Adoption | Faith | Motherhood

Broken faithfulness

November 3, 2015

When faithfulness looks and feels like brokenness and failure it is hard to talk about it.

Especially when there is nothing glamorous or exciting to share. Showing up and loving your children should be nothing extraordinary; yet for me, it was.

When people ask what Uganda was like, I usually draw a blank.

How much should I reveal? ‘Hard’ doesn’t seem to sum it up or even come close to what it truly was like. I was encouraged to keep a journal, yet I couldn’t bring myself to write.

Most days I felt like I was failing, drowning in a sea of emotions, wanting to forget those days existed.

I wanted to erase them from my memory, from my heart, and there was no way I was going to document them. I did not want written proof of my failure, my lack of trust, and my inability to do the most basic commandment: to love unconditionally. When I flew home from Uganda I wanted to leave all my failures behind and come home to a new beginning.

It’s been two months since I returned home and it’s still difficult to write about it. My heart will not let me admit the words.

I still want to cling to the truth that I was okay, that it wasn’t so bad. That’s not accurate. The truth is that every single day was a struggle. Struggles before I came there, I did not know I had. Some of them, I thought I had already dealt with and sort of graduated from in my maturity as a Christian. How humiliating and humbling it was to see myself for who I really am without Christ. There is nothing worthy in me, nothing to boast about, and yet I do not think I could have truly understood those words before this summer.

Daily, I had to make the choice to trust that God is good, that He was in control and that He would carry me through.

Trust that my husband and I heard God right; that our calling was not a mistake. Some days, the truth that He was good did not seem to apply to me. Some days I would believe the lie that I was the exception, that somehow I have failed too many times for God to turn my life into something beautiful.

The truth is, I was reluctant to rely solely and completely on God that when Igor went home and I was left alone my heart felt like it broke beyond repair. I came into our empty room, sat on my bed and sobbed for hours. I could not and stubbornly would not believe that I was able to do this with just His strength alone. I wanted a tangible person to help me. I wanted my husband to be my support. I felt like I needed someone more than God. I made myself so physically sick with unbelief and worry that it took a lot of grace and love of the Almighty to piece me back together.

The truth is, no matter how hard I tried to forget about those days, I couldn’t. Those memories have become a part of who I am. Intertwined within my failures is God’s grace.

I don’t think I could ever repeat this summer again willingly, but I wouldn’t have chosen another road. I got to see and experience Gods grace, love and provision in complete fullness. I got to feel Him near me even when I myself didn’t want anything to do with “me. I was able to understand in a very tangible way what Jesus has done for me. In those daily moments of complete failure as a new mother and a person, I was reminded on what seemed a minutely basis just how deeply God loves me. I was reminded constantly that He loves me for who I am, not for what I do or have accomplished. It was with this truth that I was (poorly) able to love my children for who they are.

I cannot pinpoint my biggest challenging day; I was pushed from my comfort zone daily in some form or another. Some difficulties arose from battling with my flesh and loss of physical comfort and convenience. Some from my unwillingness to wait patiently on the Lord’s timing when things were moving slow. Some were due to my children pushing me and revealing to me my own weaknesses mixed in with cultural differences and beliefs.

What I am certain about, is no matter what it seemed like; I did not do anything in my own strength.

It’s important for me to get that message across… it is not because of something special in me.

I have no quality or strength that helped me push through. I didn’t even have a remarkable or boast-worthy faith. It was Jesus who helped me hold onto that last ounce of faith when I felt like I just could not trust anymore, when things around me screamed impossible.


Without Him, I have no doubt I would not be where I am today. Without Him, I’m not sure my two precious children would be sleeping in the next room.

Part of my reluctance to share the truth of my experience has been due to the fear that people would become discouraged by it.

The road God often calls us to is not always easy nor a journey we would have chosen ourselves.


People sometimes tell me that they would not have been able to do this if they were in my shoes. That’s a lie. Those kind of statements, although are intended to make me feel better, are truly a deception. It is not God’s truth. His words are clear,

“You can do ALL things in Christ Jesus who gives you strength” (Philippians 4:13) .

Not some things, all things. The road that seems impossible, that on human terms is impossible, those are the ‘things’ He is talking about.

With that said, I want to make it clear that everything I admit, everything that has been used for my good is because God is woven all throughout my story.

It is because he has changed my thinking, my heart, and perception of who it is He wants me to be. Without Him, there would be nothing to write about. I was a mess of a person; crumbled on a dirty Ugandan floor, unwilling to get up and do the work I myself so desperately wanted Him to send me to.

 Jesus literarily breathed strength and life into my bones when I wanted to give up, when I was throwing myself one pity party after another. With every shortcoming on my part, He continued using my failures to grow and heal my family.

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