Thursday, June 11, 2015

Stepping into the darkness

She wouldn't even look at me, and without her having to say it, I knew. She resented me for having taken her away from her friends, China, everything that was familiar to her- and my heart sank. The girl that was described as cheerful, optimistic, and kind was gone, leaving an empty shell in her place. We had worked so hard to bring her home, and all she could think of was going back to her home.

I woke up from my dream with the same feeling of heaviness I'm becoming used to. The difficulty of what we're doing is beginning to set in- of raising a substantial amount of money, filling out piles of adoption paperwork, with five children under the age of eleven who are home for the summer. Juggling three monumental tasks that are each a full-time job in and of themselves.

Harold B. Lee said, "You must learn to walk to the edge of the light, and then a few steps into the darkness."

The comfortable security of the light is far behind us, and we are now navigating in what at times feels like overwhelming darkness of uncertainty. Uncertainty of how we'll secure the needed funds, and how we will bring home one child, without neglecting the others. And sometimes that uncertainty dances back and forth between the line of discouragment and despair.

But then come the flashes of light that remind us that God hasn't forsaken us- that the darkness we feel is only a temporary veil to test our faith.

It came  the other day in the form of a dear friend who stopped by with a handwritten note with words of encouragement and her favorite scripture. A $50 bill was folded inside, and she apologized that it was only a drop in the bucket of what we needed. I struggled to hold back the tears as I later wrote her that the impact of a drop in the bucket is relative to how empty the bucket is, not only financially, but emotionally as well.

It came as I was working on adoption paperwork, and came out of my room to find that my boys had cleaned the kitchen and tidied the house to surprise me.

And then it came again when another dear friend stopped by to give me the surprise that more than 70 friends and acquaintances had come together, without my knowledge, to organize a yard sale, a bake sale, a farm day, a haircutting day, and a jewlery sale. She told me I wasn't to worry about the details, that they were being taken care of. She had been on the receiving end of similar blessings several years before, and said how much she enjoyed being on the giving end this time. That night as I lay in bed, tears of gratitude flowed. If they could only know how much their kindness meant to me.

In my despair I had forgotten the other half of Harold B. Lee's famous words, "...then the light will appear and show the way before you."

In Sunday School a few weeks ago, I told my class that as we study the scriptures, that it is equally important to study the Lord's promises as it is to study the commandments. The promises are the safety line that we cling to when obedience seems out of reach.

Somehow this will all come together. I know it will. I don't believe in a God who leads His children towards paths doomed for failure. I may not see the finish line, or even a clear path to get me there, but somehow we'll get there.

"I would show unto the world that faith is things which are hoped for and not seen; wherefore, dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith." (Ether 12:5-6.)


Becky said...

You are so loved! I remember when Gabe first came home, feeling so guilty about having to neglect my other kids a bit because he required so much attention. My kids were visibly frustrated at times, and even seemed to resent Gabe a little (which is normal). But after a while, their own bond to Gabe grew, and now, they each have told me separately on many occasions how glad they are that we adopted Gabe, and how much they love him. They treat him no differently than each other. Those dark moments are real, but the light that comes is ten times brighter. You are enduring it well!

Cristina Crane said...

This was perfectly said Rita! I loved every word! Thank you for sharing!