Throughout the last year we have had two of our sons living in out-of-home placements due to their behaviors. It has not been easy. The experience has included a "child in need of protective services" petition and other delightful circumstances. I've been misinterpreted, misunderstood, and misquoted. I've felt much like Cindy in this post. Being accused of being the CAUSE seems ludicrous.
One of our sons is 30 miles directly east of us, one son is 30 miles directly west. We have to go to these cities very often for unpleasant encounters with judges, social workers, team leaders, staff members, and a bunch of other people. I should state that every encounter is not unpleasant, but I always plan on something happening that is going to upset me, and I'm seldom wrong.
In each direction there is an overpass where the same individual must have penned some graffiti because they look identical. On the post of each overpass, in blue spray paint, are the words "Trust Jesus."
I don't know why whoever wrote it did it, and I certainly am not advocating vandalism, but every time I head in either direction, I receive the same message. It is a reminder to me, from God himself, of the verse that I memorized in the old King James version when I was 13:
There hath no temptation taken thee, but such as is common to man. But God is faithful, and will not allow thee to be tempted above that which ye are able. But with the temptation will provide a way of escape, that ye may be able to bear it. (I Cor 10:13).
Paraphrase: Ain't nothing gonna happen to ya that you can't handle with God's help.
So whatever I may be facing when I arrive, an angry son, words of rebuke, accusations, misunderstandings, frustrations, the reminder to me on my way, painted on that dirty post, is to Trust Jesus.
However I might be feeling on my trip, discouraged, upset, misunderstood, anxious, depressed: Trust Jesus.
Whatever conversation I might be having with my husband on the way, whether we vehemently agree or disagree about how things should be handled: Trust Jesus.
Whatever the results that I'm anticipating: further struggles, delays in justice, lack of vindication, more criticism: Trust Jesus.
Some day, whether it is before the boys are 18 or afterwards, this chapter in our lives will be through. It is my hope that my biggest memory of these challenging days will be that I obeyed the advice of the graffiti vandal and Trusted Jesus, and that his promise, that there was nothing I couldn't bear, remained true through the days, months and years of our struggle.
No matter what.