I guess I can see how some would view me that way. How some might even feel compelled to tell me they view me that way. I don't think the lady in the salon ever considered that I have been feeling the exact same way about "me". It is so terribly ironic. Really. Hey "friend", newsflash: I hate me too!
Be honest for a moment. How many mothers have you known who have sent their children away to residential treatment centers? How many mothers do you know who are unable to help their own children? I am the only one I know of.
But as always, in my weakness, God shows up strong and faithful. After being completely humiliated in the salon for what was probably only 3 or 4 minutes (but seemed like much longer), I turned to the lady sitting next to me. Picture this: my hair was covered in foils from highlights while her head was covered in red hair coloring....both of us obviously a sight to see....and I said in a whisper: "I am so sorry you had to hear that."
What else could I say? The truth was, I wanted to find the nearest hole and crawl into it. And I am certain she knew how I felt.
But she turned to me with her sopping wet hair and said: "For what it's worth, you handled that beautifully....I don't know that I would've sat and allowed someone to berate me that way." And then she struck up a conversation with me. She actually offered a hand of friendship to me.
I told her about our family and all we are going through right now....mentioning how difficult life has become. I cried. She cried. I began to shake with sobs.
She asked: "Do you believe in coincidences?" I answered: "No, I don't." She asked: "So you believe God is involved in everything?" I answered simply as I wiped tear after tear after tear from my eyes: "Yes."
Then she said the most profound thing: "What are the chances that today you would be seated by a momma who also has two special needs children?"
And there was God.
He wasn't in the form of a cloud. He wasn't in the form of a pillar of fire. He was wearing a smock with His hair covered in red dye in the form of a momma who has two special needs children. Oh, how He loves me. And oh, how he ministered to my broken heart through that precious lady.
Natalie leaves for a treatment center in the morning. She is actually excited about it because she sees it as being one step closer to getting back to Russia....she still says she hates me and cannot help her feelings....and believes all of her despair would disappear if she could re-enter the orphanage she came from. Her plan? To get the treatment center to see things her way.
I get it. If I were in Natalie's shoes, I might feel the exact same way. None of us "fit in" in this world. We all are looking to fill that missing piece within us....the piece that can only truly be filled when things are finally made right one day...when we are in the presence of our Lord and Savior.
In my brokenness....and in Natalie's brokenness...I know it sounds a bit strange, but I believe we are where the Father wants us. Perhaps He has placed us both on this journey. And one thing we certainly do have in common right now: we are equally desperate for Him!
Through this, I am learning how the Lord feels when we reject Him. And I'll tell you, it doesn't feel good at all to be rejected by your child. It is the most painful experience of my life.
Through this, I believe Natalie is seeking answers....and Jeremiah 29:13 promises "You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all of your heart."
Please continue to pray for Natalie.....specifically pray that she will recognize God when He meets her there. I truly wish He would show up in a burning bush or in a thundering voice....just so she wouldn't miss Him....but who knows how He will show up to her? My prayer is only that she will "see".
"One thing I do know....I was blind, but now I see!" (John 9:25)