I cried in church yesterday.

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So we sang this song in church yesterday. Or at least everyone else did. I started to, but as you can see below, it actually went down a much different way for me. I attempted to put down what was actually going on with me instead of singing right next to each line below:

Through the love of God our Savior, all will be well (Uh oh, am I going to cry now?)
Free and changeless is His favor, all is well (Yep. I think I am going to cry now.)
Precious is the blood that healed us (God, please, I really don’t want to cry now.)
Perfect is the grace that sealed us (Do I really believe this? *tear*)
Strong the hand stretched forth to shield us (Where’s that hand? I need some shielding here. *more tears*)
All must be well (It’s a lie. All is NOT well in my world.)

Though we pass through tribulation, all will be well (*sobbing*)
Ours is such a full salvation, all is well (All is NOT well)
Happy still in God confiding (Where’s the happy? I’d like some happy.)
Fruitful if in Christ abiding (Where’s the abiding? I’d like some abiding.)
Steadfast through the Spirit’s guiding (Where’s the guiding? I’d like some guiding.)
All must be well (It’s a lie. All is NOT well right now. *buried head in Craig’s side and sobbing*)

We expect a bright tomorrow; all will be well (I’m not expecting a bright tomorrow. I’m expecting a really sad tomorrow.)
Faith can sing through days of sorrow, all is well (I can’t sing. I’m sobbing. Do I have no faith?)
On our Father’s love relying (Where’s the relying? I’d like some relying.)
Jesus every need supplying (Where’s the supplying? I’d like some supplying.)
Yes in living or in dying (Where’s the living? Inside I’m dying.)
All must be well (I don’t think it’s a lie, but I’m not buying it right now. All is NOT well.)

It’s a strange thing, emotional stress. I generally feel like I have a pretty high stress capacity, but once I start to feel it, I feel it with crying. Crying in public. I hate to cry in public. That’s why, when we started to sing another song after taking communion, I got up and bolted right out of there. A gal can only take so much crying in public.

I’m grieving over the loss of the known, the ordinary. I’m grieving over the struggles and sadness my parents are facing. I’m grieving over the uncertainty to come. It does not feel like all is well right now.

Urgency never goes away

In less than 12 hours we will be going through a home study as one of the next steps in preparing to become foster parents. I’m nervous because I really don’t have a good idea of what to expect and we have plenty of closets and drawers that should be upended, cleared out, and reorganized, but I simply haven’t had the time to do that yet this fall. The laundry is mostly all clean right now, and it’s all been sorted/folded, but it’s all sitting on our guest bed right now awaiting the right moment to grab some kids to go put their clothes away. I can’t really remember what it means to “baby proof” a house, so I’m sure we don’t have everything done that needs to be done. In fact, I’m kind of looking at tomorrow to provide us with the checklist of what we have to do to get signed off on the home study. Crossing fingers.

Aside from the nerve wracking home study, there really are a thousand reasons why pursuing foster care just doesn’t make sense for us at this moment in time. My mom is struggling with her ALS diagnosis and I want to be as available as I can to help in whatever way is needed there. I’m also on the hunt for a part-time job to help pay for some of the needs we have. I’m also continuing to homeschool our kids three days/week. Oh, yes, and I still need to attempt to keep this house in order, prepare meals for my family, and be emotionally present.

Are we completely crazy? I know a lot of people think we are. Maybe we are.

Earlier last week we had three dead trees cut down in our yard. As part of a pretty significant language barrier breakdown, the trees did not get hauled away like we thought was going to happen. Instead, they continue to sit in a heap in our front yard and we’re scrambling to figure out what to do about it all before we get turned in by a certain neighbor who apparently likes turning us in to the trash police for various infractions.

Our front yard feels very much like our life right now. Moved by the urgent, we act and then are left to deal with the consequences. It’s so anti-everything we’ve trained ourselves to believe is the proper way to live.

But that’s kind of the way foster care works. Nobody plans to have their kids removed from their home. The agencies don’t get an email that says, “Be sure to keep next Wednesday open because Baby Jane Doe is going to be taken from her home and she will need a temporary place to stay.” Nope. I’m pretty sure things don’t happen on that kind of schedule there. It’s going to be more of an “act on the urgent, sort out the ramifications later” kind of existence.

And you know what? Urgency never goes away. So we can say we don’t want our lives to be dictated by the urgent, but sometimes I just don’t think you can get around it. I’m thinking right now the key for us is how to manage the urgent in the midst of the everyday ordinary chaos we’re already got going on.

Because if I have to choose between a predictable, calm, and dust-free existence that says emergency foster care is someone else’s problem or our current state of the opposite of that that says we believe children belong in families, not shelters, even if it means our family, even if it means in the midst of everything else, then I’ll choose the chaos and the uncertainty.

I’ll choose it every time.