Dec 23, 2007

A Heart Broken Can Still Celebrate!

Christmas is nearing and while I look forward to so many of the wonderful traditions John and I have begun for our family, along with John's family, I dread this one just a little. We'll do Christmas Eve services (I get to be in the choir the first service...apologies all around ahead of time for my friends who read this and attend; but I've always wanted to be in the choir, so you'll have to break my toes before you get me kicked off!). Then it'll be a quiet family night and Christmas Day spent in Platte City with John's family.

There will be a noteable absence in our home this year. We will be missing Nicole this year, she likely won't be home. And while I don't feel led to go into the details of her absence, it's weighing heavily on my heart, and has been for over a month now. We miss her, we worry constantly, and we pray she will change her heart and come home. She's being led away from our family by 'friends' who aren't necessarily interested in her best interests, who tell her what she wants to hear right now. And at 18, there's nothing we can do. I know, I've tried.

And because I love her more than any word has yet to describe my feelings, I'm writing this as a very broken person right now. Our lives have been shattered, I literally live one hour at a time, it's the only way. I simply get through my days right now, but that doesn't mean my days aren't good, I love my life and I love the days God gives me. He keeps giving them to me, so I keep thinking I owe it to Him to try to make them worthy of His time.

I have the friends and family in my life God knew to put before me to draw strength from. And oh boy, I have and I will again. This is simply a season in my life, in her life. And it will pass and I will look back and smile, I'm positive.
I've hesitated posting about this for a myriad of reasons, and some of them still hold true. So I don't want to add a great deal of details about Niki's personal choices; they don't define her and I need to be very careful to protect her now in a time when she can't do that for herself. I write this today for two reasons--first because I've been pretty detached for awhile and I'm sorry. I'm renewing my commitment to my family and friends, that I will step back into my life now full force. And that includes you, I miss being plugged in and I'm excited to get 'with it' again.

Secondly, I post this because Christmas Eve is going to be a toughie. Pray. Pray pray pray pray pray. Please. For me, for my family (the boys are hurting, both of them), and especially for Niki. I honestly believe in prayer, I haven't lost faith through this. No way. If anything, I believe I see God's hand in so many aspects of this--in the way the people who do know have reached out, in the diversions that have been so healing (GiGi & Cat weekend come to mind!). And of course the simplest things now take on far more meaning than they ever did before. Here's one more example:

I opened the mail today (it's been a week since I've been motivated enough to even go out to the box) and had a package. Hmm, I muse, it's from Dawn. Tearing into it, this is what I found:
This ornament says "Joy" and it was about the best pick-me-up I could have asked for. I do like to do, I took a picture with it. I've been baking and shopping all day, so it'd be polite to overlook the non-chic ponytail I've got going on (I say this as if I usually always have chic hair!) I made Dawn a scrapbook page, it's one of those diversions I've been using--learning PhotoShop. I sent this along tonight for her:

Merry Christmas!


Donna said...

I'm 63 years old; I've been through some heartache with both kids. Everything will be all right, but I know it's hard to see that just now. One time when my son was "acting out", I cried (into my husband's shoulder) "I wish I'd never had kids".

It does get better. Totally better.

Shana said...

Stacey, I don't not even have words to express how sorry I am to hear about your daughter. I can't even begin to understand the heartache you are feeling. But as you know, I can and will be praying for you and your family. Sending (((HUGS))) to you, my dear friend. Merry CHRISTmas!!!

D... said...

Oh, Stacey, the prayers will be flying! It IS a season and it doesn't define how your lives will be from now on. {{Stacey}} I pray that you have happy surprises THIS Christmas.

Maddy said...

My eldest is 26 now. I remember 18. 17 - 21 were fragile years and tumultuous ones.

If you can, try to hang on to those 18 years that you had together where you poured all that good stuff in. I'm pretty confident that over the next wee while, it will all percolate through the system, she'll grow and stretch and experience a few 'mild' scratches, but then she'll be back and it will be better than ever.
Best wishes

This is my calling card or link"Whittereronautism"which takes you straight to my new blog.

Kathleen aka Coffee Mom said...

Stacey you gotta know that she will come home. She's a good kid and you're an awesome mom. It will all work out. I'm sure it's hard though, I remember doing the same thing at her age.

love and hugs

Mrs. C said...

(((Stacey))) Since my children are younger, I am not going to pretend to totally understand, but my heart is breaking for you all. I AM praying for you guys and especially protection and VISION for Niki so she sees exactly what's going on and how much you love her.

THANK YOU for saying you know her choices right now don't define her. I think all of us feel guilty about something in our past, and that's not US. I hear ya. ((hugs)) I'm glad you posted this b/c now I that I know a little I can really pray for you and look after my bloggy buddy best I can.

When she comes home be sure to tell us so we can celebrate with you!!!!

Anonymous said...

You can be certain that I'm still praying for you and your family.

Dawn said...

I wish you could know how happy I am to have played even the tiniest part in making your day a little brighter. As I wrote you in my email, I know I broke my mom's heart when I moved out - but because I had a very strong foundation, I kept out of trouble :) She will too, I'm sure.

As for the ornament, I do think it fits you perfectly, and I LOVE the scrapbook page! It's beautiful, just as you are.

Thank you for the wonderful gift of friendship, Stacey.

Dawn @ Coming to a Nursery Near You

Anonymous said...

Sending a lot of love and prayers your way. It must be so very difficult for you and your family. (((((HUGS))))) Remember you raised her with a strong faith and to be a good person. Those things will not go away, they are deep within her and always will be. As is the deep love she has (and feels) for her family. Trust in her and trust in God. Easier said I know.....but this is when you really lean on your friends. Faith, family and friends, it is all you need.
Wish I could hear you in the choir, it sounds like you sing like I do. I will be thinking of you on Christmas Eve and Christmas.

Bubba's Sis said...

Stacey, Stacey, Stacey - I SO know where you are! I was there not so long ago, myself, but it was Navy Son and he moved out right before he graduated from high school and purposely chose not to spend Mother's Day with me. It's a long, ugly story with a lot of pain that is still there, but trust me, honey, it gets better. She'll come around, I promise. You put the right stuff in for 18 years - it won't be forgotten. I am ABSOLUTELY praying for you. God is with you, sweetie. Lean on Him.

Love you, girl. I hope joy finds your heart this next few days.

Jim & Jami said...

Stacey, I am praying with you. I know that this is a very hard time, but there is power in prayer and numbers.....put your trust and faith in God, he is in control.....Children at this age are going into adulthood because of age, but still have much learning to do, they are spreading their wings, and learning to reassured that your parenting and example during her growing up years are a part of her very soul, she can not run from that.....she will return with a yearning for your relationship to be stronger than ever....Don't give up.....I know, I was once Nicole.....Oh, and Love the Digiscrap Page, Darlin`

Cheryl said...

Stacey, I know this is no comfort to you, but you are a now member of a very large club that doesn't get a lot of publicity. I call it "Hurting Parents of Adult Children." No one can rip our hearts out like our kids.

BUT, BE ENCOURAGED! You already know my story, and I tell you that within the last week, my drama is OVER. I didn't think I could live through most days because of the ache from a missing hunk of my heart. But I knew that God was the only One Who could fix any of us. My friend, He has done it!!! He will do it for your family too. Never never never never lose faith in God to perform miracles. NEVER!! Especially when things look completely hopeless.

You are in my prayers today, friend. You are not alone, and you WILL be ok! :)

Bubba's Sis said...

Thank you for the sweet note, Stacey! You have me and D mixed up - I'm the blue-eyed girl! We DEFINITELY need to arrange a meet-up!

Merry Christmas - I'm still praying for you and your family!

Girl Gone Wild - BibleStyle said...

You're right Stacey...You are truely loved by some awesome ladies!! Wish I could be there tonight to hear you rockin' the house at church. You already know my thoughts on Niki...and you already know how much we love you and your family. You're heavy on my heart tonight. Wish I could give you a big squeeze...

I'll call you tomorrow...

Bubba's Sis said...

I prayed specifically for you and your family tonight, Stacey - that Niki would come home for Christmas, if not to move back in yet, then just to be with her family on this special day. Whatever happens, rejoice in the Lord, dear friend. Unto us a child is given, and he shall be called Emmanuel! Merry Christmas.

Jim & Jami said...

Merry Christmas to you and your beautiful family....holding a special place in my heart for you today, Stacey....I said a prayer for all of you last night, (((((((Stacey))))))), Sending love across the miles......J-

D... said...

Stacey, just letting you know that you have been in my heart multiple times today.

jenn said...

Merry Christmas. I was just wondering when I should be expecting my necklace from the deck the blogs contest. I hope it wasn't lost in the mail.

I hope you had a wonderful day.

Ms. Can't Be Wrong said...

Hey girl, I'm not reading this until after Christmas. I wish I would have logged on sooner.

I've not experienced this from a mother's POV, but I have as an older sister. Just in the last six months I have seen God do amazing things in my family. Why? Because we are special? Not exactly. Because we prayed to the point of exhaustion and we loved her everyday. We made sure she knew we loved her unconditionally.

I'm so sorry for your hurt. But you must know that even though it's "Friday" "Sunday" is comin'

All my love!

Misty Dawn said...

Stacey, I'm so late on reading this, that I don't even know how things turned out. So, all I'm going to say is that I love you, John and the kids - I think you guys are fantastic and I pray for all of you every night!

Kim said...

I'm catching up on my blog reading tonight as we've been out of town and just read this post. Please know that I have added everyone to my prayers and will continue to pray until I hear otherwise.

Love you!

tegdirb92 said...

I am really thinking and praying about you through this difficult time, Stacey. And this too shall, friend.