Muster Stations

muster

1536522524320The longer this child lives with me in our current state, the more likely she is to leave. It’s a defeating reality. Prior to moving to Wolfe Island, two years ago, I stopped fostering. With four children adopted from the system and having fostered for nearly a decade, I felt like I’d done what I could. The system had left me jaded. Too often it fell dramatically short of protecting the children in it’s care. I was done.

When I said yes to the birth sibling of my girls, Raine and Athena, initially the Children’s Aid Society was not involved. Before I arrived at the hospital, when the baby was only a few hours old, they became involved. Instead of coming to me through a private custody arrangement, I received her through the foster care system.

Nearly 16mths later, we are now facing the possibility of her leaving our family. Nothing is certain yet. Most of the social workers involved assure me we’re headed towards adoption. The birth mother is insisting she wants the opportunity to raise her child. It may happen. The longer she tries, the greater her chances. The longer the court process drags on, the more likely it is to happen.

This is the uncertainty I signed up for when stepping into the role of foster parent. But this hat no longer fits me well. I’m struggling to keep it on. Often it slips and I find myself putting on the hat of defender.

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On the ferry that carries me to and from my new home, there are signs indicating the muster stations. In case of emergency, passengers are to assemble at specified locations. I suppose from there, crew members will take necessary measures to save us – life jackets, lifeboats, those sorts of things. Thankfully, there hasn’t been an occasion to experience the muster stations.

Still, when I see the sign, it strikes me as something that ought to be available in everyday life. So often, we find ourselves facing situations that require a mustering of courage, faith, and hope. All alone, overcoming the feeling of defeat can become impossible.

Often it feels like we live in a world where it’s “every man for himself” or every woman for herself. Especially when the going gets tough there’s a tendency to withdraw.

What if there were a muster station for life? If there were a place where we could go for an infusion of strength to carry on what would it look like?

My situation is not unique. The details may vary, but so many of us are facing struggles and impossibilities. The more I journey through life, the more certain I am that we were not created to do so alone. So….if we could come together to create a muster station, on-line or in real life, what would it look like?

Currently, my solitary muster station involves an extra cup of coffee and listening to The Killers’ album Battle Born.

If we could manage a collective station, I’d play for you Be Still by the Killers. Since I’m not good at singing, I’d whisper the words while serving you a cup of tea. Perhaps together we could find the courage to not feel defeated when we’re no longer dealing with this alone.

Be still
And go on to bed
Nobody knows what lies ahead
And life is short
To say the least
We’re in the belly of the beast

Be still
Wild and young
Long may your innocence reign
Like shells on the shore
And may your limits be unknown
And may your efforts be your own
If you ever feel you can’t take it anymore

Don’t break character
You’ve got a lot of heart
Is this real or just a dream?
Rise up like the sun
Labor ’til the work is done

Be still
One day you’ll leave
Fearlessness on your sleeve
When you’ve come back, tell me what did you see
What did you see?
Was there something out there for me?

Be still
Close your eyes
Soon enough you’ll be on your own
Steady and straight
And if they drag you through the mud
It doesn’t change what’s in your blood
(Over rock, over chain, over trap, over plain)
When they knock you down

Don’t break character
You’ve got a lot of heart
Is this real or just a dream?
Be still
Be still
Be still
Be still

Over rock and chain
Over sunset plain
Over trap and snare
When you’re in too deep
In your wildest dream
In your made up scheme
When they knock you down
When they knock you down

Don’t break character
You’ve got so much heart
Is this real or just a dream?
Oh rise up like the sun and
Labor ’til the work is done
Rise up like the sun and
Labor ’til the work is
Rise up like the sun and
Labor ’til the work is done

Songwriters: Brandon Flowers / Daniel Roland Lanois / Dave Brent Keuning / Mark August Stoermer / Ronnie Jr. Vannucci

Be Still lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

 

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