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MISSION UPDATE: Sitting Through the Pain








They come scared and hurting; definitely broken. It’s a pain I can’t imagine and one I wish I didn’t have to witness.


We’re so grateful and humbled to be able to help them but them being here means they aren’t where they wish they were. It means they’re not where they’re supposed to be.


It means, no matter how we try or how much we love, we won’t be able to take away that ache of loss. It’ll dull with time but, deep inside, the gnawing will remain.


Yesterday these new little girls ran and played in such chaotic fashion that it was hard to watch them. Partly because it was a full-time-and-a-half job just trying to keep track of them all, but also because they were clearly afraid to stop.


Finally, mid-afternoon on one of the hottest days I feel like I’ve ever lived through, we gathered them up and brought them to their beds. We turned the fans on high and switched Scripture lullaby music to low and helped them settle in for a little rest.


And that’s when the tears started flowing.


Tiny bodies began to be wracked by great big sobs and, for a moment, I wasn’t sure I could sit with them. The rawness was too much. I looked to my daughter and told her I had changed my mind …. quiet time was a bad idea and I was letting them up.


She looked at me with wisdom beyond her years and said, “Mom, I think we should have them stay. They need to feel what they’re feeling. The stillness will help them begin to process.”


She pointed out that they’d spent the entire day running from the hurt and it was okay for them to stop running. I paused for only a moment before recognizing the truth in her words. We settled in beside them, determined to comfort them while they cried the tears the hearts couldn’t hold anymore.


And it was redemptive. All over again, we broke with them. It never gets easier and I honestly hope it never does. The day we can watch a child suffer the deepest kind of hurt without feeling it, is the day we’ve lost our hold on God.


Smoothing back sweat-matted hair while whispering the most desperate, almost wordless prayers for them, we watched them melt into sleep.


They later woke and ran again but this time not quite so hard. One moment after the next will draw us to the place where trust has been earned and relationship has been built.


We aren’t there yet but someday their eyes will soften and their laughter will ring a little lighter.


It’s worth the wait. 🙏🏻

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