Christine Dufresne has been a Promised Pauline Cooperator for 5 years. Originally from New Bedford, MA, she served at a mission in Kentucky for 16 months before moving back to MA where she currently lives in Norwood. In addition to being a foster parent, she has been working with children in various ways for the past 25 years, helping with the children’s program on retreats and with the Holy Family Institute group in Boston, and is currently a nanny for several families. She serves as a Eucharistic minister in her home parish of St. Catherine’s in Norwood. Most recently she has completed her studies and is awaiting graduation with her Bachelor’s in Psychology/Human Services. She has embarked on latest part of her journey to adoption from foster care of a sweet seven year old little girl. God is Good!!!
For though I fall, I will rise again. Though I sit in darkness, the LORD will be my light. (Micah 7:8)
Because we are about to enter Fall, I find it slightly amusing that the topic I find myself called to write about this month is falling. This topic has been on my heart often especially in the last few months. You see, as a mother I really struggle with letting my daughter fall, or fail at anything. I want to go before her every step removing all obstacles and dangers that might come in her path. Maybe part of this urge comes from the mother’s instinct that God is forming in me, but part of it also comes from my daughter’s trauma history.
Having been a foster child and bounced from home to home, my daughter has bumps and bruises that are not visible to the human eye. They show themselves in surprising ways… like a meltdown after having the best day ever or breaking a toy she waited so long to get. She has made so much progress and the effects are shorter before she picks herself back up, but still she falls and I have to let her. I am praying for the grace to get better at this.
It makes me think of my own falling… falling short of what God calls me to do… the times in my past when I have clung to darkness instead of allowing myself to repent and turn toward the Light. There were even times when I have fallen that I became a force working against myself, keeping myself down by belittling myself or believing in the lies that I tell myself about being unlovable or unforgivable. There were also times when I didn’t go to Him first, but only after all of my other attempts at fixing things on my own had failed. There have even been times when I have held onto habits that I formed to protect myself from getting hurt, but in reality these habits didn’t serve the purpose for which they were designed. Even though at times I have wished, and sometimes even begged, that God would stop all struggles, difficulties and falls from happening, I have come to realize now that not only am I learning and growing through these challenges, but also that no matter how many times I fall, God will be right there lovingly waiting to help me get back up.
So now, with God’s help, my new resolution is not to stop my daughter from ever having to fall, but instead be willing to patiently and lovingly wait to help her get back up. Lord, help me to remember to turn to You first when I witness or experience a fall and always follow your loving example of encouragement and healing. Amen!