The Disappointments The Broken Systems
A man walked a mile to a creek to fill his jars with water. He had no indoor plumbing, no well on his homestead, so every day would slowly walk down to the creek for his water. After arriving at the creek, on what was an especially hot afternoon, he dipped his two jars into the water and slowly filled them to the brim. He gripped the two full jars, turned around and began his long trek back to his home.
Along the way, his neighbor noticed the man’s labor and joined him on the walk. He couldn’t help but notice that the jar in the man’s right hand was slowly dripping water. The precious liquid, was slowly leaking out. Already the jar was halfway empty and he still had a half mile to hike. The neighbor suggested to the man that he discard the jar and invest in a new one so that his hard work would not be in vain. The man gave a knowing smile and stopped.
He turned around, looking in the direction of the creek. “You’re right,” the man replied. “But then how would my flowers get watered?”
As the man turned and continued his walk back to his home, the neighbor saw the beautiful flowers lining the path to the creek that had been watered by the cracked jar.
Sometimes I think that I know very clearly what my purpose is, what I’m designed for. And then I roll out of bed and start screwing up moment after moment. Why am I doing this? I’m horrible at it. I’m angry, exhausted, and just want to be by myself. Just tonight I snapped at my rambunctious daughter because she climbed on the counter by the sink. Maybe this isn’t for me.
I’ve come to realize that this is a very real occurrence in most homes and especially foster / adoptive homes. As much as I want to beat myself up, I also realize that I am watering flowers. Although I might not be fulfilling my purpose in the way that I think I should be (by carrying the water back to the home), I am serving another purpose. I am watering the flowers beside the path.
In Trish's book, The Call to Love Chapter 4, she talks about a season of disappointment for us. We were tired and frustrated. We wanted to fight for these kids, but it didn't seem to be working the way we thought it should. On our parenting journey we have so often been frustrated by the system and confused about our role in it. We have been exhausted by the behaviors of our children.
This is, by far, the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life. There are times it really sucks. I want to be selfish. Just leave me alone for a few minutes! I’ve worked all day and would just like to be greeted with a hi that isn’t filled with teenage attitude! But then the flowers pop up. I receive a tender “I love you” said in a voice of an angel. My older son posts on Facebook that because of me, he’s the man he is today.
You can do this. It is hard. It is messy. But you can do this.
Don’t question your purpose just because you’re not doing what you think you should be doing. Don't question your purpose just because it's not turning out the way you thought it should. Don't question your purpose just because the flowers haven't bloomed yet.
On the contrary, just keep doing.
Flowers are getting watered. Little by little and step by step.
Keep watering the flowers.