Sunday, August 25, 2013

A Prayer for Missy

It keeps coming around and confronting me but I just finally got it!

I must be a little slow, but looking backwards I realize that it's a reoccurring theme.  I think I know now what I am suppose to keep before the Lord in earnest prayer.



I haven't known what exactly to pray for Missy other than the usual daily prayers a mother would pray for her child. What specifically was it the Holy Spirit would have me plead in her case? Would He have me pray that she learn to obey, to be truthful, to learn to put forth 100% effort rather than the usual 25%?  Would she benefit most from learning to trust me? Should I pray for healing of her mental capabilities so that she could understand her purpose in life or learn to choose right from wrong? Of course, I pray for her salvation.... We actually pray for all these things - even with her as we try to help her out of her obstinance but what exactly is her greatest need? What is the key to unlocking this child's greatest potential?

I was going to post a picture that was being shared on facebook that sums things up for me very well, but on closer inspection I saw that it says right on it, do not copy! So I'll describe it instead. There's a little girl looking up into her brother's face. She's a cute little thing, but her expression of pure happiness is what makes the picture. She has every sign of Down syndrome, but it's her glee that stands out. The inscription reads: The only disability in life is a bad attitude. It's truth. 

Take a look at Nick Vujicic - the No arms, No legs, No worries, man.... Nothing has stopped him from going and doing and being. He has a great attitude and he is dependent on God and God has blessed him with an incredible ministry of encouraging people and pointing them to Jesus. I think I might be tempted to think my life was limited if I were to lose my arms and legs. That's not Nick's mindset.

I suppose I could go on digging up examples of people with various disibilities, physical or mental, to show how  these things did not define them... However, you can think of them yourselves. You have met a few people whose beautiful attitude totally characterizes them and they go on to LIVE life to the fullest - a blessing and an encouragement to all with whom they come in contact. The radiance of Jesus shines from their faces. There are a few in this sin sick world who rise above themselves....

The opposite is true also.... You know many, many, many people whose sour attitude defines them negatively. It has become their disibility. It limits them. It eventually destroys them. There are far too many of these sad, distorted thinking people who have given themselves to self pity. They have become a burden, even to themselves. 

I have said to my friends who pray for Missy and pray for us in our struggles to help her, "None of her deficits would matter if only she were happy!"

I've heard some families speak of their little children with cognitive impairments as the little joy makers in their homes;  Precious and delightful; Cheerful little loving angels; Cherished and enjoyable companions.....  The raw, ugly truth is that it is not going that way with this child in our home. This is a child that needs Jesus to change her attitude towards parents, teachers, brother, sisters, routines, chores, learning, herself.... in short, she needs a major attitude adjustment. Her attitude is going to make or break her. The trend we are seeing is that her attitude is going to destroy her. IT IS her disability. 

Unfortunately, for Missy, she is incapable of changing her attitude. She doesn't even know what it means to be content, let alone joyful. This is heart work that the Lord will have to do for her. Something we must pray for her. She has no clue of her need. At this point she is not capable of seeing her need of Jesus and it's heartbreaking.

Lest you think that this journey has everything to do with the child, it isn't. It has everything to do with refining the character of the parents, too. If you want to know what you are made of.... trying working with a struggling person. You might find you need to pray for your own attitude before long... as we have.

Pray for us. Pray for Missy.

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

I don't know how to say this, but a happy child with Down's, or Nick V with his happy message-- they are a lot different from someone who has suffered trauma, neglect, and abuse. That child with Down's and Nick V were born into a family of love and support. Their limitations are physical, visible, and understandable. But what Missy has is a hidden disability. It's a result of early trauma and it miswires the brain. Survivors of child abuse struggle with even feeling worthy to live, as a result of their worthlessness being beat into them by the people that were supposed to be the secure attachment. I say this with confidence as a survivor of a childhood of hell. I am functional, on the surface, you can even say I seem completely "normal," but underneath that veneer is a simmering black darkness. It keeps me from ever being able to fully trust, or experience joy. Every single event in my life has been shaped and colored by the fact that I was a whipping post, sexual outlet, and a burden to all that loved me.
That makes me much different than a child with Down's or a child born without limbs. They still had love. They were not consistently broken for years and years.
I pray that Missy, at least, becomes an educated, self-sufficient adult. I pray that you come to learn why she can't snap out of it and become Pollyanna.

acceptance with joy said...

I know that I am praying for a miracle. It's impossible for her to be happy right now. I'm asking the God of impossibilities to remake her feelings or if you would rather, rewire her. That's not impossible for Him. I want her to experience joy.... real joy in Jesus not a polyanna experience that is a veneer... I don't want her to just be educated and self sufficient... I want her to find her hope in Jesus. God has promised a new heart. I want her to live life to the full and in some way, live for others and not dwell on her little pity party....

She has a twin brother. He has experienced life just as she has. He is not mad and miserable all the time. Is he suppose to be?

We are providing her a healthy, happy, loving environment... no we were not there the first few years. We wish we had been.

acceptance with joy said...

I pray that you can find true joy in your life, too. I am sorry you have suffered.

acceptance with joy said...

One more thing, these children have siblings that are adopted out to other homes. Friday we had the opportunity to have one of Missy's sisters here for a visit. She really struggled for awhile too. She had a rough time... she suffered more than the twins because she was older and experienced more and was more aware of what was going on. Her mother was radiant to share with me that this girl is her most cheerful, right hand. She is doing so well.... none of the old misery is present. They are so greatful!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your comments. Some people are just more resilient than others, when it comes to PTSD. Here's an interesting TED talk on "Post-Traumatic Growth," don't know if Missy will grow into this, but there are definitely exercises to try. You already do a lot of the "movement" component! ;)
http://www.ted.com/talks/jane_mcgonigal_the_game_that_can_give_you_10_extra_years_of_life.html

acceptance with joy said...

Thank you. I will watch the tedtalk. We don't actually know if Missy has PTSD. No one has ever suggested that it might be the case. I will do all I can to facilitate her healing.... whatever the case may be.

Kelly said...

My Jackson is so unhappy and can't stand for other's, especially Delaney, to be happy. Delaney, who suffered the same trauma, is so happy. She has reached a contentment in her life that is so refreshing. We too are praying for a miracle for Jackson. It is so difficult for everyone in the family to live with such a sour attitude. I try so hard to stay positive but I must admit that my attitude is not the same as it was 5 years ago before Jackson enter the doors of our home. I am a different person and I need much prayer and change as well. I will be praying for all of you.

Mama in Uganda said...

Oh my...do not get me going on trauma. A child has a choice..."Even a child is known by his way," the Proverbs says. Our children who have experienced the most trauma, are by far happier than the ones who were coddled in an orphanage. ITS A CHOICE!

Anonymous said...

I understand what you are saying. We have siblings who are sixteen months apart. The older is just the grumpiest, grouchiest girl I have ever met! She's always mad about something, no matter what is going on. Her sister, with the most abuse & turmoil of the two, has become a cheerful, happy child in spite of significant learning difficulties. That's just another thing that makes her older sister angry....her sister is happy and content with life.
I understand PTSD (I have another child who struggled with this) and trauma brain....yet sometimes it does truly boil down to making a choice to change, ask for help and allow someone to help and guide you.
Blessings & praying for you!
Barb

Mark and Melanie said...

Oh, I so completely understand. Our kiddos are not bio siblings. We adopted our daughter from Ukraine In 2010 at age 3. Last summer, she had a horrific illness that resulted in loss of cognitive and physical function. She is currently functioning at about the 12 month level. Yet through all the excruciating pain she endured and challenges she has faced,our daughter has remained a joyful, radiant child. Our son was adopted from the same orphanage 6 months after our daughter at the age of 4. He has FASD and a traumatic brain injury (a result of his birth mom's neglect). I see such intelligence and moments of sweetness in this child, but most of his life is spent in the same place as Missy.
My husband and I feel stretched beyond belief and sometimes, wonder how we will survive the next 12 years. Only God... He will sustain us in this journey and like you, I pray that somehow my son will realize his need for dependence on our Heavenly Father and perhaps find peace/joy in his heart. Thank you for sharing your journey. It helps to know that we are not alone in these challenges - although I would not wish them on anyone.
To Anonymous, thank you for your insight. Anything I can learn that will help me understand my son is a blessing to me.

Emily said...

You are in my prayers. So is Missy. It's nice to be able to pray so specifically. I'm praying for an attitude adjustment that can come only from HIM.

Anonymous said...

Have you read the book "One Thousand Gifts" by Ann Voskamp? I lived for much of my life with a need for an attitude adjustment. I was so unhappy and empty because of things that also were a part of my childhood. A friend shared this book with me and it has lead to a true conversion experience and a life full of joy. I believe that it would be a big help for Missy. I know that she isn't able to read it like I have, but maybe you can try to encourage her after reading it.
God bless you.
B.

acceptance with joy said...

B.

I have not read the book.... i have from time to time read some of her blog. The concept of cultivating thankfulness is Biblical and it is also scientifically proven to change people's attitudes. I went to a couple of lectures in TX on that principle. I have wanted to help the kids make that more a part of their lives, but I kind of got busy and it requires creativity - GOOD IDEA. Thank you.

Emily.
Blessings on your increasing family!! I am so surprised!!! It's good news. And thanks for praying. I know you understand this journey... prayers for yours kiddos, too.

Melanie,

I am so sad to hear about your daughters illness. I have been to your blog - but I guess not lately, and I remember how sick she was, I somehow missed the outcome. Such a heartbreaker. Yes, it is nice to know there are others with us in this boat... (as my friend says, "and we can't exactly pull the plug on it, either!" sorry, that there are so many children who suffer. I wish no one had to experience it, though. Your little guy has been home one year. A few years will make a difference.... Hopefully! God bless him.

Barb,
Thank you for sharing your story. Prayers for your little "Grumpy" :-) Too.

Summer,
We don't stick to blogger, do we. I thank the Lord for your encouragement when I need it. You are always on the other end of that messenger thingy.

Kelly,
I remember you in my prayers. You are in this boat, too. Poor Jackson. He needs that miracle of Grace in his life.

I appreciate all of you sharing with me. Blessings. Angela

confidentingrace said...

Praying for you all and your precious Missy! It is hard to keep a loving attitude toward those who are at times unlovable. And we ache for their misery, too. I'm praying that the God of the impossible will work a mighty change in Missy's heart! Visiting from the UNITE blog party. :)

Jen said...

Oh dear friend. My heart is welling over with tears. I hear her heart cry for joy...just joy. And I pray along with you that God would do a miracle, that He would teach you all through this, that He would guide and direct you. I am reading through the posts from UNITE & the post right before you was about difficult daughters also! It is incredible how God uses one another to bring healing and for His glory! Love & a big virtual hug. ~ Jen