**this is part 4 of my testimony that i began posting on 5/17/10**
So, I waited. I slowed down. I kept moving forward with my life.
Around this same time, I was blessed with a job as a nanny for a little boy. I started watching him when he was 2 months old and would be with him 4-6 days a week for 10-12 hours a day.
I had never been this close to a child before and didn't realize how much of my heart was going into it. I was with him for so much of his day because his mom was raising him on her own and she worked a very time consuming job. I would be there when he woke up and be with him, in his daily routine, until it was dinner and bath time.
I taught him new words, took him to new places, fed him new foods, dressed him, bathed him, loved him, cared for him, disciplined him...all the while learning how deep a love for another human can go. This child was finding a very solid and very deep place to settle into my heart and the more time I spent with him, the more I didn't want to let him go.
...Somewhere in the midst of it, I became his primary care giver.
...Somewhere in between feedings and walks and outings, I put a lot more than just my hours into caring for this sweet baby boy.
...Somewhere in the day to day life of taking care of this child, I refused to trust that the Lord would take better care of him than I could.
...Somewhere along the way, my heart got attached.
Then, as the Lord tried to reveal to me the dangers of holding onto something that was never mine in the first place, I tried not to listen.
He got louder. I held on tighter.
Eventually, the situation became something unhealthy and completely out of my control. I had been the primary care-giver for him for over 1.5 years when I chose to move in with him and his mom. The reasoning was that it would be easier to help out.
Boundaries started getting shady. She began asking me to spend more time with him--which led to her spending more time for herself and her own desires. I chose to spend more time with him because I thought I could make up for what he wasn't receiving from his mom.
Then, a moral issue came up that I knew in my heart of hearts I couldn't ignore.
I sat down with my pastor and told him the whole story, asking him for advice. He looked me straight in the eye and all he had to say was "Erika, I think you know what you need to do."
I had to leave.
I had allowed the situation to become unhealthy. I filled in the gaps of mothering this child when it was his mom that needed to be doing it. I worried about him as if he were mine to worry about when in reality, he was always the Lord's. I cared about him thinking I was the only one that would--when it was the Lord who was wanting to care for him through me.
It tore me apart to walk away from this situation but I knew I had to do it. The Lord, all along, kept telling me that He would take care of him. He would be with him even when I wasn't. I trusted His words and I trusted that the Lord could care for him in a way that I couldn't. But still, walking away from this child that I helped raise for almost two years was heartbreaking and painful.
It was the first time I knew true heartache and true loss. It was the first time I can remember my heart being left behind as I packed up boxes one day and drove away. My stuff came with me and I moved forward to another season, but my heart stayed behind with that little boy.
The day after I told his mom that I was leaving, I packed up my stuff. A week after I told her I was leaving was the last day that I ever saw that part of my heart again. His mom wouldn't let me keep in contact and I've had to be OK with that decision ever since.
More than just being OK with this situation, I came to understand that the Lord is the only One that will answer with Truth when you cry out to Him in heartache and pain.
I couldn't say that I was "happy" after this decision was made. I would never tell you that I was content with the decision, either. But I will tell you that it was the right decision. I will also tell you that it was the best decision I could have made simply because it was the decision that the Lord was asking me to make.
He asked me to trust Him with my heart. I gave it to Him when it was wounded and open from the pain of tearing it away from this family.
He asked me to trust His direction. I blindly stepped forward not knowing where I was going to be going next, but knowing, with full assurance, that He knew.
He asked me to hand it all back to Him and come to Him simply as myself. I obediently peeled back the layers of who I labeled myself to be in order to learn what it meant to simply be His daughter again.
I quietly sat and cried in my Father's arms as I continued to recognize that His ways are higher than mine and His thoughts are beyond my own. (Isaiah 55:8-9)
Eventually, amidst tears and sorrow, He began leading me forward again…
(is there anything in your life that you are holding onto too tightly? Let Jesus Christ, the one who came down to this earth to bring you joy, take it from your hands. It will hurt, but it will heal. The bible says that we are to have no other gods before Him. He is a jealous God who not only wants all your heart, but wants to give you all of His. If you have never confessed Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, and want to know more about how to do this, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org)