After one of the best vacations of my life…the laundry side of life came roaring back in over the past two days.
Yesterday was our monthly picnic at church in the Shady Hill community. I spent most of the time making small talk with random church and neighborhood members. Towards the end I spotted a woman I have known there for over four years. I remember meeting her and her partner, their cute-as-could-be toddler boy, and eventually a beautiful baby girl who joined them all to make a family of four. Over the years it has been clear that they have struggled heavily in life. We have caught up over her job struggles, her partners job struggles, and sending her oldest to kindergarten. Yesterday I devastated to hear that one month ago ICE showed up at 6 am to search her trailer for someone who was not there. In the midst of the search they turned to her partner; who was unfortunately Latino, living in a trailer park, and undocumented. ICE arrested him and took him away, with no warrant. My friend lost her partner and her children lost their father. Since that time she shares her son has been struggling, and has gotten in several highly uncharacteristic fights in their neighborhood.
Thankfully her partner has not been deported, but he is being kept in a prison over an hour away. The mother is allowed to visit once a month for an hour. Right now they are fighting his deportation, but if the judge chooses to not hear their case then he will be deported no matter what. I stood and cried with my friend as she shared her heartbreak at losing her partner, her worry for how her children were handling it, and her struggle in that her partner was the major breadwinner for the family…thus she is now sinking even farther into poverty. I would appreciate your prayers for this family. Pray for comfort, that they would feel God with them during this time and find hope. Lastly, pray for justice because it is sorely lacking for them…and for thousands of other families across this nation that are having their families torn apart due to unjust laws.
After a heavy Sunday I returned to work this morning. I walked into work and went first to check my mailbox on my way to my office. Inside were the usual memos, schedules, and random things that would gather there in a week off. Unfortunately I also discovered discharge papers telling me that one of my client’s had been hospitalized for suicidal ideation, and a copy of the suicide letter she had written that specifically mentioned that she was going to kill herself after I went away. Ughhh. I thank God that she is okay, but still my heart hurt so badly to read the letter detailing all the things she hates about herself. I will be honest that it does test my pacifist beliefs when I consider the man, who repeatedly raped her, telling her that she would have more to lose than him, and her admitting in the letter that she was tired of trying to prove him wrong.
To top off the day I learned that another of my client’s was facing the likelihood of his father dying this week. This is a client who already had a trauma history as long as my arm, including the murder of his sister several months ago.
I would appreciate your prayers for these situations as well. Pray for healing, restoration, hope, and that all those involved would come to know God and how much God cares for them.
I know God is good. But I would be lying if I did not admit that days like yesterday and today leave me wondering what is going on and searching to understand God’s love and goodness for these people. I know it is there. And hopefully that will be enough as we stumble through this darkness.