Friday, October 21, 2011

Grace or Bitterness?

What we do here in our family is a little unusual. 

Being a foster family is not "normal". 

Why it's not is a whole other blog.  Whether it should be normal is yet another blog.

My forever family learns some interesting and hard lessons along the way in this journey.

We have just "given up" another child.  It was another happy ending of sorts.  A real reunification happened.  He went home to the actual parent that had "lost" him. 

Our family, adults included, learn lessons along this journey.  Sometimes we learn the same lessons over and over. 

Sometimes doing the right thing means doing the hard thing.
Sometimes doing the right thing hurts, a lot.
Sometimes our idea of a happy ending isn't the same as someone elses idea.
Sometimes there is no happy ending.
Sometimes the ending is down right ugly and unfair.
Life is unfair.

That's the big one.

Life is unfair. 

I even posted a link to a sermon about this a few days ago.  I really hope you listened to it.  It was an amazing truth about fairness presented clearly by a great teacher.

I like to think that in a way, I'm doing my kids a favor in life by letting them have these experiences and learn these lessons young in life.  These are hard, often painful lessons for us as adults and my kids are getting to walk through them with me. 

The real thin line to walk in all of this is how to grow them up learning these lessons, growing forward with a sense of grace towards humanity and not take these hard lessons and grow bitter. 

I think it would be easy to learn these lessons as a child and grow into an adult filled with bitterness. 

Right?  Wouldn't it be easier to grow up thinking life is just unfair and sucks.  That good things hardly ever happen to good people.  That happy endings are fairy tales and not really real.

So, does this challenging life we live in our house, lead to bitter adults? 

I hope not.  I'm praying they learn grace and love and to be thankful for their very lives.  I'm trying hard to teach those lessons more through the live I'm living out in front of them than in the words I try to get right with them. Remember that whole idea of life is caught not taught? 

I'm hoping that the lessons are in the loving, the leaving, the hurting and the growing. 

So what do you think?  How do we teach kids experiencing hard life lessons very early on to grow up without a chip of bitterness on their shoulders?

Can grace be taught or only given?  And is it enough?

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