Courtney S. Barr

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Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Update: Category 5 - Rejection Rips you to the Core....

Psalm 34:17-20 “When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all. He keeps all his bones; not one of them is broken.”

John 15:18 If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you.

Lamentations 3:31-33 ”For the Lord will not cast off forever, but, though he cause grief, he will have compassion according to the abundance of his steadfast love; for he does not willingly afflict or grieve the children of men”

So this is the pain of rejection, of words on a page that bring you to your knees. I thought I knew what it felt like. I’ve been that girl that wasn’t pretty enough or smart enough or too curvy or too short or the girl who is being punished because of things shes done – the world’s accusations beat and batter against you like the tide to the shore, slowly eroding layer after layer. I know that for some these simple phrases do not cut but for years I held onto them, never letting my eyes see myself as God sees me. Then for a brief moment of time I lived surrounded by the most diverse set of people and they all saw me differently but I am so very grateful that for the most part they saw me as this Southern, sweet, caring soul and they embraced my ‘flaws’ , lifted me with their words and actions, became my  friends and family. God placed them in my life, strangers, who knew nothing of where I was from or where I was going and I became different, stronger in my weaknesses and happier in my sorrows. It was the Spirit leading them to my life and I to theirs.

Then life phase 3 came at me headstrong and wanting to tear my layers apart. The enemy really knows how to break us down. He chips away at each insecurity trying to get us to forget that God can do anything and we can do anything when we have God. This morning, at 9:50 a.m., the first of what I now classify as Category 5 rejection (on a 5 being the worst) I saw in my inbox the name of a birthmother. It was an update from our Social Worker “R”. “Good morning! I wanted to let you know as soon as I heard that ‘birthmother’ has chosen a couple and you were not the one she chose.” Yep, instantaneous pressure on my chest, shifting pain from my eyes to my toes, a tension that wasn’t there seconds before rolled down my back and I couldn’t stop the tears. They came, rushing, silent and painful. I never expected it to cut so deep. After all these years of just believing that no was forever the answer and just recently truly believing the yes possibilities…like vapor one of our options is gone. Flitted away as a whisper and mourned now because of its impact. I will not apologize for the tears, for succumbing today to the sadness that we are not part of that child’s plan. We know and believe that God has the best laid plans for us…but to tell you that I handled rejection with ease, that the words on the page were merely dusted off my heart would be the biggest lie I have ever told. It hurts. It rips me up knowing that we are no longer an option in that race. We have been removed for whatever reason. I won’t lie and say I don’t now think about our profile “Is there something we left out or shouldn’t have put in? Would she have liked us better if we had this or that or a picture of this or a story about that?” In my weakest moments these questions will be on repeat and I will need to let God be my strength so that it does not eat me alive. I focused on some tasks at home this evening and began to stand up a little straighter when the second email pinged on my phone. Category 5 continued to spin out of control: Birthmother number two has also decided to select another couple. The next 2 hours I found my personal bottom for the day. It lies somewhere between Pizza Hut thin crust cheese pizza and a large Mountain Dew. Yes, I ate a little bit of my feelings, but M made me laugh. He mourned a loss that in some ways makes no sense but it is there nonetheless. He doesn’t know how to comfort me during these moments; he is saddened but he doesn’t want both of us to be sad so he played some great songs, hugged me until I blew snot, let me stand  motionless and sad in the kitchen then he reminded me of God’s timing, of His plans, of His grace and of who I am in Christ. My mind races and to calm it I am searching the scriptures, searching my heart and leaning with all the breath I have on God and M. Please pray for the birthmothers who just made the biggest decision of their lives, pray for us as we move forward, pray for our peace in these things when we do not understand and pray that tonight when I lay my head on the pillow that my tears slow, my heart softens and my dreams are full of His words of great plans for all who believe in Him.

As always, thank you for being our village.

Psalms 147:3 He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.
Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Yetis, Rollercoasters, And Birthmothers

Veni. Vidi. Amavi.

We came. We saw. We loved.

I’ve wanted to do an update for about two weeks now…as it all began…my fingers just haven’t been at the keyboard really. Yet today I laughed at a picture from our weekend getaway and it brought me back, back to moments of reflection, gratefulness and humility. 

Have you ever stood in line for a rollercoaster? Waiting in the que as the line winds closer and closer to the moment you will step foot into a vehicle that is going to sling you every which way at high speeds, big climbs and dangerous drops; excitement wars with anxiousness every time I get ready to ride one. I say a simple prayer for safety and then I just let it all go. I trust the mechanics, the operator, the set design, the track, the vehicle and the weather. Every component is just given away, let go of and all I put my energy into is the sheer fun of riding “Everest” to find the Yeti who tore the track in two. I buy into the fun of the story we traveled while standing in a 25 minute line for a 90 second ride. There are truths and lies along the way. Disney is the master at developing a ‘que’ that sucks you in. They spare no inch of your environment in order to tell the story of the attraction you are on. Sometimes there are real animal/climate/travel facts and sprinkled here and there are the ‘embellishments’ to the legend/lore that makes the ride a fairytale flash bomb. It is genius and wonderful. 

We were so beyond blessed to get to get away for the weekend. I’ve been tightly wound for a few weeks now and we had planned this trip really right after Thanksgiving last year. Thankful for travel reward point systems that allow us to do all of this on a fabulous budget while still being able to save for the family we have coming to us.

Lately we’ve been on rollercoasters in the most literal and figurative ways. As we climbed the big hill at Expedition Everest in Disney World last weekend for the second time I couldn’t help but laugh. M sat beside me giddy as a 12 year old and laughing out loud at the sheer fun of flying around that track. I'm so grateful to have the truth of a fabulous partner in life like M. His zest for enjoying every bit of the process is contagious and he is my rock on more than one occasion lately. 

In the past two weeks we have been honored to be able to have our profile available for 3 birthmothers. THREE! Guys, that’s crazy awesome. Please, please keep us in your prayers…just pray hard for the birthmothers and those babies the most, even before us. We know that these women are facing decisions that are the biggest in their lives, we know that God has them and those children in His hands and we know that no matter what…no matter if they choose us, choose to parent or choose another couple the most important thing is that they know they are loved. This is the lesson He has had us learning to discern from the get go. We want children. So badly that I cried watching a line of children sing and dance as they followed Daisy & Donald around the tables of Tusker House in Animal Kingdom – I couldn’t stop the flow, I couldn’t hold it in, and I couldn’t stop smiling at the same time as I stared at M across the table. He grabbed my hand and told me he loved me and ‘our time is coming’.

He is right. I knew it even before he said it, but saying it sometimes is very important; speaking it out loud strikes a chord and had me feeling God’s presence almost immediately. I had prayed a very specific prayer 3 weeks ago and God answered within almost 48 hours that we would be submitting our profile to a birthmother and here we sit…3 birthmothers reviewing our photos, our story. Siting in that restaurant His answer was even more swift and clear. Luke 1:45 reminded me “Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill His promises to her.” He does not post faux facts on the walls of our life. Even when we are confused, even when we cannot understand, His promises are always the better for us.  

We rode Everest back to back that afternoon. We were pretty blessed to only stand in line for 25 minutes (longest line all weekend was right at 28 minutes)to ride one of our favorite 90 second rides. It makes me breathe deeply with anticipation when I think about the amount of time that God has been working on our story while we wait to see where our rollercoaster goes next. His timing is perfect. It seems long and drawn out to us at times, but looking at the thrill of 90 seconds on a manmade rollercoaster gets me giddy with excitement as I think about the thrill He has planned for us for our remaining life here and even more so for our eternal life.

So for our update, it is simply this:

God has a plan. 

We trust Him and we know that His timing is perfect.

Right now, three women will have our profile in their hands over the next week or so, and profiles of many other couples who desire to have children, and they are facing the hardest decision of their lives. That means that 3 children hang in the balance. No matter what they are loved, so much, already by people who don’t even know them and by some who never will. Those birthmothers are cherished, loved, beautifully and wonderfully made – they are also loved by many who will never meet them. 

I’m working on some new art for fundraising and we are looking at grants for fundraising.

We ask for prayers. We know that these 3 may all say no to us. That they may be lead in other directions and that even though we understand that it will be God’s will when we are chosen, we cannot lie and say that it won’t hurt if/when we face rejection. We know we will question why? But please pray that the question lingers less than a second and that God’s peace swiftly replaces the feelings of unworthiness. 

We thank you all for following our journey.  We know that some ask and wonder how it all is going. We don’t always have an answer for you, but this time we wanted to share that God is working in the wings. We have hope for the future and we know He loves us and has great plans for us.  We cannot wait to see all He has in store.

“And so it was, that she, having waited long and endured patiently, realized and obtained what God had promised.” Hebrews 6:15