A week after The Call, I gathered Georgia, Olivia, and Nathan into the backyard and handed them sledgehammers. We dragged out their beds and allowed them to destroy each one. Completely. I wanted them to know how angry I was that their world was filled with this awful pain. And I needed them to understand exactly how strongly their father and I felt about giving them the validation they needed to express their rage. That included breaking apart beds that we purchased only two years ago. It included disassembling and removing a bunkbed set that Savannah and Ginny grew up using. It encompassed a weekend of harried, last-minute plans to paint and completely redecorate two bedrooms.
I was determined to eradicate all traces of Asher’s abuse. So, Joseph and I went through the boys’ room and removed all Asher’s belongings. We knew that Nathan would never again wear Asher’s hand-me-downs, and neither one of us could stand to look at his stuff. We saved only a small shoebox worth of sentimental belongings in the impossible hope that someday Asher may return to our home. Everything else was destroyed or taken immediately to the dump.
I ran to Hobby Lobby and purchased new wall hangings, artwork, and themed tchotchkes to provide a fresh, clean start. Georgia and Olivia wanted a Tiffany-blue room with ocean/lake-inspired decor. I selected a beautiful, gold embellished canvas that states, “So Many Of My Smiles Begin With You.” Will my precious girls ever know exactly how valuable they are?
My sweet Nathan wanted superheros in his room. My heart aches every time I think about him curled in a ball, scared and abused, hoping against hope to be saved from his own brother. We painted his room steel gray and hung retro-inspired canvases of Captain America, Superman, and Iron-Man. Jeremiah 29:11 hangs over his bed.
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Everything is new. A different view is available from every vantage point in both the rooms. Beds were changed, walls painted, artwork hung, promises of God spoken and directed towards all three of these beautiful little people.
And yet it doesn’t fix it.
I screamed at God as I drove home from Hobby Lobby with a trunk filled with new decorations. I spent nearly $400 and it didn’t change the brokenness my children have inside them. It took us hours to rearrange the rooms, but my children still cling to the fears they held. Joseph took off work, I made a million phone calls to arrange for ongoing therapy, Savannah and Ginny stepped up with meals and household chores, but I can’t make the pain stop. I can’t make it go away.
So, I am left clinging to the same truths I find myself speaking over my children. God’s plans are for me. He has a hope and a future for me. He will see me through this, because He is good. And somewhere I believe that even though redecorating won’t fix it somehow it does help us all take a step in the right direction. Somehow it is not in vain.