Monday, April 8, 2013


Two years ago this month, I sat on a hilltop, overlooking part of Pittsburgh, discussing the possibility of going back to school. I couldn't see how I would ever be able to manage it...
Would my brain still work? How could I go to school and raise my kids and work? How could I afford it? Was I too old, too long out of school, too....whatever? Those questions echoed through my mind.

There was a time in my life when I was told that, were it not for that certain other person, I would have amounted to nothing. I was told that I was lazy. I was told that even my Dad would kick me out after awhile, once he saw what I was really like. And I allowed the words from that person to infiltrate my mind. Those words still echo sometimes. I am absolutely aware that they are not true. That the person who said those words was wounded and broken himself. But they still echo.


I am a mom to 6 wonderful children. I am a good mom. I have to tell myself that sometimes, over and over again, because the guilt that a mother feels is never far away. The guilt that a mother who has been through a divorce feels is certainly never far away. If only I had, if only I could, if only....if only....the doubts, the fears, the worries, the concern over how I am shaping these children who have been brought into my life....they all echo.


My friend, Keyla, said something to me January of 2011 that echoes through my mind now and then. She told me, when I questioned how I could ever go back to school, "solo tienes que meterse en el agua" (you just have to get into the water). She was insistent that, in order to swim, I would just have to get into the water and everything else would work itself out. "Solo tienes que meterse en el agua"....echoes.

I will never leave you nor forsake you.
I know the plans I have for you. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future.
He is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine.
Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They shall soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not get weary; they will walk and not grow faint.
The Lord is my strength and my song.
Verses, songs, promises from God, things I've heard Him whisper to me, times I've seen His works in my life....these echo too.


I can choose to listen to those things that echo darkness into my life. Tears can fall, again. I can listen to the voice of the ones who would hurt me, hold me down, enhance my fears, and cause me to sit in the dark, trembling. I can give in to the fears, allowing them to hold me still. I can be defined by those who think they know me, who wound because of their own wounds, who run from the Light and Truth.


I can listen to those things which reinforce hope. Hope. I can listen to the voice of those who build with their love and acceptance. I can listen to the whispers of Truth. I can choose to be defined by my Maker. I can choose to allow love to flood every area of my heart. I can choose to take one step forward. And another. And another. Brushing the echoes away. Pushing the echoes away. Drowning the echoes with my actions, with the words of my love, with the promises of my God. Sometimes I take the steps, while hearing those heart-wrenching echoes still, but I take the step anyway. Trembling. Stubborn. I will not let those echoes win.


Two years ago I sat on a hilltop, wondering how to go back to school. Today I have only a few classes left, an internship just around the corner, 90% of my required courses completed, a 3.92 GPA staring back at me on the computer screen. I have two biological kids who still laugh, still love. I have four brought-to-me kids who are growing, testing, letting love filter in here and there. I have a husband who adores me. I let that echo too. It is hard sometimes. I have a God who brings wounded families together, binds them together, restores hurts, broken pieces, loss.


“Hope” is the thing with feathers -
That perches in the soul -
And sings the tune without the words -
And never stops - at all - 
~Emily Dickinson

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