday service to change your life you are wasting your time. It's not going to make a bit of difference until your heart is broken and you begin to love......
Heartbreak #2- People... God has blessed me with a burden for people. I love them, every shape, size and color. I especially love kids, teenagers are my heart! Unfortunatly loving people of all shapes, sizes and colors isn't always accepted even now in 2011. The idea that our differences are equally created and beautiful hasn't caught on, so for much of my 32 years I hid that love of people. Then I started teaching high school where 99% of my students were different than me. There was no hiding my love for these people.. Those highschoolers changed my life.........and broke my heart again.. They experienced more in one day than this little priviledged girl had in her entire life. They made me realize how many kids out there were craving the love, attention and direction from adults who were willing to stand in the gaps for them. Thank God for placing me in that classroom in 2001, a Clemson grad without a clue of how her life was getting ready to change.
Heartbreak #3 Several years later I got involved with a local boys home where I grew so so close with so many boys who needed someone to fight for them, to love them, to simply show them what it means to be there. God began pounding on my heart to the point where I couldn't sleep. I knew I had been given the gift to relate to these kids, the ability to have empathy and compassion, the ability to love them without pittying them. I knew he was calling me out, calling my family out. My heart breaks for every single child who doesn't know what it's like to be loved. Truly, unconditionally loved. My heart aches for kids who are seeking fullfillment in so many other things because adults have failed them over and over and over again. My heart is blessed with a burden to love these kids. Not to wave a magic wand and "fix" them, or heal them or cure them, but to love them, to provide a safe place for them to grow, a place to call home, a safe place to call home.
Heartbreak #4 Not everyone will understand..... When you are blessed with a burden and God has convicted you there is nothing you won't do to follow through. I knew in my heart that as much as I wanted everyone to love the people we loved, to welcome the kids welcomed and to accept this beautiful story of our life, not everyone would. I didn't however expect it to break my heart the way it did. The truth about our story into fostering that I haven't prevously shared is that not eveyone supports us. In fact the people we thought would support us the most support us the least. Unfortunatly not everyone we love is in a place to accept or understand our love of people in all shapes sizes and colors. Not everyone wants to be a part of the risk that fostering requires and many of the people we dearly love have absolutly refused to be a part of it. There has been much heartbreak and much hurt, but ultimatly we had to choose whether we wanted to please God or people.  Now before you read another sentence know that this isn't some easy decision or one that hasn't absolutly crushed us and shaken us to the core, but I don't want to live  to please people. I want to love freely.. I want to give freely. I have been given much and much is now expected. I have never felt the pain I felt during the rejection by these people when we accepted Robert into our home. It is a real physical pain to want somene to love you for who you are, to love the people you love and to support you on a journey that means so much to you. Thanks to some unbelievable counsel we learned that moving forward with something in the face of rejection by loved ones isn't dishonoring them, it's simply having the courage and faith to stand for somethign you belive in and free them from teh responsibility of having to agree with you. It's freeing yourself from judgement and allowing yourself to be used the way God wants to use you. Looking back, I wouldn't do things differntly. There is complete peace even in the pain of wishing things were differnt and wishing I had their support and love, there is peace. We moved forward into foster care witout the support of many people we love dearly and still love dearly even though there is a brokeness amongst those realtionships. We are strenghtened because we saw all of the ways God grew us, the way he grew robert, the way He grew our little community, people we didn't even previously know. We have seen HIS hands open up the floodgates of blessings. The heartbreak lies in wishing everyone could have shared in it. The hearache is knowing that although we have forgiven we still can't force people to understand.

The funny thing about truly living out your potential is that there is ALWAYS potential for rejection. Who wants to go through that? But in every decision you make someone is going to have an oponion. The thing is that if you push through it you see provision, you see things that can't happen happen and you see that God has the final say. Nothing is over until he says so. I don't have all the answers to broken realtionships or they wouldn't be broken, but I believe that everything has the possibility in Christ for restoration if both people can meet a mutual respect. Even though it may cause much pain and much saddness, you see the light and you have the courage to press forward. I find myself wanting to rush throught the darkness and the seasons of pain and sorrow and deep, deep sadness and then I am reminded that with out pain there is no healing.

 September 2011

to complete a few months later.. oops :(

I went to a place tonight called the Fraizee Dream Center. Matt Reeves and his wife left a lucrative bussiness because they had a calling to help wrap intercity impoverished kids with adults who would love on them, encourage them, teach them and guide them. Thank you God for the reminder that we are not on this journey to love these kids alone :) They bought an old church, started with 10 or so kids and thought they would send them all to college and watch them raise families. Soon they realized that there was no way for these kids to make it to college if they first didn't understand what our middle class way of life was about, how we thought, how we related to eachother, how we lived in complete healthy family units. Now they are serving over 200 kids in the area where my kids go to school. They are changing this community! They are building bridges with families and teachers and city officails and churches and bussiness and the people in this neighborhood are opeing up. They teach kids what our (middle class) life looks like, how to value themselves, how to be the one kid that breaks the cycle for generations. They are teaching kids how to function is our middle class world becasue we are the ones who do the hiring and firing and if they don't understand it they can't function within it. They teach kids to respect authority, love everybody, forgive quickly and oen more, I can't remember the 4th value. They are changing kids views of themselves and building relationships that bridge the gap. He is a dreamer, that his peers thought was nuts... Now he has a dream center where kids flock to because they know there is love. I am so humbled to have witnessed his place tonight and you can bet your bottom dollar I will be joining the dream team soon! I don't think God was kidding when he commanded us to Love our Neighbor as ourself. He didn't say your neighbors who dress like you, play like you, look like you, or love them as long as it doesn't interfear with your own family, or your free time or your summer vacation or your bonus. Myself doesn't want to be condemed for the color of my skin, my social class or the kind of shoes I wear or music I listen to. Myself doens't want to be emotionally or spiritually empty. Myself doesn't want to do hungry or be cold or feel scared to fall asleep at night. Myself wants to simply be loved for who God made me to be. Myself wants someone to believe in me. Myself wants to feel safe, to feel needed and to feel whole. Myself wants to feel like I have a purpose and that someone somewhere trusts that I can do whatever I put my mind to. Myself did not make it where I am today without the unbelievable provision of my family as I grew up. Not everyone is as lucky as myself, and I won't rest knowing myself was only living for myself........... This world is bigger than our social circles, our genetic families. Try driving down some different roads. Take a wrong turn on purpose, see where you end up.

The biggest way to find yourself is to loose yourself fighting for someone else. Don't get stuck in your own little safe worlds. Reach out, push past the fears of differences, push past finacial bounderies, trust that if it's God's will it's God's bill and LIVE LIFE fully EMBRACING people around you. We are all products of a life story and I promise someone can use the lessons you have learned in yours. Until the day we take our last breath God has us here for a purpose. Don't cause someone else to suffer because you wasted yours on Fear. It's one of Satan's favorite tools to keep us from living the radical life of abundance God has for us. STAND on HIS truths, allow those who don't understand the grace of your forgiveness but STAND in the gap where God calls you to be a bridge! You will never be the same again.

Love and Many Many Blessings to those who STAND in the gap for kids,to Fraizee to Matt and his wife and the volunteers, to those who have provided for us throughout or lives and to those who hopefully will one day join us on the journey and finally for those who walk this road with us. We will truly never ever be the same and we learn more and more every day. We are so blessed with so many amazing brothers and sisters in Christ and we LOVE YOU! We are greatful, so so very greatful! We are not perfect, in fact as Randy recently said in heavenly terms we are all a trainwreck, but brokenness leads to Godly sorrow, which leads to gratitude and greatfullness which leads to generosity. We have the ability to comfort others with the comfort we have been given says the Bible. We never have all the answers but we have the FAITH now of those who have seen and not just heard. We KNOW that if God lays a burden on your heart it's not about what you have or how you will make it or how you will handle the challenge or the move it's whether or not you will move.

No more crawling in the baby pool... No more peaking over the nest, hit the big waters, put both wings out and step out of that comfy nest... it's time to fly!!!

Amanda- November 14, 2011

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