Sometimes I have forgotten I even prayed that prayer. When I lose sight of that, the journey is much harder. BUT sometimes when I am in the very midst of struggling with a certain little person the remembrance of it hits me full in the face. I am almost able to push the thought away when I am feeling mostly frustrated and rebellious that I MUST go over this ground with her again and again and again..... The frustration only grows and I am then less effective in reaching her heart. I can't say the circumstances change and the behaviors go away and her little heart suddenly responds to my entreaties when I focus on her thru the lens of seeing her as God sees her... She has a part to play in her restoration as well.... sure would be easier if she had no power of choice. But the again, robots aren't capable of relationships and it's a relationship we are after.
I'm pretty sure God gave me the twins in answer to my original prayer. I won't even try to wonder if I would have prayed it had I known. They are precious in His sight and I think that I know the joy it brings Him when they make a positive choice that betters their lives.
Yesterday was one of those HARD days. It was eleven o'clock at night when I was staring into the eyes of the same child that had been in hard-hearted rebellion since had I asked he to brush her teeth right after breakfast. Mostly we hadn't allowed her to ruin our day. We didn't take ownership of the attitude or engage. We left her to feel the responsibility of her choices on her own and she didn't like it, but she wouldn't change her course. She kept missing the next activity of the day... and we carried on like we respected her ability to make her own decision to stay in the same spot for hours pretending to obey. We had a small reprieve in the evening while we were all in the field weeding the tomato patch. She was very helpful, worked well and was engaging in conversation with the rest of us. Soon after our Father's day treat and time together on the porch things went South again and when it's late and you are tired it's easy to get TIRED of the battle. VERY TIRED OF THE BATTLE!! Patience begins to wear thin. When the child manages to hoodwink you and throws you a triumphant grin THEN it starts to get PERSONAL! However, even then, I was struck, even as I looked into her face at how beautiful her clear blue eyes were and the thought crossed my mind, "if only to see her heart and soul as God sees....
Someone shared on facebook this statement this morning..... so apropos:
"Christ can look on the misery of the world
without a shade of sorrow for having created man.
In the human heart He sees more than sin, more than misery.
In His infinite wisdom and love He sees man’s possibilities,
the height to which he may attain.
He knows that,
even though human beings have abused their mercies
and destroyed their God-given dignity,
yet the Creator is to be glorified in their redemption."
- 7T 269.3
There are two children.... twins who came from the same place and similar trauma and the same genetic pool. One so desperately gripping control and holding herself tight against the rope along the cliff. She imagines an endless, dark and scary abyss below but her eyes are shut tight. She won't let go. She's afraid. The other child has decided to trust and let go. He found he was but an inch off a path leading to interesting possibilities... This scenario is played out daily in our home.
James woke up with one thing on his mind. It was Father's day. His first words were about Father's day and he set about to plan what he would do in appreciation for the man he calls dad. He settled on "detailing" the van. He would have chosen dad's work car but obviously, dad had it with him at work, so he cleaned the van in preparation for our upcoming trip. He vacuumed and cleaned windows and carried out things to be put away. He needed a little help, but he stuck with his task most of the morning. He wanted to finish off with a hose and rag, but I was worried it might not turn out so good so I took him to the car wash and had it washed and waxed. He was so thrilled with the end results. The kiddo weeded and made cookies with big sister for dad. All day he was happy and thinking outside of himself. Such a contrast!
I have to tell you we put out the ultimatum last night for Missy. No more swimming, no more summer school, no more fun, and no more treats ..... that is, unless we saw a change in the current stream of things. Somehow you have to make clinging to a rope on the side of a rock even more uncomfortable than it already is...
She woke up with a different face. A pleasant determination marked her features. She chose to go hiking with the girls first thing this morning rather than lazing around and fighting routine and to do what is right. On her mountain hike with Vanessa she found this flower and brought it home for me. I hope she realizes life is sweeter, calmer, happier thinking outside of herself.