I guess we could blame it on the radishes.
After all, I was out in the garden weeding them when the thought hit me. I could go for a walk.
I understand if that sounds a bit elementary to you, but let’s look at the full picture: for almost a year I was basically a prisoner in my own home.
Yes, that’s an extreme way of putting it, but if you talk to anyone who has dealt with exorbitant trauma-related behavioral issues in a child/children, I’m sure they will all agree that during the worst it feels like a prison sentence.
During that time period I couldn’t turn my back on my child to wash the dishes, let alone leave the house for an hour.
But here we were, in the summer of 2018, and while I was weeding the radishes the realization hit me that my children were all okay and my husband was right in his shop working and I could just put on sneakers and walk three miles down the road if I wanted to.
So I did.
Not just that day, but the next and the next.
Two hundred and fifty miles passed under my feet over the next couple months.
And while I was walking, all the thoughts I hadn’t had time to process over the season-of-hard began clarifying in my mind.
Months before I had been texting a friend and a sentence fell from my fingers. “The idea of ‘hope’ seems a bit petrifying right now.”
What? I didn’t even understand my own words. I just stared at them on the screen, then set the thought aside because I didn’t have time to figure it out.
A month later I was sitting across from a dear, dear friend and telling her, “I know things are rough with your family right now but the story isn’t done yet. We’re going to pray for salvation—for hope—for freedom. We’re going to pray for healing in all these painful places.”
My feet moved and the miles passed and I started piecing the two events together.
And it was like God said, “That was good advice. Maybe try it yourself?”
I nodded, then shrugged a little, letting my gaze follow the pattern of my feet crunching on the dirt road.
I don’t feel like believing for miracles anymore. I’m just tired, you know? Tired of hoping.
My husband and I prayed for a baby and God brought us two eight-year-old babies through adoption. Now we’re suddenly raising teenagers and the baby-years are over and I felt like I just needed to get my head in the game and let go.
But my own words were convicting me to my core. We’re going to pray for healing in all these painful places.
After all God has done for me, who was I to still carry painful places? Yet, there they were.
Every day I walked and wondered.
And then one day I got home and a child was melting down. It had been ages since we’d had a melt down to this proportion and I was shocked, to say the least.
Next thing I was sitting on the floor for hours. My legs fell asleep and tingled awake a dozen times. I had caught a chair, and a vacuum cleaner, and been ridiculously thankful that I’m still strong and quick because that would have hurt.
The child was saying, “Go away,” over and over between sobs, and I was quietly, steadily, saying, “I’m not leaving you. I’ll never leave you alone to hurt. I’m right here. You can tell me what’s wrong. It’ll be okay. I’m right here. Shh, now. We can talk about this. Nothing will make me leave you. Not now, not ever. I’m right here.”
Eventually the barriers were set down and instead of being pushed away I was allowed to touch a foot, then a hand, and then I had a half-grown baby sobbing in my lap and we worked through poor choices and confusion and webs of lies the enemy built to scare and harm.
It wasn’t even a big deal in the end. Just a misunderstanding that started a wildfire of insecurity and fear.
A little bit of truth telling and a few tears of repentance and all the fear was washed away with love.
And it was like God is whispering to me, “Tasha, shh, now. I’m not leaving you alone to hurt. I’m right here. You can tell me.”
Sadness began spilling out then, like a dam bursting free.
The next day as I walked, tears dripped off my chin and dried in the wind.
Oh, God, this hurts. And I feel stupid. Like I should know better than to be in this spot. Yet, here I am.
I’m thirty-four years old and I’m ready to write off ever bearing a child, just to get it done with. I don’t want to hope for ten more years.
I’m already tired of hoping.
But living without hope is like…well, it’s like those shiny red apples that are waxed to perfection, but inside they are rotting away.
So, thanks to the radishes, I was faced with the choice:
- Hope, which is scary and sometimes exhausting.
- Or, no hope, which rots away inside, leaving you hollow and empty.
Lord? These options are not so fun.
But then one night the children were struggling with sleep, so I searched for a Laura Osman song and happened upon one I’d never seen.
Comfort Song. Seemed good.
And by the middle of it, I was crying again, but this time it was relieving, like the built up pressure was slowly draining out of me.
The words I’d said months before, the story isn’t over yet. They were pouring out of the speaker on my phone and it was like God’s presence was pouring over me.
It’s not over. This isn’t the end. There is more to your story.
Honestly? I have no idea what that means. It’s not a specific promise for the babies I long for– but it is a reminder of truth. God is still here. I’m not forgotten.
And you, friend? I just feel this burning need to remind you that you’re not forgotten either.
Your story isn’t over yet.
We are going to pray for healing in all these painful places in you as well.
There is hope, no matter how it looks, because God is here.