Wow...today has just been a day of heart piercing lessons. Of course, I went on a Women's Retreat this weekend. It was called Soul Refill and I needed it! It was a wonderful weekend, so I should have known to expect this, but I was completely unprepared for what Abby threw my way today...
It started at breakfast this morning... It is our routine to read a book while she eats breakfast each morning. This morning the book was about a Koala mommy who told her Koala baby, "I love you, I really do." I thought it would be a great opportunity to use the book to teach about what mommy's do with their children...so each page I would draw a parallel to how I love her and Mackenzie.
At then end of the book, she gave me a really angry look and said, "Why you say that so much?" I was so shocked so I asked very gently, "I'm sorry, what did you say?" This time she wouldn't make eye contact with me, and the fierce challenge of her attitude was gone, but she repeated the question, "Why you say that so much?" "Because I do Abby...just because I do."
And then as she prepared herself to be hugged, she reminded me once again that I couldn't give her a kiss...it's always only the top of her head, but that's fine...I respect those boundaries and have been since she asked me not to give her a kiss. I told her that she doesn't need to remind me everytime, to which she responded, "You might forget." OUCH!!
After she left for school, I considered the power of the tongue. That a 6 year old's words could pierce my heart so sharply stopped me in my tracks... It reminded me that my words to others have the same power.
But then this evening, as I put her to bed, I looked at a place on her hand that has been causing me some concern... It's not looking any better and she immediately understood that this would mean another trip to the doctor.
All of a sudden she looked at me and said, "I not talk about God, He do this." Where on earth did that come from? So I tried to explain to her that God did not hurt her hand...
And then came the discussion about China...
"In China, I NOT go to the doctor..." "I NOT have sore on my hand..." "I NOT cough..." "I NOT go to the dentist..."
Funny how Israel always wants to go back to Egypt...if you don't know what I'm talking about, grab a Bible and read the book of Exodus. God delivered the Israelites from Egypt and every time something didn't go their way, they decided that slavery was better than a little discomfort.
I don't mean to imply that we're Abby's deliverer...but the point is that somehow we always forget the reality of what we've come from... Abby didn't have a forever family... No real security...or even much hope for the future... Through an amazing blessing, we are able to offer her that... But like the Israelites, somehow Egypt just looks better to her.
So I told her how sorry I was that she was so unhappy...that I loved her so much and that is why I take her to the doctor when she's sick and to get her teeth cleaned. I tried to explain to her that when you really love someone, you do the things that are hard, even if it hurts a little. I said "Abby, if I didn't love you so much, I would let your hand get infected and your teeth rot out. But I do love you so I take care of you."
She just sat and stared at me... "Why you look at me? Why you sit on my bed?" After a little bit I said "Abby, I think it's interesting that when we talk about birthday parties and presents and friends, you like being here... But when it comes to things you don't ike...doctors... dentists... coughs... hurt hands ... cleaning... you prefer China."
To which she responded, "Mommy, you tell me it's time to go to bed." Hmmm... she clearly doesn't like to be called on her stuff.
Abby is clearly angry with me today... I guess it could be related to my going away this weekend, but something tells me that that is not what is going on...
I think this has to do with the grieving process... She finally has language to express herself and it's all coming out. This is not the first time, and I'm sure it won't be the last. I guess I should be thankful that she is beginning to feel secure enough with me that I'm the one she's lashing out against...but I admit, it pierces my heart.
But again, it made me think about my relationship with my Heavenly Father... I may not say I want to go back to Egypt...to the slavery of sin...but sometimes I sure act like I do. I treat His provision as if it's not enough. It hurts when your children aren't content with your provision... there's no doubt that my own spiritual tantrums grieve my Father's heart..
I pray that tomorrow is a better day, but I have a sense that we may be entering in to a season... the walls of her heart are trying to come down and she is lashing out against loving us and receiving our love. I pray that someday she will rest in the truth that she is ours...we love...we will never leave her...we are hers forver.
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4 days ago