Have you ever had a hurt that just hurt too much to bear on your own?
Today, that was me. I was up at 3 am, hurting, and felt alone.
I searched Facebook. Where I can post and get support without feeling shame for being so emotional? After all, I’m a FOSTER PARENT. Not his parent.
I can’t post in my adoption/foster groups, because I signed up for this. Several of the groups disdain people who do not fully support reunification. (And I don’t honestly know where I fall on this. I’m sympathetic to both sides. But I at least understand that the hurt of letting go is one of the worst I’ve been through.)
I don’t want to post in my prayer group because I feel like I have posted so much already. There is only so much praying a person can be expected to do for you.
I didn’t want to post in my mom’s group because few people actually post prayer requests or struggles.
My personal Facebook page was out of question. I recently became an intern on Kathi Lipp’s ministry team, and with that comes all these people to whom I need to appear competent. Crazy emotional basket case is not the MO I want them to see. Not only do I NOT want to appear a basket case, but there are other foster families who I feel have done a much better job of handling the letting go part of this ministry than I have.
I blogged for a while last night and this morning, but in the end, it felt fruitless. For 4 years I have come here to pour out my hard feelings. And let’s just be honest — how long is that transparency refreshing? After years, even if I’m grieving different things, the loss is still the same. The feelings are the same. It’s like reading the same blog over and over.
“I’m lost. I’m sad. I feel alone.” End of story.
Of course, there’s always God who we are to turn to in our hard.
I prayed. But here’s the truth. Prayer comes easy to me right now. Reading my Bible does not come easy. Because I come for comfort, and leave with conviction. Conviction that I should love my neighbor (bio mom) better. That I need to lay down my life. That this — this mess of emotion I’m entangled it — is the right thing to be stuck in. Even though it all feels so wrong.
The Bible feels less and less like the love letter it was meant to be, and more like a Rule Book hammering down on my fragile soul.
And so today, I had all these feelings with nowhere to go.
At least, I thought nowhere.
Because the truth is social media, as much as it can do for us, was never meant to fill this hole in me. It wasn’t meant to literally help carry the burden.
The man I married — the one who laid sleepless next to me all night because our daughter peed her bed at 3 am, and neither of us could fall back asleep — he is my friend. He’s my partner in sleepless nights, with kids that pee their beds, and in letting go of our son. And he’s the one who’s supposed to help me, and me him.
And so finally I rolled over, and I cried. And he rubbed my back, and I clung to his arm, and for just a few brief moments, we shared our hurt together before he headed out to work. Heaviness weighs on both of us constantly. But it helped to squeeze a bit of tears out from behind the dam I have so carefully kept my emotion. And to do it in the safety of my man’s arms.
After he left, I texted my sister. “Last night was hard. Today is hard. I want to stay in bed all day. I am overwhelmed.”
And then she wrote this beautiful text back to me:
“Hey Sis. I know it all feels overwhelming, but you’ve got this. you have exemplified strength over and over. You are talented more than most people. You are beautiful. You balance 1,000 balls and succeed. This is just one more bump in the road to walk over as you march towards a successful and beautiful life. I love you.”
I’ll probably read these words a million times to get me through today. She doesn’t know my Facebook life — she’s not even on it. She doesn’t need to be impressed by me. She knows all the nitty-gritty of my fears, faults and failures, and she still sees good in me. Gosh I love her.
Then I texted my mom who heard me, loved me, and has been so good through supporting me in this letting go.
And maybe this is obvious to all of you — but it hit me so strongly how fierce, strong, and meaningful personal relationships are. When I turn to social media over and over again for support, maybe it’s good in a way. But maybe it’s not good enough.
I mean, I like all the <3 and ((hugs)) and praying for you’s.
But by making Facebook my go-to, I’m missing out on a huge opportunity. The chance to be real with MY people, to be loved by MY PEOPLE, and to get support from those who owe me nothing, but choose to love me just because of who I am.
So often I chose not to invest my heart in the people who matter most. I just post on Facebook and get hearts and hugs and prayers from a smattering of the 850 people that I’m “Friends” with. (Many whom I’ve never met in person.).
I’m not dissing (gosh, is that still a word???) social media. Not everyone has family who is as as good as supporting as mine is. I get that your husband isn’t always willing to let you cry, or even able to bear your pain when he is under so much himself.
I’ll be the first to tell you how blessed I have been by people’s prayers and support. I’ve honestly been blown away by how much support people have given us, in spite of the fact that I don’t personally know many of you.
I’m writing to you, because maybe like me, you are hurting, and you are wondering who to turn to. Which group to post in. What to post on your Facebook page and what to write in your blog. But maybe, just maybe — try turning to your people first. Ask a friend to real-life coffee. Text your sister. Call your momma. Hug your husband. Pray — and read the Bible if you can.
Then when you get the <3 and ((hugs)) and prayers from your Facebook friends, it will just be icing on the cake.
Cause you don’t NEED the likes, comments, or hugs to feel heard anymore. Your heart is already so full.