Saturday, January 30, 2016

Emerging from the fog

Continued from Another Vision of Heaven.

Sometimes my life seems more like a movie than real life. A beautiful, Divinely-directed Movie. The twists and turns in the plots have had me on the edge of my seat, especially for the past sixteen years. Once I reluctantly surrendered a tiny bit of myself to God, what an adventure He has led me on during  my unexpected journey of adoption. With His help, I've navigated landmines of fear.  I've soared to the mountaintop of joy, and descended to the deepest abyss of agony. I will not visit the graveyard of hopeless despair. Even in the throes of this present grief, I still recognize the Grand Journey orchestrated by God. I still count my blessings.

In the early months of 2000, God first whispered "adoption" to my selfish, stubborn, and profoundly deaf heart. Very gradually, though, in my resigned and puny surrender, God led me, sometimes kicking and screaming, into the scariest and yet most transformative experience of my life, resulting in intimate knowledge of God. And He rewarded my meager obedience with the most precious child to mother. Roma. I am still humbled by that honor granted me. Read But the Greatest of These is Love to learn about those exciting scenes of my life's Movie. In the years since that still small Voice grew increasingly louder and more persistent to where I could not avoid taking tiny and terrified steps toward obedience, God has achieved the miraculous, and my faith has become unshakable.

Roma in Idaho, July 2014
I would need that keen awareness of a powerful God when, on December 7, 2015, we lost that kind heart and joyful personality that defined our beautiful Roma. Where do I go from here? Nothing make sense without God.

 I'm left with thousands of puzzle pieces. Some are assembled and frozen into isolated still shots of my Movie. I'm trying to fit them all together.  I know there is a connection with all these pieces.

Grief writers and counselors talk about the "fog" or "bubble" where mourners  feel an initial isolation from the real world. It is true. My reaction would not have been so different those first few days following Roma's death, had someone announced that they were bringing over dinner or that aliens from outer space had landed on my front lawn.

The first couple of days, I wouldn't have been surprised if Roma, with his quick, energetic movements, had burst through the front door, his contagious laughter dispelling our heartbroken confusion.

I kept asking myself, "did ___ really happen, or was that my imagination?" "Did I have that conversation with ____, or did I dream it? " Some days it seems that the past sixteen years have been my imagination. Did Roma really come? Is Roma really dead? (I can still hardly type that word) What is real?

I keep starting new blog posts. I'll write about a treasured experience with Roma, some insight from a recent conversation with him, then switch to another. They are all interconnected, but I can't stay focused on one. Maybe the fog will clear soon. I know there is a story here to be mined, maybe a new book, but I sit among thousands of puzzle pieces sifting through the avalanche. I know where some pieces belong. Others seem like misfits at this point in the movie. And I keep discovering new puzzle pieces--were they there all along?

I hope readers will be patient while the fog clears, or until the puzzle pieces fit in a more congruent manner, revealing images that make sense. 

Making sense of the seemingly senseless. Can it be done? I don't see how. But then, when that terrible call came that dreadful afternoon, I knew instantly it would be bad news about my youngest. I knew it would be the worst news possible. How did I know?

There were clues. God had warned me that suffering was coming. I knew. So when the call came from a neighbor when we were three hours from home, that there was a police car in my driveway, an officer on my porch, I knew before more words were spoken, that Roma was gone.

I invite readers into my story. But the story is hard to tell. Not only because the loss is excruciating, but I don't know where to start these scenes, how to organize these puzzle pieces that reveal the still shots from the movie of my life.

Lovely Liana
Many people have suggested that there was enough material for another book even before this scene of sorrow. When the story of finding Roma's first family began to unfold a year ago, I couldn't write fast enough. How joyful I was to share about finding Roma's loving sister, Liana. Then other family members of integrity introduced themselves and became part of the rich and widening story. 

Igor and Lia
Puzzle pieces connected themselves into vignettes so warm and beautiful, they took my breath away. Readers confirmed the beauty of those scenes.  Read the Family Connection series from last year, when I praised God for His Goodness. I cried tears of joy, and then tears of sadness as I participated in the grief my new family members  suffered years earlier.

I've managed to piece together partial images of this huge puzzle, these scattered vignettes. In order to solve the mysteries of the puzzle, I must watch for clues. Life is a mystery.  We are all mysteries.

Saint Augustine wrote, "Men go abroad to admire the heights of mountains, the mighty waves of the sea, the broad tides of rivers, the compass of the ocean, and the circuits of the stars, yet pass over the mystery of themselves without a thought."

Our mysteries are worth exploring too.

"Why must God be so mysterious?" a friend asked me recently. "Why doesn't He just make Himself known?" That is the six-million-dollar question.

The Grand Mystery. It is a mystery too big for my ant-brain. I am presently overwhelmed with the puzzle pieces of my own life.  But I do not have to assemble them alone. I must wait on God for help. I can't move ahead in my impatience. If I could do it by myself, I'd become prideful. More prideful. I know this about myself. God knows it too.

I have a hunger that I sense my readers, my friends, share with me. Some readers have told me that they can't get enough of my ongoing story, that they "want more." Maybe this is a reflection of humanity's hunger for God. We want more God. We crave more sacred moments of God's supernatural presence. Somehow we know it is possible.

God has given us all stories to share. Consider your own.

God told me in a dream to write my stories down. So I will. I trust that He will use even my tentative words and disoriented state for His Glory.

The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord! (Job 1:21)

Next, Surrendering the Illusion of Control

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