The last time I wrote on this blog was over 6 months ago in July 2015, right before we moved to Austin. And before that I wrote in May about the rough time that we were having with our new family dynamic.

I haven’t so much as looked back on this blog since. Not even to approve comments. I left it. I wanted to move on.

And here’s why:

I didn’t want to read the hopeful words I had written during our adoption wait. (It has been rough guys, and I thought those posts full of expectancy did not help with my current reality.)

AND I was spread as thin as I have ever been.

Finalizing an adoption and moving the way we did (into a support raised position) within a few months of each other was more than I have been able to handle. I have been in survival mode. All my energy has been going toward getting used to our family’s new normal.

I invited you all along on this journey with us and then… well, I shut you out. I stopped sharing for fear that what I had to say was too negative, too honest, too abnormal. I didn’t trust you with my truth. And I’m sorry for not delivering what I had basically promised.

The Truth

This is likely to be the last post on this blog. Moving forward I will be posting at tashawiginton.com, a blog I started to promote a novel that I am working on. If you have enjoyed reading my thoughts, you may enjoy what I share there, but it will most likely be much less personal.

I started this entire blog in 2012 with the intent to talk about the truth. No matter how ugly.

Here’s the thing… The truth is always a little ugly, isn’t it? That was the whole premise. When I began blogging I intended to talk about homeschooling, decorating, and some spirituality. I had no idea just how ugly things could get. How ugly I could get…

Suddenly, I found myself starting my posts right in the middle of the ugly truth. I couldn’t bring myself to post without some sort of semblance of positivity or hopefulness. And then there was Ezra (our newly adopted son)… What if I wrote something that would break his heart if he read it later?

I could not continue sharing as honestly as I had before, so I just didn’t blog.

In December, we were reading through our Jesus Storybook Bible for Advent, and it was our night to read about Ezra (from the book of Nehemiah). I talked it up to Ezra really big  because, let’s face it, children’s bible stories don’t usually include Ezra. Noah (which our other son is named after) gets talked about all the time. So I wanted to make sure Ezra was paying attention – This was, after all, the inspiration for his name…

When we chose  the name Ezra it was really only because I liked it (and yes, it was biblical), not because of what it meant to me. Billy seemed to like it as well and that’s what we settled on. It wasn’t until later that we connected the vision for our Ezra to the calling of Ezra in the Bible. We prayed and dreamed that our Ezra might stand before his people some day and tell them of his God.

…back to the Advent story.

ezrascroll

I hadn’t read this version of the story in a while and something about the way this book puts it… God spoke to me and finally I understand a little better why I have been having such a hard time.

As Ezra read the book of rules, it worked like a mirror. It showed them what they were like, and they didn’t like what they saw.

-Excerpt from The Jesus Storybook Bible.

Just like Ezra was holding up a mirror for the Israelites to see their sin, our Ezra is reflecting my sin back to me. And I haven’t liked it one bit. As a matter of fact, I have hated it.

Since December God has used Ezra’s actions to speak to me. Almost everyday I see something in Ezra that is a reflection of my actions or feelings toward God. Although we are desperately trying to teach Ezra what it’s like to have a family, it is still difficult for him.

He has a hard time trusting that we want to give him good things.
He doesn’t appear thankful when we do.
He tries to do things himself, instead of relying on us.
If he does something wrong, he hides from us instead of coming to us.
He has a hard time taking responsibility and feeling remorse for his mistakes.
Being sympathetic to his brother or sister’s ailments and trials is not second nature.
He doesn’t know how to spend time with us.
If we give him a command, he can obey, but his heart behind it needs work.

In case you you don’t already see where I’m headed, let me spell it out. I can take every single one of those things and turn them around on myself.

I have a hard time trusting God to give me good things.
I don’t appear thankful when He does.
I rely on myself instead of God.
If I do something wrong, I want to hide instead of bringing it to Him.
I have a hard time taking responsibility for my mistakes. I don’t mourn my sin like I should.
I am not always sympathetic to my brothers and sisters in Christ.
It is hard for me to spend time with God in prayer.
I can follow commands and be legalistic, but my heart isn’t always in it.

It certainly isn’t pretty. I thought I was aware of my sin before, but this… this is a completely new thing for me. This is a daily reminder that I am sinful and that He is patient. And to make matters worse, I am doing a horrible job of being as grace-filled as He is.

This is the hardest thing I have ever had to do, and I have done a lot of hard things.

Ultimately, I am thankful for the mirror. God could have seamlessly integrated Ezra into our family without any trials. But these trials with Ezra show me that God loves me enough to continue the work He has started in me. Sanctification isn’t easy, but it is necessary.

Do you know what the name Ezra means? It means “Help is here!” Ezra is helping me see that God doesn’t want to leave me in my sin. He wants me to see it so that I will be nearer to Him. Of course we wanted to help Ezra by giving him a family… I had no idea he would be helping me draw closer to God.

In the past I may have felt like I have given it all to God. What else could I give? Haven’t I sacrificed enough? That list above is proof that I haven’t.

What else could God possibly want from me? He wants it all. Every nook and cranny in my heart. He wants me and He will stop at nothing.

Oh, how I want to be as long-suffering as He.