Thursday, August 28, 2008

Where do we go from here?

The last few days I have "relived" my Vietnam experience. I want to thank everyone for their very kind comments. Several people have told me that I was "amazing"-- trust me, I'm not amazing. I'm just someone doing what I felt I was supposed to do.

For almost 2 year now I have thought about writing a book. The length of time alone tells you its not about my Vietnam adoption. Its actually about Darrell's accident and death. So much happened in that 5 weeks and God was very actively working in my life then. I felt so sure that God was telling us Darrell would live and I was encouraged to believe this because I was not the only one who felt that way. I journaled the entire time, 1) to help give me some emotional release and 2) I thought from the very beginning that God would use our story to glorify HIM through Darrell's healing. God was glorified many times, over and over, but when Darrell died I thought I must have gotten that part wrong too. God tried to show me the week after Darrell's death that I was wrong, but I wouldn't listen, and honestly I didn't understand it. But 6 months later He was showing me again that He had work for me.

I had no idea how I would be used. At first I thought it was to comfort other widows but really didn't feel called in that direction. I started writing a little bit and stopped.

My sister in law, Karol, says that we are refined with each hardship we face. With all my experiences I think I must be a large lump of coal. I am not perfect. I am so far from perfect!!! But I think my experiences with Darrell and Vietnam show us that God is faithful. He never promised me that Darrell would live. He never promised me that I would get Emma or bring her home. He simply asked me to obey and He promised to stay with me through it all.

So to answer the title of my post: Where do we go from here?

We go forward.

We go forward because to linger on the pain of the past does us no good. We take what we learn from these experiences and we march on into the future. God sent us here on earth for such a short time for a purpose. I think that purpose is to live life to the fullest and to love those around us.

And we can't do that if we're stuck in the past.


Kristin said...

Again, thank you for the reminders of what is important in life. I have put some things aside lately while trying to deal with others. It's time to fix that and start listening to what I am told to do. My faith has wavered lately. I need to get back on track.

We have a friend facing a very serious illness. We just found out yesterday. His son is our son's age. Facing an unknown future, loss of job, and who knows what else, it makes our problems very minor. I need to get my act together again and turn to God. I haven't in a while. But the past few months have shown me the errors of my ways.

Anonymous said...

Your blog is a testimony to His faithfulness. Thanks for sharing your heart. We also continued with His call on our heart to adopt after dealing with 2 tragic deaths. We have been home a month now. God remains faithful.
Mom to 6

~Issy said...

Denise, i hope that you will continue to blog. You are a wonderful writer and i think will be able to reach many with your words and heart.

Sometimes answers for understanding things that happen to us don't come easy and sometimes those answers, well, don't come at all. Being faithful to God's word is what gets us through things....

Many, many soft hugs....

Karen said...

Excellent post! By the way, I found your blog through the family blog carnival. Thanks so much for sharing such difficult things with such grace.

Teresa =) said...

Denise -

Thanks for opening your heart and sharing your story of faith with all of us! You are a strong woman and your children are very lucky to have you as their Mom!!

People tell me I'm a hero for make us ALL look like amateurs!! You inspire me to be a better Mom and a better person!

Teresa =)

Rah Bickley said...

Dear Denise,
A member of sent me your blog. I am deeply impressed that you are mothering six bio and adopted children. I'm so sorry about Darryl and Ella Joy but I'm so glad about Emma and your other children.
You have encapsulated what's despicable and unexplained about the US government's actions in creating the debacle that was the Vietnam adoptions program. I am so glad to see this. This is a great wrong that must be brought to justice. And the people responsible must be removed and punished, so that Vietnam adoptions can continue uniting U.S. famiies with Vietnamese orphans.
I urge you, now that your friends have overturned their NOIDs, to name the government officials who screamed at them and intimidated them, and conducted a bogus "investigation." If you don't want to do it on your blog, please consider doing it in a letter to the new CIS ombudsman, to your Senators, and to the co-chairs of CCAI.
God bless you. I admire your courage and your honesty and your telling this story based on your sense of outrage at the US Government's abuse of many citizens, and of innocent, helpless orphans in Vietnam. - Rah Bickley, Durham, NC, AP to Sam, 18 months, from Vietnam

Anonymous said...

Denise, this is Rah (Sarah) Bickley again. The folks at (who I communicate with regularly on Vietnam adoption issues) want me to ask if we can link your blog to the BOCH website. Would that be possible? Also, we are encouraging people to read your posts on the Vietnam adoption problems and to pass them on to others, including Members of Congress. So please let me know if we can link to your blog - I'm at
Thanks, Rah