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Saturday, April 26, 2014

Choosing to Walk into the Danger Zone

Hurricane Gale destruction... Terrorist standoff... Avalanche and Flood aftermath... shocking School Shootings... horrific Fiery Infernos...

When everyone else is running the other way... the bravest of the brave choose to stand and face the nightmare and walk straight into the Danger Zone.

Firefighters and Danger.  We know a thing or two about these.  Our Number #1 son wears the gear proudly and has shared stories of fearsome fires that sorely tests the faith of this faint-hearted mother...


 
My heart spills with love and deep gratitude for the willing sacrifice that Travis and so many of these brave men and women make to protect us from the most grievous of dangers. 
 
And as our family gathered together this Easter past, a realization bloomed slow and sure as I watched our lovely daughter and her husband walk out the call God has placed on their lives... the Danger Zone is not reserved alone for the spectacularly dramatic explosions in our lives.   As Katie and Jordan sweetly tended to the needs of a child that is not their own... I saw a willing sacrifice to walk straight into the Danger Zone, wrecking the heart, quietly and completely, with a powerful love brave enough to face whatever nightmares might come ...
 
 
 
Katie and Jordan's Fostering Journey has been filled with moments of great hilarity, sincere gratitude and on-your-knees-pleading-for-strength to get through...  They could start their own blog if they had but time!  I have found great delight in watching  the children placed in their care bloom with life and trust and laughter and love... the brothers that arrived last November, burned and hurting, both physically and emotionally, have begun the healing process and were recently placed with a trusted family member...  in their wake a small, but feisty little 9-month old girl took up residence in their homes and hearts, her craving love and attention all but drowning out the missing of those precious boys....
 
... and so it goes in the fostering world, the loving and the leaving... a bittersweet parting that is the sacrifice Katie and Jordan have signed up for... the heartache of falling in love and letting go... to protect these little ones, it is a safe-keeping of the most fragile kind in a very real Danger Zone.
 
Danger Zones.  Be it a very physical wounding or a deeply carved emotional grieving ... I've learned that we are all stronger than we think we are. 
 
When mom was diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer, she fell head-first into the most dangerous of Danger Zones.  In the beginning she questioned her ability to walk the road laid out before her.   For her, the Danger was both physical and emotional.  There was fear.  There were so many tears.  There was pain.  There was sickness.  Her prayers were for the strength to maneuver the journey with Grace and Dignity.  God answered completely.  Mom learned to her own amazement that she was much, much stronger than she ever thought she was...  And she would tell you that you are too... Don't ever give up on living your life's story... you are so much stronger than you think you are... 
 
I've also been on the other side of the life-lens and felt the searing pain of watching my mom consumed by the nightmare of this terminal cancer.   Perhaps you are there right now... it is a special kind of agony caring for a loved one that cannot be healed... so many times I wanted to do nothing more than run as far from the pain and hopelessness as I could... it simply hurt too much....
 
And yet, I've learned that what applied to mom, applied equally to me... and to Dad... and our friends and family... we are so much stronger than we think we are.  When every instinct in us urged distance from the pain, a wall against the heartache... we were able to stand together, face the foe and run straight into the Danger Zone for mom... we were all so much stronger than we ever thought we were...
 
all because of Love. 
 
It is a sacrificial gift to stand in the gap for those we love... to wade into the muck and mayhem of cancer treatment... to clean up the vomit... wipe the brow... shoulder the despair when the crown of hair falls loose to the pillow... wipe the tears...  prepare the meals to tempt the listless... drive to appointments and wait endless hours in cold, sterile rooms so they won't have to wait alone... apply balm to throbbing mouth sores and lotion to swollen feet... to smile into the fear... to offer grace... to just be there...
 
Choosing to Walk Straight into the Danger Zone.  For Love.
 
This is what the bravest of the brave can do. 
 
"The Lord God is my Strength,
my personal bravery, and my invincible army;
He makes my feet like hinds' feet
and will make me to walk (not to stand still in terror, but to walk)
and make (spiritual) progress upon my high places
(of trouble, suffering or responsibility)!"
                                        ~ Habakkuk 3:18-19 (the Amplified Bible)
 
 

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