“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)
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
The Conditioning of the Heart
My heart just aches for children who suffer. Sometimes it is just too much to think about and so I distract myself..... but it always comes back to the fogotten, the outcast, the downcast, the unwanted, abused, the neglected......
As parents, especially those of us living in Countries where we have what we need, where we have healthy families, where we have access to food and water and heat and shelter and clothing.... we think in our simple minds that providing these things will just magically transform a child from outcast to accepted.
But we forget, that many of our children are "systematically rejected" and it begins from day 1 on planet earth. They take onto their hearts the pattern that they are unworthy, unlovable, unwanted and not even worthy to "eat" with the ones who are.
As I read Keri's blog post today, my heart just sunk as she wrote that the children from the orphanage go to the same school as the children in families. But the orphaned children are not allowed to go into the lunch room. The school does not feed them because there are no funds to pay for their lunches. They have to wait in the hallways, while the children from non orphaned families get to eat and chat and enjoy a hot lunch. When they return to the orphanage after 3:00, they can get food. And most likely, it isn't what the other kids got to eat. :(
What do you think this does to a child? I remember when we were in Ukraine, the children did not go to school at the local school, but were schooled in the orphanage. The only problem is, many of the teachers do not teach. The children do not get a real education and are sometimes left to just sit.
Our translator knew a boy who was brilliant. She gave him a history text book so that he could study and the teacher actually took it away from him! The translator brought him another one to replace it and put his name in it. She didn't know if they let him keep it or not.
So, then, here we come to the rescue! Our kids hear, "I love you! I want you! You are valuable! And they don't believe it. Not only do they NOT believe it, they refuse it! It is too foreign to them. And sometimes they set out to PROVE that it isn't true. Their reality is and has been their entire life that they have no value, no voice, no love.
When they begin to experience for the first time the loving touch of a mother or father, it scares them to death. They secretly like it, but they are terrified of it at the same time. It is like climbing to the top of a pole and jumping off. It means taking your heart once again and making it vulnerable once again.
And taking the chance, that once again, their heart will be crushed to pieces, and they fear that if it is, they just might curl up and die. It is a very fearful, terrifying thing. And so as families we begin to get frustrated with this and take them to get "fixed".... the truth is, nothing is wrong with them. They are reacting NORMALLY to something that is ABNORMAL. The big problem is, their NORMAL is the ABNORMAL and Their ABNORMAL SHOULD be the NORMAL.... so the long process begins to change their minds.
Many families who adopt, don't understand all these dynamics. After all, they just have so much to share and to give. They are just wanting to have a family, or just wanting to parent more children, or to help a child without a home. And every time they try, their efforts are thwarted and rejected and they feel hurt.
HOW the healthy family responds to this, can make every difference in the world, for the outcome of these precious children.
In the same way you would not expect a person who was repeatedly and systematically raped to just "get over it" and enjoy life now that everything is wonderful..... you cannot expect a child who has had their heart repeatedly violated to do the same. It is a long, untangling process.
ALSO, in the same way you would not expect a rape victim to have to be forced to talk about their experience over and over and recall every detail and tell how they felt, we should NEVER, EVER push our children into forced sessions of recalling every detail, how they felt, discussing all their hurts and wounds, so they can learn to fit into our society.
I feel so strongly about this!
They will talk when they are ready. They will share when they feel safe. Repeatedly violating their heart will not help but hinder attachment. They must be respected, and their privacy must be respected.
The very best counselor is a mother or father that is intune with their child. The next best counselor is the one who counsels mom and dad and gives THEM ideas on how to help their child.
But even with all of that, you cannot force healing. You can be the guiding light, that lights the pathway to a healthy and loving life, but you cannot force it.
TRUE LOVE HOPES..... and NEVER EVER EVER EVER gives up. True love is patient and kind.
True LOVE is a verb, an action, a continuous wave that will eventually break into the heart and wash it over with such a purity, that it cannot be resisted any longer.
I know a very healthy person who had a very traumatic past. She was unable to share it with anybody until nearly her adulthood. It was too scary. She couldn't imagine being forced to do such a thing and said that it would have made her VERY angry to have been forced. But, as she was loved unconditionally, and her relationships began to solidify, she could see that she had some things she NEEDED to get off of her chest, and she chose a trusted friend. That friend wisely helped her and kept her confidence. Her total healing was an amazing thing to witness. And today, she is a whole person. These things cannot be rushed. They will happen when the right time comes.
Because TRUE LOVE, NEVER FAILS.... and that means Never, EVER EVER EVER EVER.
And then, there is the sealing glue to all of life. The Lord. HE is the healer of our hearts. He is the true lover of our souls. His plan of forgiveness in spite of great difficulty brings us to a place where HE changes and transforms us from the inside out.
Oh how I pray that these children who sit in the halls of a school that rejects their very existence will someday have that heart washing joy overcome them, and that they will know, TRULY KNOW, whether they are adopted or not, whether they leave their surroundings or not, that they are valued and loved by a Heavenly Father who knows their hurts and will Right EVERY Wrong, on a great and wonderful day that is to come.