This is what Erika said to me this afternoon after I had put on some much needed Oil of Olay. The last time I used Oil of Olay, was in Ukraine! It is so funny how our brains remember smells, seasons, how something felt...
Sarah did something very similar when I pulled out my flannel nightgown that I had not used since we were in Ukraine. She smelled it and it still had a faint scent from the laundry softener used there. She said, "oh mama, this smells like Ukraine." You know, she was right! I smelled it, and it put me right back into our little Apartment in Kharkiv.
But... these are pleasant memories. What if the memory of something we smell or feel, or a certain season evokes a bad memory and causes us pain.
Many times with our children who have had unspeakable torment in thier young lives, this is exactly the case.
I remember hearing such a sweet song, actually so sweet that I have it on my blog to listen to. At one time, it wasn't so sweet. I called 5 year old Anna into our room to hear it and let her press the button. When the song started she got a huge look of fear on her face and said, "I know that song". Then she started to cry and squirm and wanted it turned off NOW! wow.... how could such an innocent song bring such torment to a child? I don't know. But it did.
For the other girls there have been things that have caused them distressing memories.
Seasons for Sarah, and darkness for Erika; a sense of being alone.
How do we get through the tangled mess of distorted memories, tormented pasts, and seasons, songs, smells, familiar looking people?
I don't think we can without the help of the Lord. He is our shelter and our peace, a comfort to us in a time of trouble. If we teach them to run to the Cross when they are frightened, to turn to the Lord for help, to run to mom and dad who will comfort and pray with them when they need stability then these "giants" of our past don't seem to be so big.
Thankfully today, our Anna can listen to that cute little song and likes it.
Sarah isn't as tormented by the season which upset her so much. Erika isn't as
afraid of the dark as she used to be. (still working on it)
Thanks be to the Lord who comforts us and takes away all our fears.
“I pray because I can't help myself. I pray because I'm helpless. I pray because the need flows out of me all the time- waking and sleeping. It doesn't change God- it changes me.”
― C. S. Lewis
― C. S. Lewis
I believe in the sun even when it's not shining. I believe in love even when I don't feel it. And I believe in God even when He is silent. (quote found on the wall of a concentration camp)