By Andrew Tremblay
Last year, when our youngest daughter broke her leg and we were accused of child abuse, it unleashed a storm of all sorts of wrongs. Our two babies, both still foster children at the time, were moved from us in what felt like one devastating, foggy, unjust moment. Then there was investigator after investigator invading the privacy of our home, asking question after question looking for fault or to catch us in a ‘lie’; Doctors placing blame on us, and being so forceful as they tried to turn my wife against me…because statistically it’s usually the father that causes harm to the family. We never had anything to do with the judicial system before (with the exception of jury duty), and now we were suddenly meeting with social workers from two different counties, investigators very high up the chain, and hiring an attorney with money we didn’t have. All with the hopes of asking for a trial to prove our innocence and get our babies back. Nothing was certain…and it only got worse with every passing day.
As all of these things began to unfold, we had no idea of the magnitude that our faith would be tested. There were so many moments that we truly wanted to give in to the weakness and sadness of the situation; but at every turn we were always brought back to the truth that God truly does work everything “for the good of those that love Him” (Romans 8:28). From the encouragement and generosity of friends, family and even strangers; to the supernatural comfort and strength that God supplied through the Holy Spirit; to the many miracles we saw before our eyes when it seemed there was no way through so many situations. With these things our world held together, and we knew there was no way were going to give up this fight.
The weight of it all brought us to our knees, asking for our savior to do what only he could do…there truly wasn’t any other option but to run to him every moment of every day in prayer…confessing our weakness and disbelief, and petitioning him to fulfill our burning desire for our babies to come home. Even more than this passionate plea, we prayed for His glory to be revealed in all of it, no matter the outcome…He answered all our prayers in the most miraculous and surprising ways, and after 155 days we were able to bring our babies home. And as thankful as we are (you have no idea!), what He showed us in the storm has brought us to this place now where we are ever hopeful and confident in the sovereign mystery that is our God.
And we know now, that…
It was only because of the seeking that we were able to find…
It was only because of the asking that we were able to have an answer…
It was only because of the confessing that God would give us grace…ever sufficient grace.
It was only because of His goodness and faithfulness that we could become a family again.
This far removed from the turmoil, it has allowed me to reflect on some things that I could not before. One thing I have wondered lately is, “What would have happened if we didn’t do the seeking, the asking, the confessing? Would anything have been different? Was there a risk in not coming to the one we call “Abba, Father”?” In a word… Absolutely!
We would have substituted his divine wisdom with our own faulty and incomplete understanding. Our tiny perspective would have allowed the fears that already seemed insurmountable to swallow us whole. How would we have known what to do, if not for the wisdom God provided to help us make the right choices along the way?
We would have soon lost focus on the greater purpose (God’s glory) for why we should continue the fight; our thinking would have shifted from “God will deliver us” to “What’s the point of any of this?” Without that perspective, everything would have been lost…and I’m convinced that would have included our marriage.
We would have quickly turned to anything and everything that brought relief and made us feel good, rather than rest in the One who is good. The chaos that surrounded us would have won over, rather than inviting and allowing God’s peace to surround us.
While in the moment our prayers, at times, may have felt like feeble, small attempts to communicate the state of our hearts with God, we see now that prayer was our roadmap; the way God allowed us to continue moving forward, trusting Him in the unknown. They were our human way of saying, “We have no idea what You’re doing in this trial, but we do trust that you are God (period).”