I have opened up this page of Blogger countless times in the last two weeks, and always stared at the blank page before me, unable and yes, unwilling, to put on "paper" what's going on in my head and in my heart. I've taken and downloaded pictures--silly pictures of the girls, a gruesome picture of Maddy's latest injury, and blurry pictures of the first day of school--but the words have escaped me.
I knew this day would come. No, not the day that I ran out of words, but the day that would render me speechless. The day that I have been dreading, fearing, praying would wait until I was ready. But as I keep constantly reminding myself, it's not about me.
Twelve years ago, it was. I was the one left with three small children, no money, a broken heart, and more shame and embarrassment than any one person should ever have to endure. I was the one who loved and shielded my children. I was the one who had to be strong, saved my tears for late at night when the kids wouldn't hear. I was the one who really wasn't so strong as everyone thought, and lay in bed, night after night shaking uncontrollably as I watched my life spiral out of control. And I was the one who returned to church one morning, desperate for some peace and meaning, desperate to find a way out of the black hole I was in, and found Jesus. And I was the one who, despite it all, forgave.
Or so I thought. I don't think so anymore. Oh I talked the good talk. Read the right books (and the right BOOK), prayed the "right" prayers, had what I thought was peace. But forgiveness was easy when he wasn't around. When he lived a new life hundreds of miles away. When our lives no longer intersected.
But now they do. Right now, my baby boy (who is no longer a baby, or a boy) is in Louisiana. And so is his biological father. In the same house. On purpose. I don't know what is going on or what they are saying. I don't know if what he is telling him is the truth. I don't know how Josh is feeling or what he is thinking. He has someone else, now, to be his sounding board, his comfort, his love, and I am so thankful she is with him. But it is absolutely tearing my heart in two.
Right now, the girls are upstairs sleeping, tired from a cheerleading sleepover and emotionally drained after learning that their biological father is somewhat back in their lives. He's been the big pink elephant in the middle of the room that we've danced around for so long, but no longer. He's real, he's here, and he's something we all have to deal with it.
And as we sat around that table and the girls cried, I cried, and Daryl cried, I realized that I really wasn't as over this as I thought. And as Daryl sat at the head of the table and reminded me that my ex is only a man, and a man that God loves, and admitted to praying for him to come to know Jesus, I realized that I had really not forgiven.
Saying I had forgiven was easy as long as I didn't have to deal with him. As long as I didn't have to see him. As long as he was far away from the children. But as the very real possibility of having to see him again looms in the uncertain future, I realize that I am far from where I thought I was. My head knows I should forgive. My head thought I had. My heart knows differently.
And I don't even know how to begin. I'm really not angry anymore. But I don't think I will ever come to a point that I can forget the past and see him as Jesus does. I don't think I will ever come to a point that I can hope for good things for him. I don't ever think I will come to a point where the thought of him coming back into our lives doesn't scare me. And right now I'm scared. Scared of what he can do to the hearts, the minds, the lives of the children. I've seen it before. I don't want to see it again. I'm not as strong as I once was. I can't do it again.
I'm not superwoman. Yes, we came through it. Yes, the children are amazing testimonies to how God can take something horrible and use it for good. Yes, I lived through what would have broken many. But I had nothing to do with it. It was only God's grace and God's gift of Daryl that saw us through. And I am still broken...so very very broken.
And it's not about me, but them, now. What am I saying? It's always been about them, but this time, it's totally about them. I know I need to put aside the fear, the loathing, the distrust, and do what is best for them, not what is easiest for me. I need to once and for all, forgive and help us all move on.
But again, I don't know how. I know I can't do it alone. I know I need Jesus to guide me through. I just pray that my head will get out of the way of what my heart needs to do, and let God work a miracle in me.
I know He can. I know He does. I pray He will.