I wrote this post months ago, and it sat in my “Drafts” folder as I contemplated whether I should post it. I read it again last week and the timing was perfect because I was discouraged at the moment, and weary, and feeling like life was just harder than I could manage. My own words smacked me right in the face. I must have been very fired up when I wrote this – that’s all I can say. If you think you are ready, read on.
When we adopt children from “hard places,” we are willingly devoting our lives to a challenge. We must prepare ourselves for battle, not with our child, but for our child. We may find ourselves fighting for her physical health, emotional health, and mental health. Without a doubt we will be fighting a spiritual battle like none other.
This is not a battle against flesh and blood, but a spiritual battle for our children’s healing and wholeness. But you and I both know who will win this battle – who has already won it – the Lord Jesus. He placed your children in your family and my children in mine, and He does not make mistakes. I don’t mean that in a trite “greeting card” way – He is the Lord of the universe and He is sovereign and good. He loves us and He loves our children who come to us with broken hearts and bodies.
We may be hurt in the process. Our hearts will be wounded by burdens we never imagined we would face. Our bodies may be hurt as we love a raging child. Our minds will be easily led down a road of anxiety over the future. Sadly, our other children may also suffer and we will need to protect them and heal their wounds as the home they once knew is changed before their eyes.
But, this is it, this is the battle we have been called to fight and we cannot fight it alone; we need to gather people around us. We need friends who love us and our children and who understand the significance of this hard work . We need fellow adoptive parents to encourage us and remind us of the value of our calling. We need friends who will not only pray but bring dinner on long therapy days; friends who will support us when we feel we cannot go on. And we need the Church, the Body of Christ, to shelter us and be our “safe place,” the place where we can always go when there is nowhere else to turn.
When our days are very challenging, we may cry out to God and ask him, “How long? How long will we struggle?” I don’t know the answer, but I can tell you that our first adopted children arrived home over 4 ½ years ago. Dimples is making significant progress, but it has been 54 months, two weeks and 3 days of working toward her healing, which we are seeing slowly happen. There is no quick fix, and if we are hoping there is we will be sorely disappointed. This is a marathon, not a sprint.
When I am weary, familiar phrases from God’s Word bring me encouragement. We are running a race. This world is not my home. God heals the brokenhearted. But today, the words that come to me time and time again are those of Winston Churchill,
Never give in. Never give in. Never, never, never, never–in nothing, great or small, large or petty–never give in, except to convictions of honor and good sense. Never yield to force. Never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.
This is what I need to hear today. Never give in – never yield to force or to what may appear to be the overwhelming might of the enemy. When we wake in the morning unsure if we can make it through another day of parenting our special children, we must remember that the Lord will give us the strength to do the work He has called us to do. When we are tempted to give up the fight, we must stay in the battle believing the promises of our God who will strengthen us.
To our children we must say, “I will fight for you. I will never give in – never, never, never, never. You are mine, you are precious. You are of such great worth that Jesus died for you. You are worth weeping for, praying for, sacrificing for; I love you and I will not let you go.”
After all, there is One who has fought for us, wept for us, prayed for us, and even died for us. He loves us and He will not let us go.
Note: Are there times when “convictions of honor and good sense” bring us to a place where we cannot continue the fight for our child? Yes. This not a message to those parents and is in no way meant to judge them. If you have been released by God to seek other options for your child – I pray for grace for your family in this difficult journey.
#481 – 490 giving thanks
Noah taking the girls to school so Russ can keep working and I can stay home
birds flocking to our birdfeeder
Eby lying on his bed during Quiet Hour watching the birds from his window
Rusty helping me with a creative Christmas project
the sun coming up as I write – orange, pink, deep blue
three candles lit on the kitchen counter
Samuel working with the youth at church
Ladybug’s amazing good attitude
medications that keep my children alive – a miracle of medical science
a new week, just beginning, and all that it will hold
(p.s. One more thing – my apologies for the Deepak Chopra ad that keeps appearing in my sidebar. I have emailed BlogHer three times asking them to remove it. This is the first time they have not responded when I’ve made a request regarding removing an ad. I will contact them again today.)
Encourage one another,