All Kinds of Weird

Tuesday night, I was about as low as I have been for a long time. Literally, I kept crying randomly during the day at work. I simply could not see any light ahead in our current situation.

“I need to talk to someone,” I told Marnell. I told him I had thought of trying to get a hold of a local woman who had also taken many different people into her house through the years. But I didn’t know how to reach her.

Then, I shared with our small group from church (by message) about how much I was struggling. I then hurried off to help Marnell with Nick’s robotics team. The competition is Saturday (now today) so we have been scrambling to get things together.

Somehow, when I walked out of the science center, I felt great relief that I had not felt for probably 30 hours. If I had been at home all day, I would have thought it was just getting out into society. But I wasn’t. I had been with people all day, and I had felt a deep sense of gloom all day.

The relief I felt was deeper than a robotics class.

Next up was prayer meeting with our church. Again, I shared some of my struggles, although I pointed out that I had already felt relief from the prayers of our small group from Sandy Ridge.

“I feel so useless most of the time,” I said. “It’s like he (that particular young man) complains about everything and isn’t grateful for anything, so what’s the point? I’m not sure if I can do this.”

Sure enough, on the way home in the car that particular young man blew up when we got on the topic of missing school assignments and stomped away from the car as soon as we got home. Later, we gathered in the sitting room for prayer and Marnell helped him talk through his feelings.

“I am trying,” the boy insisted, “but people are still getting on me. It doesn’t help to do good things because I still get blamed. People say I’m still blaming other people for my problems and I’m not.”

An odd sense of empathy struck me at this moment.

He was being rather unreasonable, but I did remember a time in my life when I had felt much the same way.

“I’ve felt that way too,” I said. “And it’s unfortunate. The thing is, sometimes you can do the wrong thing for awhile and get away with it. But then sometimes you can do the right thing for awhile, and no one notices. Or, you start doing better, and about that time, other people find out about what you did wrong a long time before. They don’t know you’re doing better, and so they treat you like the person you used to be. It even happens in churches.”

I wasn’t giving him advice or even a solution. Just solidarity. And the odd thing was? He was quiet.

The next night, what to my wondering eyes should appear, but two loads of gifts from two families in our small group. Who knew how handy a freezer meal could be on robotics week? Or our favorite cheeses and meats and bread from the Nappanee Bakery?

The next night, the young man with the attitude completed four papers that his teacher had asked him to do, and didn’t drink all of his Dr. Pepper.

“What’s happening with me?” he said. “I’m doing better at school and not drinking as much pop. This is weird!”

Well, there are a lot of definitions of weird. Our life is weird. Politics are weird. Book publishing and robotics competitions are weird.

But on the roller coaster ride we are on, I’ll take the weird that follows prayer. I’ll take the weird that means less sugar. And I’ll take the weird that means doing better at school.

P.S. Our schedule today was weird too. Book signing this morning for me and robotics competition this afternoon for both boys, on separate teams. A few photos below!

Shaunda, the expert editor of Captain Garrison.
Our friend Steve.
My trusty friend and mentor Barb.
Dracko with his team from school.
Doing a practice run…
Nick with the shirt he designed
Dracko with his coach and teammate who ran the robot with him.

25 thoughts on “All Kinds of Weird”

  1. Hi, I’ve recently subscribed and haven’t read many of your earlier posts yet. Are you fostering? We’re foster parents (and now adoptive). I get the part about feeling like it can be a thankless role sometimes. So glad to hear of the support you have. I enjoy your writing!

    1. Katrina Hoover Lee

      We are not officially foster parents, but practically speaking we are for now. It’s complicated. As it always is, I’m sure! Thanks for your encouragement.

  2. I love this post. Just love it. For realness. For sacrificial love. For getting back up when it is simply an act of faith. For prayers offered. For giving with out reciprocation.

  3. Prayer works like that so many times. Nothing changes, yet we feel relief. Then, we see small changes and know it was the “weirdness” of answered prayer.

    1. Katrina Hoover Lee

      Thanks for attesting to the same thing in your own experience. Sometimes it just helps to know we are not alone!

  4. So Thankful God gave you a glimpse, that what your teaching is being processed. Keep on keeping on loving in the most unloving moments , line upon line, precept upon precept. A fellow parent of teenage.

  5. Love the humanness. Life is like a rose. You take ahold of the stem n often get pricked by the thorns. Drawing blood n hurting deep. But as your eyes are drawn upward you find the beauty… the sweet smelling rose…. Keep looking up to God. Only He can make our storms beautiful! Hugs 🤗

  6. Sometimes it just seems like God lets the darkness press in on us so that we press in closer to Him. What if the dark days mean that there is an unseen battle waging and our prayers are needed to help unleash the power of the Holy Spirit? Pain isn’t what we seek, and so often seems pointless, but it seems easier to bear somehow if we can imagine a purpose in it. Prayers!❤

  7. I wonder sometimes if the dark days mean that there is an unseen battle waging and that our prayers are needed to help unleash the power of the Holy Spirit. Somehow the pain seems easier to accept if a purpose can be imagined into it. Prayers!❤

  8. Wow! What an amazing example of the power of prayer! God cares about the details of our lives, and knows our weaknesses but wants us to keep on in spite of the struggle!!
    I really believe believe that beyond the rebellion, the discipline issues, the dont care attitude, the whats the use of trying is a spiritual fight between good and evil. Satan thought he had these young souls in his clutches and he sees the good being slowly infiltrated. He is not about to give them up easily! Another tactic Satan uses is discouragement. Don’t give up, God has a bigger, better plan for these boys! And you too!! Blessings!

  9. I just read your last few blogs. Seriously, Katrina–Captain Garrison read aloud in a public school! Praise God! And no wonder you and I are both fighting discouragement. One of our other authors told me that every time one of his books is released, frustrating things start happening to him–computer problems, etc. Another friend told me that in Liberia, whenever they hosted a youth Bible School, someone on staff would become seriously ill. We are in a battle, and the enemy does not want people to read how Jesus, the Lamb, changes lives. Keep up your courage, sister! He is still changing lives!

  10. God. Is. Good.
    So thrilled your week turned out the way it did!!! You are doing a great job. Your love for these boys (yes, I know you may not always feel love but them being in your home is proof enough that you love them) will speak much louder than they may ever let you know.
    Praising God with you!!!

  11. Sighhhh! Isn’t that life?? I always find your blogs encouraging. I’ve been doing some jail volunteer work and also knowing of another young girl (22 yrs) in jail for life just spirals me down-until someone reminded me of our duty of faithfulness in presenting the truth and God gives the increase( altho’ we may not see the increase.)

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