Wednesday, October 10, 2018

When Love is not Enough

I am sure that I was never so deluded in my thinking, that I thought love was going to be enough.  Nor at the time did I understand the significance of how broken they would be.  In my naivety I thought perhaps structure, guidance, patience, endurance and long suffering would help, would make the difference, and would gain the upper hand.  To my knowledge it has not.

Sadly, we are somewhere in the middle of this story, bogged down by broken, by skewed perspectives, by nature, by hard wiring, and all things unrealistic.  At times in the journey I have found myself shaking my head, and wondering if I am as on point, and sane as I thought that I was, and questioning if the error in judgement is on me, not them.

It's been, and remains a difficult journey.  Not many can relate.  Not many want to make the effort to understand.  Eyes glaze over, or platitudes are shared. Not many engage.  Many often engage by wanting to share how they would fix it,  and share their thoughts on how they would do things differently.  As if it were that simple to change the outcome!  The ones that do step in or step up, do so at their own risk, and are rewarded just like we indicated they would be; with disrespect, with apathy, and non compliance. Quickly and eventually, the cost is too high for them, and they sever ties.

All of this still places us in the fray. We've severed ties.  But how do you completely walk away?  How do you stand back let them fail repeatedly and not desire to share some hope, some sense of love and light in their life?  Yet the cost of doing so is frustrating, time consuming, exhaustive, draining, maddening and overwhelming.

Society has abandoned these broken souls.  It never was my concern, until the broken souls carried my last name.  Now I can see why so many are wandering aimlessly, and without a purpose.  Even the few structures society has in place to assist, carry weighty requirements that my dwarf can't meet or sustain.  No one is helping, they are just bandaging the wounded and sending them back to the streets.

If you were to dwell on the sad reality of this, you would be unable to function. Yet this is our "dwelling place". A constant that hangs over our lives all times of the day, all the days of the week. Stretches of time go past with no contact, and then when there is contact, it is always on their time frame not ours.  Through this all, we still have to meet our requirements to our family, employers and function daily.  Life demands it.  Christ demands it.  But what is the cost?

How has the system become so broken, so inept at caring for those in our culture that can't care for themselves?   We all hear success stories from the agencies during fundraising campaigns, about those that got the help they needed, and with hard work, determination, guidance and perseverance beat the odds and made something from nothing.  But what about those that had everything, and on purpose turned away from it?  Because of mental illness are unable to make good choices, make a plan, execute a plan and are wandering hopeless and haplessly through their days?  Who is helping them?

The old adage, "you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make them drink", is so appropriate in this situation.   One can spend their  life intentionally planning, encouraging, instructing, teaching, living as an example... but what gets through?  When is enough, enough?  What happens when structure, encouragement, consistency is not enough?

We go back to center.  To why we started this journey to begin with.  We followed a calling to adopt special needs children.  While in the beginning, we had no idea what the needs of these sweet, clean faced, adorable children would be once they morphed into adolescence and adulthood, we worked diligently pouring our resources into creating and fostering a safe, loving world for them to thrive, feel accepted, and succeed at their individual levels.   But that was not enough in some cases.  Love as unconditional as it was, was not enough.  Now what?

God's word is clear about what love is.  And while I am weary from the past 14 years of "loving" there is a long-suffering component, that I will not be able to walk away from until one of our stories ends. (mine or theirs) Love endures all things.  Not just the pretty, but the pretty ugly too.  Like dropping your son at the homeless shelter.  Walking away, knowing that he is beyond what you can do to make things right.  Here is my reminder, when I feel like I can't endure another hit from the broken:

Love is patient, kind. Not jealous or boastful or proud or rude.  It does not demand it's own way.  It is not irritable, it keeps no record of wrongs.  It does not rejoice in injustice, but rejoices when truth wins our.  Love never gives up, never loses faith is always hopeful and endures in all things.  (1Cor 13:4-8a) 

Today, I resolve to stand firm on the promises of God.
To be patient, and kind to the broken.
To not allow my pride to demand it's own way in the life of the one that He called me to love unconditionally.
I will not be angry, and cast up the many things that I think they have done wrong. I feel that on their level they carry that burden already.
I will champion for justice and rejoice when milestones are reached.
I will continue fervently to keep the faith that some day, some way, someone, will be able to break through the heart of this broken one, and make the impact needed for their safety, growth and maturity.
Never faltering in my fervent prayers, and in the hope that someday, always trusting that this story will be written in it's entirety, with an ending just as the Lord sees fit, not as I desire it to be.

In this journey through life, I need to stand firm on the promises of God.  I do not have the answers figured out. But I trust that God does. His word says so. What He calls us to He equips us for. (Heb 13:21)  For that promise alone I am grateful.

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