The Words I Wish I Could Say

The worst part of my job, and perhaps one of the most important parts, is removing children from the care of their parents. 

It is the part of the job that I hate. Seeing the anguish on the face of parents, who love their kids despite the danger the children are in. The confusion on the face of the children who don’t understand what is happening to them or why. The anger that always inevitably comes out. The blame that always finds a way in my direction. 

For the last month this has been my life. And through it all there are words I wish I could say, things I wish parents knew. 

Here it is:

Contrary to what you may believe, I don’t want to take your children from you. I wanted to avoid this just as much as you wanted me too. But sometimes that choice is out of my hands. 

It is the worst part of my job. And in moments like this, I wish beyond all things that my job wasn’t required. But it is. Because better or worse, there will always be children at risk. And I will always be needed. 

I can promise you I anguished over the decision. I went back and forth. I looked for safety factors where there were none. I looked for other options knowing there were none. I advocated for you even though everyone else was against me. Sometimes I went against my better judgement to give you a chance. But sometimes it’s not enough. 

I don’t take pleasure from this moment. I don’t relish in it.  It doesn’t make me feel bigger or stronger. It is not an excercise of my power. It is a necessary part of my job though. 

I know this moment is traumatic for you. It is for me too, in a different way. In this moment my trauma doesn’t matter. You will never forget this moment, and neither will I. This is a moment that has irrevocably change you. I know that. It will stay with me too. 

I know you love your children. I know you want to keep them safe and healthy and you want to keep loving them. I know that this feels like your heart is being ripped out of you. 

I don’t want to take your children from you. I don’t want to keep them from you. But here we are and there is no going back. 

I’m sorry. Not sorry that I’ve done it, because I believe it is the best for your children. But sorry that it got to this point. Sorry that we had no other choices. Sorry that your children had to leave you for now. Sorry for the hurt that you are feeling now. 

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Outpouring of the Heart

What is in your heart? 

That’s the question I’ve been asking myself. 

Lately at church and at bible study there has been a common theme: what comes out was always inside your heart. 

And it’s the heart that has to change. 

Lately I’ve been stressed. Overwhelmed. Over worked. Yelled at by clients. Told how to do my job by people who would never do my job. Removed more children then I’d like to admit too. With more work to do then I know what to do with. 

I’ve been exhausted. In every way possible. I’ve been on the verge of tears multiple times. I’ve had more to drink then I’d like to admit to. 

And one other thing too. I’ve been angry. 

Not at a specific person. But at life. At the situations I find myself it. And, okay, sometimes at specific person. 

I’ve been bitter. 

I’ve been angry. 

And it’s come out. 

It’s come out in f-bombs and other swearing. It’s come out in how I’ve spoken about people. It’s come out in how I deal with people in my personal life.

Now part of me says this is a stress response. It’s the emotions of what I’ve seen and what I’ve done in the last few weeks coming out. And it has to come out. Because to let it build up will only lead to an explosion. 

But the other part of me, the small quiet voice in my head, asks a question: what is in your heart? 

And right now it is anger.

And maybe it is righteous anger in some ways. Anger at children being vulnerable. Anger at systems that fail people. Anger at the load that keeps being piled upon me. 

But is that really justified? Is anger ever okay? What is at the base of that anger? 

This is what I am wrestling with right now. 

I want my heart to be full of love. For the outpouring of my heart to be love.

I don’t like this version of myself that I am becoming. Even if there is a justified reason that it is happening. 

I don’t want to be angry anymore. 

Please God, take the anger out of my heart. Bring me your peace.