My hand without warning, clasps over my mouth hiding the twisting and  cramping of my lips.  Throat filling cries and chest swelling groans are stifled and silenced.  The other hand awkwardly holds him tight to my hip and presses him to my pounding chest.  As sun-filled as this day is, nothing, nothing can describe the blackness of the clouds that are rolling in over these moments.  Moments I have no control over.  Like waves pounding, are the sobs that I am attempting to dam up. The pressure is building, pushing, and everything is becoming blurry.  Nothing can hold them back.  Surrounding the open car door and leaning into the car seat that is about to swallow Justice and take him away, I take my quivering hand off of my mouth and let out a whispered cry.  Silent tears are spilling over my eyes while I search for the buckle, attempt to press Justices arching body into the seat, and accept his clinging arms one last time.  I kiss him over and over on his wet face.. “I’ll always love you, I’ll always love you.. Jesus will be with you..” I attempt to soothe while I complete my last task as his Mom.  Silently, the caseworker shuts the car door like a vault on his cries for me.  Walking around the car, she doesn’t extend another word… to  her I am just another foster mother.

     Four months have passed since I put my hand to the keys to write.  Little did I know, that writing about the kiln parts of life that I have become quite familiar, would begin to heat up again in my own life.  I suppose that God still had more to reveal and reinforce before my sharing with you. The theme of this kiln experience has been- loss.  It’s contractions, have been building up to new and unfamiliar pains.  The loss of dreams, hopes, a treasured grandmother that God sent to lead me to Himself and mentor me, the loss of a child we’ve loved for over 10 months,  and the anticipated loss of re-locating family members are added to a list that continues to grow as life unfolds.  These loss experiences are now added to my collection and are the newest nuggets that have been refined by the fires.  As I exit this kiln experience, I remember God’s most comforting words to me on the darkest and most fiery days of our grandmother’s death and foster-son’s departure.  They were the repeated words of- “I love you… I love you… I love you..”  Even though the pain and reality of life’s sin still stings, cuts, and pours us out at times, when I look around and listen in the flames- the presence of God and a resounding- “I love you” from our Father is all that ultimately matters.

* Daniel 3 and Matthew 11:28-30