Man! I had it. I had hope in spades. It was tangible. It was the kind of hope that was built by my faith. It was the kind of faith that brought incredible peace. A peace that is complex and somewhat foreign to me.

Peaceful. Hopeful. Determined. Confident.

Then it happened.

The courtroom felt crowded and small. I felt like I couldn’t breathe. My thoughts ran rampant. How can I fix this? This is not what I had planned to hear. Not only was I impacted by this news, but countless others, as I silently looked around the room, had been stricken with tears by this terrible injustice. The sheer anguish brought us to our knees.

What had just happened?

Hope. Tangible hope, built by faith, that brought peace. Confidence. We had a case, worthy to be heard that day. We were going to right this wrong. We were going to get our miracle…but then we didn’t.

You may have experienced these types of heartbreak, as foster parents. These events are gut-wrenching leaving you feeling like they suck your very life away in an instant. These experiences bring with them the five stages of grief, that we are now forced to navigate over the next few days that drag into months and months that quickly form years. We’ll look back. We’ll wonder what more we could have done, or what we had done wrong.

Denial. Anger. Bargaining. Depression. Acceptance. (The Five Stages of Grief)

This doesn’t sound very encouraging and I am sorry for that. Sometimes we’re not dancing on the mountaintops, and sometimes the sun isn’t shining. We had a recent dark day, and the storm clouds linger.

A scripture comes to mind: Psalm 23:4 – Even when I walk through the valley of the shadow of death (loss, grief, depression) Thou art with me, Thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me. Did you know that the word “rod” in this scripture refers partly to our clan/tribe? (People who care!) and the word “staff” means support of any kind/sustenance.

Psalm 42:11 says, “Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? HOPE thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.”

We had a very ugly outcome in court recently. The ruling has wrecked the lives of many. The case has been sealed. Still, I refuse to lose hope. I refuse to believe that differences cannot be made in the system. I stand with His rod (my clan/tribe that I have been blessed so richly with) and His staff (the support system He has given me), and I will one day again, dance on those mountaintops.