Sunday, May 27, 2012

One year

One year ago yesterday we boarded a plane to China.  And on May 30, 2011, we met our son for the first time. And he met us.  Life forever changed, for all of us.

It's no secret:  this has been a year of sowing in tears, not one of which went unnoticed.
You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.  Psalm 56:8
And a year of reaping, oh so gradually, in joy.
 Those who plant in tears will harvest with shouts of joy.  Psalm 126:5


I've captured plenty of smiles on camera over the past year.  I'm not saying most of them weren't genuine on some level.  But there's a certain smile you get from your child when you walk into the room--not coaxed, not the result of acting goofy or tickling, not the same smile the story time lady gets, but a smile that comes out of a place of contentment and happiness and belonging, one that speaks Oh, hey mama (my mama), it's you.  I'm really glad to see you right now!  You know when you see it the emotion that lies beneath.  That's the kind of smile I got this morning.  In fact, I've seen a bunch of them lately...and I have reason to believe they're gonna keep on coming.

We have survived one year together.  All of us.  And yeah, there have been a lot of days where simply making it to bedtime was a sweet victory.  It feels like a finish line of sorts, emotionally speaking, but really we're just beginning.  One year of healing behind us, one year of fear-busting, one year of therapy, one year of grace and mercy to cover a multitude of mistakes, one year of hard, hard, HARD, one year of love and growth and learning how to belong to each other.  We now begin the next leg of our journey in which the scales tip ever further away from fear and sorrow and loss, and ever toward love and and joy, restoration and hope.  We know the best is yet to come!

I'll close by sharing this prophetic song by Misty Edwards.  A message straight from Father's heart to me, specifically for this first year with Shu, these words have been carved like an epitaph on my soul.  

I knew what I was getting into when called you.
I knew what I was getting into when I said your name, but I said it just the same.
I knew what I was getting into and I still want you.
I knew what I was getting into.

I knew what I was getting into and I still chose you.
I knew what I was getting into and I still want you.
I knew what I was getting into and I still said your name, I said it just the same.
I knew what I was getting into.

And I am not shocked by your weakness.
And I am not shocked even by your sin.
And I am not shocked by your brokenness.

Because only I can see the end from the beginning.
And only I can see where this is going.
And only I can see the end from the beginning.
And I see in you the seeds of love.
And I see in you strength when all you see is your failure, and all you feel is shame.
I can see deeper than that.
I know you better than that.

You’re only at the beginning.
You've only just begun, and I know where you are going.
And all you can see in the moment is that you’re hurting.
And all you can see in the moment is that you’re aching.

I knew what I was getting into when I called you.
I knew what I was getting into and I still want you.
I knew what I was getting into and I still like you.
I knew what I was getting into when I called you.

So don't give up.
And don't give in.
If you don't quit, you'll win, you'll win.
 

Everything is in My hands.
It's going to be alright.
Everything is in My hands.
It's going to be alright.
It's going to be okay.

And you don't have to pretend to be something or someone you’re not.
Because I know you better than that, even better, even better than that.
Listen my Beloved...

Just don't give up.
And don't give in.
If you don't quit, you'll win, you'll win.




10 comments:

ysexton said...

Jerusha, I love it that you not only write openly and honestly, but also poetically. It makes so much sense to me why Shu was destined to be yours--he has your name! No, not Staggs. I'm talking about his first name, his given name. It's your name, just backwards: Shu vs. Ush.
And for all the hours of verbal therapy going into Shu now, I believe he will gain his Mother's voice and speak and/or write poetically also. You'll see. Someday the fruits of your labor wil come back on you many-fold!

Beth Templeton said...

I so love how your eyes are set on the Lord Jerusha. He is sustaining you and He is using you to rebuild the ruins of Shu's precious life. You are doing a kingdom work. I pray for this next year to have ever increasing joy-- smiles and fun!

Amy said...

{tears} Beautiful. Perfect. Loving. You are incredible. & So is your family. & Most importantly, so is Shu! Blessings on this important, incredible anniversary! Those wonderful uncoaxed, umprompted smiles are such a gift, aren't they? ~Love that poem!!

Rita and John said...

Oh, Jerusha. How very beautiful. What a year it has been for your family, and how miraculous to see where you are today as a family. Enjoy this day with Shu and all the days to come. The next year will be such an amazing one too. Thank you for your candidness in sharing your journey with us. You all are in our prayers. Hope those smiles for mama keep coming!

Rachel said...

This touched my heart so much, there really aren't words to explain it. Our journeys have been different, but in so many ways the same. We are almost at a year, and it has been the hardest year of my life...and yet the grace that God has poured on me during this time is indescribable. Thank you so much for sharing your heart, and for giving me the words to that song. Just beautiful!

Janet said...

The best IS yet to come! And you know what? Now you can see you're winning too. Love you!

anything but LoKEY said...

LOVE his smile!! It took about a year for those natural smiles to come to us. You will begin to see them more often now. These fearful children are wrapped up in self preservation I think. It takes them time and consistency to truly begin to let their guards down. So happy to see this post and the song is so good. So right on the money. God spoke very, very similar words to me when we started this thing as well. :) Right there with you, girl.

M. said...

Amazing, Jerusha. Shu is amazing. You are amazing! You love him with a devotion that draws its strength from an awesome God. What a powerful testimony. You have a beautiful family. And, a belated congratulations on the newest Staggs addition! God is good!

thewonderfulhappens said...

What an amazing song!!!
Congratulations on this milestone!

TeamOehlkers said...

Just catching up on my bloggy friends ~ this is beautiful, Jerusha. Just like you, and your heart that you always share so generously. With God's grace and love Shu, and your family, sure have come a long way in the past year.

Thank you for sharing you...

(((hugs))) and prayers,
chris