Hello dear discouraged mom,
I just read your email and want to say I am so thankful you had the courage to write the truth. I’ll write back as soon as I can. You are not alone and there is grace for all of it. You are Jesus’ precious daughter! God used this needy little one to show you the truth of how you need Him, as He does to all His beloved children in one way or another so He grows greater and we grow lesser to ourselves. We wouldn’t know grace unless we first really see the sinfulness of our sin in the eyes of a holy God. So by speaking the truth about our sin, we are where we need to be before Him. We are great sinners and we have a GREAT SAVIOUR! Will write more when I can! LOVE YOU, SISTER!
I’m thinking now of the confessions I’ve heard from honest moms over the years and will quote some so you know you’re not alone.
I feel like my child’s caregiver, not his mom.
I now understand why people disrupt.
I’m shocked at the intensity of my emotional reactions to his misbehavior.
I was shocked at some of my thoughts about my two newest adopted children.
Can you start seeking out help, respite, support? Ask your home study agency and your US placing agency what post permanency help they offer. Maybe they can help locate supports for you. It would be amazing if you weren’t struggling right now. Sometimes the needs turn out to be greater than anyone knew they would be, and grow greater rather than less after your child comes home. There’s no shame in reaching out for whatever help is available to get to a healthy place as a family.
I have felt, and you may feel, just about every human emotion there is during this journey. It is, I think, appropriate. What you are feeling is normal, and what you are doing is beautiful, friend. Hang in there.
Please hear this, though. Because you’re on the front lines, take this seriously. Do not listen to any untruths, no matter where they come from, and purposefully fill your ears with the truth of the Word. Play it aloud in your house at least an hour a day. At least. Especially the Psalms. The God’s-eye view of the world will help you see your life how God sees it, and you will need that desperately. The enemy is going to be working overtime on you, especially when he knows you have been weakened by stress and exhaustion. Don’t give him a second of listening time. Listen to the Truth of the Word.
God chose you for the special privilege of loving this child of His, and the truth is that He has plans to use your child to change you just as much as He will use you to change her.
To Joe and me, our struggles as parents help us understand how much like our kids we are and how needy we are of Jesus and His grace.
It’s like God sent us kids to show Jesus to them, only then we find we can’t! He has to live His life through us, but self keeps blocking the way. So He prunes self away from us. It’s always been hardest for me to show grace to others when I feel like they know better. We know better, too, just like our kids. But brains aren’t the solution to sin! Only Jesus is, and we and our kids equally need Him.
My human pride is always most comfortable when I can prove myself by paying my own way, managing without help. He takes us wherever He needs to so that we can see ourselves as we really are–utterly needy of Him. When we experience our own total weakness and need of Him, if we don’t harden our hearts, then He can grow greater and we can grow lesser in our own eyes, and His grace can flow through us unrestricted.
He does His pruning work in us one way or another, not as punishment, but because His love for us, His precious children, is so enormous. If we wrote the story our way, would we write in the pruning? I wouldn’t have chosen what He sent us.
But we pray that He’ll make us like Jesus.
And He knows how to do that.
“‘Run, John, run.’ The law commands,
But gives neither feet nor hands.
Better news the Gospel brings;
It bids me fly and gives me wings.”