I spent two hours of my morning in a raging battle. Sounds dramatic, I know, but in all actuality my home has been a war zone for the last four and a half years. Ever since Miss M joined our family.
When she came, she was four...and brought with her enough baggage to fill a freight train. She and her brother J (now 11) had an incredibly unstable beginning to life, and it came as no shock that there would be permanent issues to address. However, I naively thought that a mother's love would cure everything in no time flat. All you need is love, right? Besides, we knew without a doubt that God had called us to adopt these children. And we obeyed. So, didn't that mean it would all be sunshine and roses?
Hardly. If there's one thing I've learned about God through all this, it's that His goal is not to make life all comfortable and easy for us. That's our goal for ourselves. To sit back all fat and happy and watch the pink bubbles of life float lazily by. I mean, isn't that really our goal? Isn't it? To not have to work hard for anything but to have blessing after blessing heaped upon us? I can handle a little work. I can weed a garden like a pro. But weeding the parasites from my character is another thing entirely, and that's what God is asking me to do. And He's using my own daughter to do it.
Little Miss M is now eight and a half, and sometimes I think she's on her way to recovery. That is, if you can ever fully recover from an Attachment Disorder. But days like today make me wonder, and there have been far too many days like today in the past three weeks. Horrible disrespect. Kicking. Screaming. Scratching. Throwing. Endless tantrums that spew hatred and blasphemy into every crevice of our home. No, there's no sunshine and roses here today. Just reality.
And a ray of hope.
Because even though I lost my temper in a big way for a moment this morning, Jesus helped me weed out the anger. And when I called my mom in tears yet again, Jesus calmed me and helped me weed out the bitterness. And when, for the hundredth time, I fell to my knees and begged Him to love her for me, Jesus took away the hate. And when my own raging battle was finished, I was able to look my daughter in the eyes and say, "Even though you do horrible things sometimes and you say mean things, and even though you don't deserve it right now, I still love you. I will always love you. And I will forgive you forever and ever."
This is what my Father says to me, too.