Today we go to court. Charity, the charming and beautiful Susan, my sister Jennifer, and I will all make an appearance. Ali's father will be there as well, I'm told. I'm not sure how I feel about that.
I'm amazed at how much grace I seemed to have when I first got the news about Ali being rushed to the hospital. I wanted good things for everybody. I honestly thought that I'd be bringing Ali home to Floria just a couple of days after arriving in San Francisco at the end of April. I even threw Ali's car seat in my car for the ride home from the airport. One helping of good things and healing for everybody. I just want everything to be okay. God will make this all okay in just a day or two. It will be a much needed wake-up call for Charity and Timmy. Ali will come home with us until Charity gets her act together. Ali will be in the loving home of grandma and grandpa in Florida.
The first two days in San Francisco were a wake-up call for me. The state took custody of Ali, Charity's parental rights were suspended, I read hospital and police reports, the doctors were extremely grim about Ali's future, and child protective services told me I couldn't have custody of Ali because "she might go from the frying pan into the fire."
Reality was no longer reality. Grace has left the building.
Am I allowed to feel this way? As a Christian? As a Pastor?
I used to be able to look at somebody else's tragedy and just say, "Trust Jesus. No trial will come upon you that is too big for you to handle." Shut my mouth.
I don't know how I'll feel today in court. God has been faithful to provide everything I need to daily live in grace and obedience (not that I've always been graceful or obedient). But I seem to only get enough for the day. When I think about what I'm going to need for the future as I process outcomes and relationships, I honestly don't feel Christian or Pastoral. If first impulses are any indication, vengeful and vindictive most describe the attitude I'll have. I'll need wisdom and grace every single day for the next few years. More than I've ever exercised up to this point.