Moving Forward

Another morning where I wanted to keep those curtains shut. I dreaded putting my weary feet down on the bedroom floor, as I really wasn’t sure how to put one foot in front of the other. I kept thinking back on the events of the last few days, since that hurried moment when we had to say goodbye, and my heart burned with grief. When we took Grace in at four years old, we could have never imagined that ten years later God would take her out of our home. Even though for just a season, even though to go to battle for healing in her heart. 
In desperation, I cried out to the Lord, “How do you experience such pain and live and move and breath as if a part of you isn’t missing?  How do you go to work and soccer games and live like all is well.”
We don’t pray just to see God take all of our pain away. We pray so we can See God in the midst of all our pain. The Lord revealed this truth to my heart when he challenged me with this:               
Live like you hope Grace is living.”
“You don’t hope she’s curled up in a corner, letting sadness and fear reign. You don’t hope she has stopped living and laughing and being who I created her to be. You hope she’s taking this journey of healing and embracing every part. You hope she’s letting me transform her and shine through all her broken parts.”

IMG_8806.PNGThat’s how you move forward. You take your eyes off your brokenness and put them on the one who was broken and bruised for you. And in return, He can show you how to live for someone other than yourself.

So I put my feet on the floor and I prayed for God to fill me with the peace and joy that surpasses all understanding, and he did. I opened another string of letters and notes filled with words of support from friends and total strangers, and knew He wasn’t going to let me walk through this alone. I looked at my four and five year old and couldn’t spend another day having them ask me why I was crying. I had to let them see me smile again. It didn’t matter if I felt like I could do it, I didn’t have to. He was showing me that He was going to carry me through. He was calling me to hope for Grace and live to share this hope, that only he can bring, to anyone who needs to hear. 

Some days the grief returns and I allow myself to feel it, and He reminds me that He is rebuilding, restoring and redeeming all that has been lost. He’s teaching me to live for one thing and one thing only-to be filled with His life and to let that life spill out like water. To be continually emptied even when it breaks your heart and requires painful sacrifice. The more broken, the more the light shines through. The more you let go, the more He fills you up. And this, this is when He is most glorified. 

His promise is true,  “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:9) So now, I  too am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.



© Tamara Gurley 2016

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Hope for Grace 

Word fall short in times like these, but here’s our best attempt to share our hearts. Ten years ago, when we began the journey of raising Grace we never imagined the road God would have us travel. We knew it wouldn’t be easy, we knew we would make a million mistakes, we knew Grace would someday have to face the trauma of her past and find healing, we knew she would need a miracle. We hoped we could help her, we prayed we could rescue her, but only God can save and he rescues each of us in his own way. 
At this point in Grace’s journey, he has opened up a door to rescue her through taking her out of our home for a season. Her story is hers to tell, so without sharing every detail I will just say this, when our heart breaks, it breaks wide open. 

Grace knows her struggles and her heart has been broken open to receive the help and healing that only God can bring.  

Since the moment residential treatment was recommended, we have gone from feeling like we were giving up, had failed, and were turning our backs on our child, to knowing this is the best possible way we can help our Grace thrive. 

As we began searching for possible programs in January, I can’t even describe how many doors were slammed in our face before we saw a glimmer of light. 
But as soon as Grace wanted rescued and the minute she cried out for relief, God answered by providing a Christian therapeutic program/school for girls that had an opening for a 13-year-old. Within two weeks she was accepted, the deposit was secured, and we were on our way. 

This past Tuesday we endured the hardest challenge we’ve faced yet. More than all of the insurmountable behavioral and emotional trials we’ve faced. 

We had to let go. 

We had to drive 14 hours, say goodbye, turn around and drive back home with one less member of our family in the car. We had to trust that God would use the therapy, structure, prayer and counsel Grace would receive over the next 15 months to transform her life. We had to believe the funding would somehow come through. 

Heartbreaking and overwhelming are insufficient ways to describe this experience. We’re thankful for the incredible place God has provided, but devastated he’s had to. We’re thankful it’s $3,400 a month instead of $20-30k a month like most other treatment facilities, we’re thankful we were denied benefits because it forced us to trust God completely to lead us to the best place possible for Grace (there are no addicts of violent girls), we are thankful we have a home that we fixed up so we can hopefully sell and raise support, we are thankful for the peace that surpasses all understanding that has been showered over Grace, Joel and I. 
Even more than this , we are thankful for all of the friends and strangers who have reached out to offer support, prayers, donations, assistance with travel expenses (we will be traveling to see Grace / have family therapy every other month), help getting the house ready to sell, childcare and more. While hard to recieve this level of generosity, we humbly know we could not do this without the support of many. Each of you have made us want to be better people than we are- more giving, more trusting, more willing to share. 
“Your children are like arrows in the hand of a warrior”‘ psalm 127:4. While this has felt like a ten-year battle, a waging war – God has sustained us and grown our faith every step the way. This journey is for His glory and he has only begun to write Grace’s story. 
This is the hope we have for Grace “He who began a good work (in Grace) will be faithful to complete it until the day of Jesus Christ” – Philippians 1:6. 
You can learn more here or support, share with others, and please pray. We are so thankful to share that between savings, private donations and the gofundme page, 10 months of treatment has been covered in four weeks!!!! 5 months more to go but God is is faithful!