Kara's Collection: How Are the Kids?

from an article originally posted January 7, 2015...

O LORD, open my lips,
and my mouth will declare your praise.
For you will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it;
you will not be pleased with a burnt offering.
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
a broken and contrite heart, O God, you
will not despise.
— Psalm 51:15-17

It is often the first or the second question: how are the kids?  Here is what I know of my children. My kids are loved. They are loved by me, their daddy, and a steady stream of lovers that meet and know them with a genuineness and love that is stunning. I’m daily looking at the love that is meeting my children, and I’m looking for the love that is meeting my children. It is often that specific, knowing, intentional, directed love to each of my children that shows me what a covenantal God I serve. Meaning, a God that keeps His promises to his people. It is this breathtaking love that is growing my peace in flying away. I’m not there yet, did you hear me, but the peace is growing in real and profound ways.

This is hard, unbelievably hard. We are stumbling along with our children. It was the hardest moments of my life- telling my children that treatment is over. I have no words to express about those sacred broken moments where we simply wept. Those are private corners of grief we shared separately with each child. It was awful and it was beautiful.

So, how are we? Broken. And broken is okay. How is that brokenness showing itself? In more ways than we can understand. We are fighting for our gentleness in the face of the kids brokenness. We expect anger, sadness, pain. Because as adults, we are struggling with our brokenness and we even have all these fancy words and means of expression. As children, they don’t have all the words, understanding, places to safely let go of pain. But we have a lot to learn from them. Some days it’s deep laughter and kind playing. Some days it’s tears and yelling and moments of great need for justice over a small sibling violation. With kids, brokenness is different, and we are fighting for gentle hearts to capture their pain. We need your prayers.

Our entire community is hurting. We are stumbling through this. For me, I’m fighting to live my moments well, manage my strength as well as my pain. To use my time well, but to let myself rest from my pain and struggle. The kids are kept and loved by so many, but they are each processing this differently as they are all different souls facing different pain. 

My girlfriends are hurting, our school community is hurting, our Westside community is hurting, but they are showing up. It’s not simple. Together, we stumble through this; our brokenness meeting us new each morning. There is no easy way to walk through a muddy valley. You get nasty, you need help, you fall, you laugh, you cry, and you get angry for all your effort with little movement. 

For many, theirs is a sadness when joy enters corners of their own lives knowing I’m struggling across town. For some, it’s a great fear of my absence, unable to imagine that community. And some are tangled in fear of saying the wrong thing, doing the wrong thing. So we get up, dust off our knees, and keep moving. We don’t know how to do this, but do this we must. So my friends show up for me, my people, and they show up for each other.

Some of this brokenness is new and we want to avoid it. Hospice is a scary to understand for a thirty something year old friend. I always knew what an amazing organization it is; I just never expected to need it so soon. But we are growing, fighting for our kindness, and living to express our love to our people little and big. This new normal is just so new to us all. We need your prayers.

How is your brokenness meeting you? Are you avoiding it? Can you see how it can be made beautiful? Can you see how the pain in your story could be redeemed to something beautiful? It’s a fight to see the grace through the fog of the pain, but it’s there. It’s there. Are you looking for it?