Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Healing and Restoration

Last year Amber asked me to walk her down the aisle when she married Kellyn. The request took me by surprise and completely off guard. Amber and I had not spoken much and frankly, I was still quite hurt by all that had transpired when she left our home. I thought I had forgiven her, but as the day of her wedding approached it was clear that I had not. I looked upon her wedding day with dread instead of excitement and even though I was happy for her--my heart was hard and I remained distanced emotionally. The big day came and went and we even got together once after the wedding when they opened presents, but I felt no connection. I made a few feeble attempts to stay in contact by texting her a few times, but truthfully--I just did not desire a relationship with her. Too much had happened and I did not see how we could ever recover.

In October I heard, via Facebook, that Amber and Kellyn were expecting a baby. I was happy for them and I think I even managed to send a "Congratulations"--also via Facebook. Sam and Jo were both really excited and kept talking about being 'Auntie's', but I just stayed quiet. Amber did not seem to want me in the picture or she would have called and, to tell the truth, I was glad she didn't. Even though I still thought of Amber as a daughter and I missed her deep within my heart--I was done.

Then, last month God began to speak to me about grace. He began to show me that when Amber lived with me I often showed more grace to strangers than I did to her--my own daughter. Yes! Amber was a handful; she was untrustworthy, obstinate and disrespectful. She hurt my family and I deeply, but she still deserved grace and compassion. How many times have I hurt God deeply? Yet, He still shows me grace and compassion. The truth is, I expected Amber to have the same walk with God that my other girls had--despite the fact that she had only been in a Christian home and Christian church for a couple of years. With every mistake she made and every lie she told I tightened the reigns on her and refused to let up. Eventually, it became unbearable for both of us. As God continued to reveal this to me, I knew what He was calling me to do--and it was not going to be easy.

I sent Amber a text and asked if she was going to be in town and asked if I could take her to lunch. She told me that she would be in town the following week and said she would like to have lunch, so we set the date. However, the day we were supposed to meet everything went wrong. I was struggling to finish a couple of assignments for school and I was having a hard time finding a time I could meet with her. Thankfully, she was very flexible that day and we were able to meet a little later in the afternoon. Looking back I can clearly see Satan's handiwork in trying to prevent the meeting, but God is so much bigger than that!

We met for lunch and were face to face for the first time in almost a year. I had Sam and Jo with me, so we had some lunch and made some small talk. Then, I asked Jo and Sam to wait in the car so I could speak with Amber alone. I looked her in the eye and explained what God had been speaking to me and I asked her forgiveness. She graciously accepted the apology and apologized to me, too. I told her that I wasn't apologizing so that I could be a part of her life, but strictly to seek forgiveness. However, I also told her that I was not opposed to being a part of her life and that I would love to be involved with her and the baby as much, or as little, as she wanted me to be. I was amazed at the fact that she seemed happy to have me in her life, but more so--I was amazed at how happy I was to have her back in mine.

We have spent several days together now. She came to town two weeks ago and we had lunch and went to a play after church. Then, yesterday she came to church and we went to lunch again and went to Walmart to look at baby stuff. After Walmart, Amber picked up Kellyn and they went to the movies with Sam while I went to small group. After small group Amber, Kellyn, Sam, Josh, Jo and I played Monopoly with Brett and Heather and for the first time since 2008 all of my children were together--laughing and playing. My heart was full.

I am truly amazed at the love God has given me for Amber. Our relationship is still under construction, but it is being built on a solid foundation of love, trust and forgiveness as God heals the wounds of our past and restores our future. I am in awe of Him--as always.

And--I'm going to be a grandma!

Lord, I am humbled. I love You.


mattandshirley said...

Ahh Heather I love this post brought tears to my eyes. Glad you listen to God :) Will keep this in my prayers :) LOve you

Heather said...

Thank you, Shirley!
Love you, too:)

LisaMarie said...

Hi Heather, I happened to check out your blog today and this post as you know, is close to my heart. Kids from hard places teach us the brutal way we all have treated our Savior, yet he loves us relentlessly. I'm living it daily! It reminds me of the part in the movie Fireproof when he asks his father how he is supposed to love someone who continues to spit in his face and his father gently reminds him that that is what God does for us every day. Thank goodness God is "healing the years" because He brought Amber to you for a reason and he is being faithful to complete it! Blessings, Grandma! <3

Heather said...

I know this is definitely near to your heart Lisa! I am so happy for you and your growing family:)

I feel extremely blessed that God is "faithful to complete it!" I have always known that God brought Amber to us for a reason and have never regretted my decision to adopt her. I never understood why it turned out the way it did, but I'm beginning to see!

Thanks for stopping by!! Praying for you guys as the adoption date approaches:) Blessings my friend!