This blog is a way of me processing our life. I haven’t updated it in a long time, because each day seems to encompass more change than I feel capable of expressing! Things change dramatically here in the space of a day. From receiving our daughter (finally!) into our care, to a child requiring hospital treatment, to a loved one being admitted to hospital back home in Northern Ireland, to a plan for a child’s future “forever home” suddenly changing. Nothing stays the same for long. It has led me to conclude that in order to do more than just “survive” living this kind of life, I need to fully embrace weakness.

There have been moments when I have been painfully aware of my inability to manage children living with special needs, one of whom often purges bodily fluids over me during the night, when all I need is sleep. I have experienced tears of resentment when our new daughter or boys, have not had as much time with me, as some of the kids we’ve welcomed into our home. In these moments, I have understood that first, I need to rest in God’s love for me. Secondly, that I need other people to help (having our dear friend Sara with us has been amazing in this regard!). Thirdly, that God has compassion on me whenever I have been pushed to the absolute limits of all that I am. He understands that we are made of dust, and that we are weak. He does not accuse. Instead He whispers “I still love you. I am still with you. You have still been made to love this child in front of you right now.. even when you are too tired to feel a thing. Trust that I will love him through you. Trust me”.

For some reason things always seem worse at night. In those moments when I have cried out “where are you God?” whilst covered in said bodily fluids, He has gently answered “I’m sitting right beside you. I’m covered in it too. You’re doing this with me, not for me. This child belongs to me.”

I have always been encouraged by how David poured out his complaints before God in the Psalms, and I have been doing a lot of that in this season. As David does this, God reminds him again of truth. In my times with God, I have demanded to know if He agrees with me or not, regarding whatever I happen to think is “wrong”. He has on each occasion, not answered my question. Being right doesn’t seem to matter to Him.  Instead He responds with “if you let me, I can teach you how to love people like I do. Do you want me to teach you?” As I have yielded an often begrudging “yes”, He once again dismantles that desire in me to be “strong”. He made Himself vulnerable & weak by dying on a cross for me & so the love of God makes me vulnerable & weak. This same love makes us dependent on a God who has now made His home within our hearts. He loves us. Even when I am disgusted with the resentment in my own heart. His love is bigger than my heart.

Romans 8:26-27 says:

“in the same way, the Spirit also helps our weaknesses, for we don’t know how to pray as we ought. But the Spirit himself makes intercession for us with groanings which can’t be uttered. He who searches the heart knows what is on the Spirit’s mind, because he makes intercession for the saints, according to God.

The Spirit of God helps us in our weakness. Whilst I would often rather be dignified or strong, weakness is becoming a foundation in my life. 1 Corinthians 1:26-31 says that God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the strong. When we are weak, we are painfully aware of our inability to manage life alone. When we are weak, we need to live life completely dependent on God for strength. Paul received a revelation of weakness in 2 Corinthians 12 when he asked God to remove the thorn that was in his flesh. In response to his prayer, Jesus appeared to him and said: “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:9). When Paul discovered that real power is perfected in our weakness, he made this declaration in the last part of the same verse… Most gladly therefore I will rather glory in my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may rest on me. When we are weak, then we’re strong.

It is Holy Spirit who intercedes on our behalf when we don’t know what to pray. It is the Spirit of Jesus within us, that tells us we are children of God and causes us to cry out “Abba Father!”. It is the Spirit of our Father who speaks through us when we need to bring an explanation of how we’re living, to those around us.

I am learning in this season that the more I am aware of my absolute weakness, the more I will get to see His strength and grace. Isaiah 40 says:
“He gives power to the weak. He increases the strength of him who has no might.The following song has been really helpful in this last season. His love, for every one of us on the face of the planet, is utterly inexhaustible & infinite. Every one of us needs to become weak like a child. The children we love and do life with every day (& night) have certainly taught us that much.