My Fortress

A week and a half ago, I made the trip to Arkansas fully expecting my girls to come home with me. I have explained to them and their dad (and anyone else who’ll listen) my reasons for believing that they need to be here with their mother. They don’t necessarily disagree, it’s just not what they want. Their dad disagrees that it’s what they need because it’s not what they want. I’ve been praying non-stop, and countless others have joined me in prayer over them, and I trust they (and you) will continue to do so. I know God is listening. He’s working on it. On them. On me.

Making the trip home without them was next to unbearable. I was angry. I was heartbroken. The pain was overwhelming, and I was tempted to stifle my feelings, but I realized that was my old way of coping. I would retreat into “safe” mode, behind a wall of denial and a facade of happy-go-lucky. I had many people fooled, including myself, for many years. Pretending not to care can lead to actually not caring. I don’t want that. God doesn’t want that. As much as I would like to not feel the pain, I can’t be that person anymore.

Bev’s comments on Captivating – Chapter 8 reminded me again that I am not who I was then. This quote resonates with me: “But the experience of sorrow in no way diminishes the joy of living. Rather, it enhances it. A heart awakened to its sorrow is more aware, more present, and more alive, to all the facets of life.” That is so true! Numbing my heart to pain robbed me of the ability to feel much of anything. My empathy turned to apathy. How pathetic is that?

I still have moments when I wish I could retreat into oblivion, but God has been at work tearing down that wall. What then shall I do? I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust. (Psalm 91:2)



Filed under Faith, Family, Praise, Prayer

15 responses to “My Fortress

  1. Mandy

    Brenda, I don’t have kids, and won’t for a while, but I can only imagine how you must be feeling right now, especially on the drive home. I have no words of wisdom, but know that you and your girls will be in my prayers.

  2. Diane

    Love you and praying for you and your girls, my friend. 🙂

  3. Blessed Beyond Measure

    This book has been tough for me to get through, stick with. Now I know why I did, at least in part. I would have read the entire thing just to have one quote lift you up. It’s oh so hard to be a mother, isn’t it? xoxoxoxo

  4. BooMama

    I think about y’all all the time. Still praying.

  5. mouse

    I hope you get your girls back home where they should be very soon.

  6. Laurel Wreath

    Still praying for you girl. Great post.

  7. Dawn

    I have a book in my head and heart, but nothing down on paper or computer. I do have the title -It’s Out of My Hands, but It’s Still in My Face. That means to me that when they’re little, we can control their lives to a certain extent. When they are older and making their own decisions, right or wrong, they still affect us, though we are past the point of being able to do anything about them. I am a control freak. I know I would feel the same way as you if I were in your situation. I am glad you are learning to let your feelings go and be known. That was the most freeing thing that ever happened to me – to be able to admit the awful stuff that was going on in our lives and not hide it any more. God does bring peace in the misdt of the storm! You pray for us, we pray for you.

  8. Barb

    Brenda, I know from experience that holding in your real feelings about a bad situation can lead to a year or so on Zoloft. It’s not healthy. I finally learned that if something’s really bothering me or hurting me, I need to shout it out and put it out there. It feels a lot better on the outside than it did all bottled up inside me.


  9. Praying for your Prodigal

    Yes, Brenda—there is always joy in the journey–even when there are speedbumps! You’ve got it right! It IS difficult, nearly impossible to take our eyes of the struggle and lift them to joy. But when we focus on the VICTORY that God has already won–we see differently–even the struggle can be viewed with new vision. It’s too bad we can’t see now–what we see in hindsight. It is true–the bigger the struggle–the larger the glory on the other side of the trial. Can you hardly wait for the glory! 🙂 I can’t!

    Praying with and for you!


  10. Paulette

    I so love what Barb said. From experience I know that we cannot keep the pain in. It is a cancer that eats you alive. I will never do it again. For so many years I heard “Honey the past is the past just put it behind you” and now if someone tells me that I will set them straight.It will never be ok unless we share it and let others pray for us.
    Thanks for sharing and yes God is working it out for his good.
    Love you ((((HUGS)))))

  11. Texas Gal

    You have been on my brain lot lately. I haven’t blogged in several days so I haven’t been able to see how everyone is doing. I had been praying that God would do a great work in you.

  12. Grafted Branch

    Hey Brenda…

    I’ve been thinking about you. I want to tell you how grateful and impressed I am that you rejoice for others in their happy moments with their children while you are suffering so. I’m not sure I’ve met anyone in the midst of it who hasn’t sarcastically wished the misery on the rest of us who have yet to arrive to those years. Thank you for being a godly woman in this way!

    About stifling…unfortunately “holding it in” has not been my problem since I was a teen; years of stifling until then, exploded once I got a car and had the freedom to screech away! I think I’ve now found the line between repression and rage and am always prayerful to stay on its narrow divide.

    There is a place for a loud (literal) cry, and an ear to hear it — a prayer “closet” linked directly to Him.

  13. Melanie

    So true. When we choose to not feel pain, eventually we feel nothing.

  14. Tammy

    I will very much be praying for you and your situation. I know it must be heart-breaking.

    If you remember my post entitled “Reluctant Instrument”, you may recall the little girl I watched for a week, prayed for, and took to VBS.
    I’m not trying to be critical of her mother, but she actually volunteered to have her live with a grandmother for the summer, and perhaps for one whole year, as she pursues a romantic relationship. I have a really hard time with that!

    At least in all of the heartache you’re facing, your children know without a doubt that you love them and want to be with them. Some day, they will truly appreciate that fact.

    And I echo what Grafted Branch said about you…you’ve been such a blessing in spite of your adversities!


  15. Lauren

    Brenda, I hadn’t realized you were dealing with something so difficult. That’s an incredible testimony to your graciousness, I think. I’ll be praying for you.

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