Have you all ever heard that song “He’s Making Diamonds” by Hawk Nelson? Two of the lines,
“He’s making diamonds out of dust….He’s making diamonds out of us..” have been running through my head. The imagery, of course, being that diamonds are made out of ordinary things that have gone through intense pressure.
I was thinking about how the person that I am today is a direct result of my decision to have, in the end, ten children. Difficult pregnancies, learning how to manage a lot of things all at the same time…learning how to live without sleep, learning how to give up my rights to personal space and personal time and freely give those rights to my children instead…Learning how to be consistent with discipline, learning how to be constantly thinking of others first…all these things have shaped who I have become today. Intense pressure, creating something good.
And it occurred to me that having foster kids is doing the same process. I never knew what kind of intense pressure came with this job. Sure, I academically knew in my brain, this is going to be a lot of work…but really knowing? I had no idea.
But there is hope. Intense pressure can create beautiful things. Diamonds. And I wonder…what kind of person is God shaping me to be? I mean, can you really improve on Esther? 🙂 (That is a joke.) Apparently, God isn’t done with me. He’s decided that he wants to take me to the next level. Maybe the next level of patience? Maybe the next level of long-suffering? Maybe the next level of compassion? Maybe the next level of wisdom?
I guess I’ll have to wait and see. Right now all I can see and feel is the intense pressure. These past couple weeks, I am pretty sure that there has been a moment in each day where I think, I can’t do this anymore. I’m done. And then, lo and behold, I get up and do it again the next day. I guess I wasn’t done?
I remember one time, when I was nineteen, I had my first struggles with anxiety. I spoke to a counselor only once, but I remember telling him that I felt like I was on the edge of a cliff, about to fall off. And he suggested that maybe I should get that image in my head again, and this time, in my imagination, move myself a lot farther away from the cliff, safely inland. In other words, a lot of the stress I was feeling was coming from my perception that I was about to completely lose it. And if I changed that perception and realized I was actually going to be ok, I was, surprisingly, going to come through this fine, then some of the stress could be alleviated.
And I have to remind myself of that again. I need to change my perception. Yes, I CAN do this. No, I’m NOT going to fail or give up. Not because I am superwoman, but because I have God. He has promised that his Strength is going to be made perfect in my Weakness. I also have a strong community that God has given me. I have had so many people reach out to me. Encourage me, offer me real help: babysitting, nights out with friends, electronic devices to help make school easier, gifts of dessert (Much appreciated!!), offers to pray, encouraging scriptures. God has also sent a great team of in-home therapists, and outpatient therapists, and DCS workers, and medical facilities that have all gathered around and said, We are here to help in whatever way you need.
And I find that my imagery is changing. Instead of seeing myself all alone, being trampled into the ground, I’m instead, seeing myself surrounded by friends and family and ESSENTIAL WORKERS and we are attacking this job together. And my weak flabby arms are ok, because God’s reaching over my shoulder with arms of strength, and he’s carrying that burden for me.
And I know that through all of this, the end result is Diamonds. Not dust.
For all you foster families who have been doing this so much longer than I, Thank you for what you are doing. I have always felt admiration for you, but now, I am in AWE of what you do. Thank you.