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For those who know me well, you know that I have a pretty unhealthy fear of snakes. Just writing the word sends chills up my spine and my college roommate’s mouth is probably wide open right now. I start hyperventilating when I see a picture of one. I had to stop reading Harry Potter, not because I think Harry Potter is demonic, but because I freaked out and had nightmares for 3 whole days after the first snake appearance. A snake slithered into our backyard (obviously it was stupid and chose the wrong yard) once last year. I started screaming like a serial killer was attacking me and ran inside while leaving my then 4 year old outside to fend for himself. I yelled at him to come in, though. That totally counts as motherly, right? I do not like snakes. They terrify me. They are creepy. And slimy. And gross. And they bite.

And sometimes you don’t see them in time.

I have written over and over about how difficult the journey we started 3 years ago has been. We are in battle. Everyday. Though some days are far easier than others. We are fighting for our kids. We are fighting for them to know love. We are fighting for them to know peace. We are fighting for them to know a better way. We are fighting for them to know Jesus. And it is a battle that leaves me bloody and confused and scarred. Most days, I wake up feeling exhausted. Most days, I weep over my beautiful tribe. Most days, I want to lay my weapons and armor down. Because after 3 years, they are just too damn heavy.
I have written many times about just wanting to quit. To give in. How much easier that would be. How seemingly blissful that life would be. I could lay down at night without worrying if Jud will resent us for the time these kids take away from his time with us. Or worrying if C will hate us because we’re white. Or worrying if our daughter will choose to walk away from us altogether. Or worrying what our friends and family think of us. Or worrying that I am a complete failure at this mom thing. That life seems so much better. We seem to be so much happier there in that pretty little life. How did we end up in this messy, chaotic, broken life instead? What happened to the white picket fence and apple pie baking in the oven? (Metaphorically speaking, of course. We know that apple pie baking doesn’t exist in any life of mine.)

Our life was supposed to be a dream.

And then I am reminded of the Garden. And the Great Liar who whispered to Eve that God was holding out on them. Who is whispering the same thing to us today: God says He loves you? Then why is He keeping the good fruit all to Himself? This fruit? It will make you wise! Then God will love you more. This fruit? It will give you an easy, happy life! God is just being mean. He’s not playing fair. You just married the wrong person. That guy over there would never treat you this way. That girl over there is prettier. If you were a littler bit thinner, you would be loved. If you had a house like those people, your life would be awesome and people would like you. God really just wants you to be happy! Quit foster care. It’s too hard. It’s too messy. God didn’t really mean for you to keep loving kids in hard places. You’ve done it long enough. Leave your husband. He doesn’t understand you. Leave your wife. She doesn’t give you what you need. Marriage is just too hard. God didn’t really mean for you to stay with someone who doesn’t make you happy. Buy more clothes. Run a little more. God didn’t really mean that beauty comes from within. Happiness is just over there. Hanging on that tree. Eat that fruit.

You will feel so much better.

The lies are so easy to believe. They are easy to believe because we want to believe them. We want to believe that we should have an easy life. We want to believe that our happiness is what’s most important. But the problem with trusting snakes is they bite. They wound. They poison. And sometimes you don’t notice them until it’s too late. And the only cure, is the Truth. Though painful at times, the Truth is far better. The Truth is beautiful. The Truth is loving. The Truth is kind. The Truth is freeing. The Truth is good. The Truth is worth it.

Jesus is worth it.

What lies are being whispered to you? What Truth do you need to believe instead?