A life of love

A life of love
Everyone should have a Great Pyrenees

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Present

God has given us all a present. It is the present.

No matter what our past, no matter the current or past hurts. No matter what.

We can choose to embrace the gifts from God, or we can choose not to.

I watch this with my adopted children. They all have past hurts that brought them to be adopted. Now, God has given them a family. They can choose to embrace it or not. As a parent, my job is to show them the beauty of embracing all the gifts, of looking for the silver lining in those clouds. I cannot make them choose it, but I can work to teach them and show them the beauty. And at some point I have to not take it personally if they choose to not embrace those gifts at times. I have to let them learn from their actions.

That is the hard part. Really hard.

Let me add, that this pertains to all my children, not just those born into our hearts but not through our bodies. I look at Kiley and see the hurts that she has endured with her chronic illness. That could scar her if she let it, just as my adopted kiddos' pasts could scar them. She needs to make the same choices. Alex and Faith have spent years living with this disease that at times totally places them secondary as we work to keep their sister healthy. There are times that they are not the priority because at the time, saving Kiley’s life is. I wish it didn’t sound so dramatic, but it has been at times. There are times they themselves have helped to save their sister from her disease. All three times we have had to call the rescue squad, Alex has called them, starting at age 10. My heart breaks for them. It could scar them just as my other kiddos histories could scar them.

And maybe that is the blessing that we keep teaching. Everyone has something. Everyone. Or someday they will. No one is immune. So, you can either move forward and embrace the gifts, or you can leave them still closed, sitting in a corner.

I lost my father as a child. My mother remarried when I was an adult. The gift to me was the wonderful love my stepfather has for my mother, the way he cares for her, and extra special is the love he has lavished on my children and my family. That is the blessing. I choose to embrace that gift totally. I could spend the rest of my life wallowing in the loss of my father and all that I would like for him to be part of now, or I can embrace what I do have, which is truly an amazing gift, more than I could ever ask for.

Yes, I have a loss. But it has brought me gifts if I will choose to see them. Perhaps empathy with my children who have lost a parent and come to us through adoption. Perhaps as I have walked with others through their own losses, I just have experiences that make it a gift, even if I don’t know it all.

So, how do I help my children learn to embrace the gifts they do have? It is a frustrating struggle sometimes. It is very hard to watch them learn things the hard way. To watch them miss out by choice. But the gift is when they do join in, when they do make steps forward, when they show signs of healing. This is a very long journey with them, with each child, no matter how they came to us. But there are gifts with each step, with each frustration. Sometimes it needs to be searched for very hard.

The child who after 2 ½ years is still struggling with the same phonics, no matter how I present it, all the various ways we have tried it. That is the negative. The positive is the hope for him, how hard he works at it, the rejoicing in each little step, and maybe some days, the patience I am being taught.

The child who can’t quite bring themselves to truly enter in, who appears moody, and at times simply apart. The gift is the moments when that child enters in, the laughter, oh so sweet because there are times it is totally absent, the joy when the child completely interacts with us.

The financial struggles at times, - they remind us so of what is really important and how wealthy we truly are. And when the car bill has been paid, the quarterly gas bill paid, my annual work dues paid, well the relief at knowing that we got it done. Hard work equals our life. It is all worth it. And what we see as financial struggle is generally minor discomfort, not true struggle. I have enough food in the house to feed us for at least a month without need for much of anything outside our larder – maybe not always our favorite meals, but healthy nutritious meals to fill the bellies of all ten of us! That is wealth. So many people in the world cannot do that. It is crazy wealthy, the rest is all minor passing inconvenience or the sacrifices we make for our family.

And the best gift of all, the most eternal. The love of our Saviour, His sacrifice that we can never deserve. That is the basis for all that we do. Our good works can never save us, only the true grace of the Lord. But also, “faith without works is dead”. If we believe in our salvation, it simply must change how we live. And that isn’t always comfortable, but I have seen God do amazing miracles in lives all around me, stretching people into places they never dreamed of, and along with it, into amazing richness!

No comments: