Tuesday, March 23, 2010
I have been going over this for several weeks. I am outlining my book into several sections Faith, Trust, Obedience and Hope. But, to be able to truly convey that thought and allow someone to see it through my eyes is very difficult. So, as in everything in life, if you ask…you will receive. I asked God to help me with this and He just wanted to bless me with some new experiences to help ingrain the thought process. I know that I want to learn things the easy way but I don't believe that has ever happened for me. It has always been some through the fire test that really pierced my heart. So, just yesterday I had one of those moments.
Once again, we are all in the kitchen. I am getting dinner ready before I rush out the door to my American Heritage Girl meeting. My goal is to have dinner on the table as I fly out so Dean, Miranda and Olivia are all set. (Oh, If you did not know Miranda is living with us while she gets her feet grounded after college and it has been a huge blessing. She is our adopted daughter so to speak). Miranda and I are talking because she received a gift for college graduation that will help her pay some bills she was trying to figure out how to pay. What a huge blessing. Our family goes through this each and every day. We have some financial crisis, don't we all, and out of nowhere a check we had been waiting on and given up on finally shows up, God has told someone to bless us unexpectedly, or that contract job finally comes through. It has become almost second nature. So, as Miranda and I are talking about how cool God is and how He comes through each and every time I hear this angry voice burst through this happy celebration and say " well, He never comes through for me. I have been asking to get better or even just go to the hospital and it seems He has not heard me yet!". Look in my kitchen, see all the characters, and guess who said that. My precious daughter that is struggling so hard, Olivia. And here was the worst part, I could not answer her. I wanted to tell her that God has it all under control. That though we see darkly right now, the answer will come. This Mom, full of Faith just a second ago, was lost and without words to help my girl cope with being so very sick.
Because I have learned that Faith and Trust are two different things. Trying to explain this to a 13 year old was lost on me. Olivia knows God can do anything and everything. She has Faith that God can heal, He can move mountains, He can calm the Seas…but, her trust in Him to do these things for her in her darkest hours are lost. She feels that everyone else is so much more important to Him than her because she hurts and struggles so very much. I wanted to say so many things that as a Mom, an adult, and a Christ Follower I knew were true but words were lost because I knew she would see them as just that, words. So, I get on my knee's at night and just cover her heart with all my love and know the Father see's her and hears her heart and He will answer. I know Him, I have Faith in Him and I trust Him with the most precious thing I have, Olivia.
I do not have that solid answer for Liv. I cannot tell her that this day she will be healed. I cannot tell her how to talk with God. I can tell her that we can yell at Him, God can handle it. We can be upset, angry, frustrated but it is how we handle those emotions that can change our heart. We can become bitter if we are not just releasing those emotions but allowing them to embed in our heart. But, she knows all that. We have talked about it so many times.
The thing is, trusting in something you cannot see, touch or feel is so very hard. You can know and have Faith that God is who He says He is because of people around you. You can see Him work in other's lives and rejoice with them. But in the end you don't understand what God is doing in your life and feel like there is Heaven and Earth between the two of you. This road of learning to trust Him is not easy. Learning to walk out your Faith even when you can't see the Trace of His Hand is so very hard and for someone to be so young, well, it almost seems impossible.
As her parent, well, I want to run ahead and brush the rocks out of the way, pull my flashlight out and give a little more light into the situation and protect but also impart all I know about God into her at once so she can see that trusting Him can be so easy. But, guess what, every walk is different because each of us is so very different. The things that changed my life won't necessarily be those things that change Olivia. They won't mean the same to her as they do to me. And realizing that, knowing that, is so very hard.
I started out life without God. I was blessed to know the Lord fully at sixteen. My life was such a mess that God was the love and grace that I needed and I never looked back. I ran into His arms and have lived passionately for Him since that time. But Olivia has been raised with knowing God. With walking with Him each and every day. So, for her, God is known so reaching her is just a little bit harder. She tells me all the time how we have God but she really doesn't get it because He never listens to her. She has asked Him in her heart, She seeks Him out. She so very much wants to hear a word from Him. Just something she can hang on. Something just God has given her. And I want Him too. And He may be speaking and she just doesn't hear Him. I am not sure but I do know this. One day He is going to do something huge for her and there , at that place, in that moment, she will never forget, never look back and run with passion towards all the things God has for her.
Are you struggling too? Just take a second and ask Him to talk to you, I know He will :)
Tuesday, March 02, 2010
We are sitting at the kitchen table going over the same conversation it seems that we have every day now. Olivia's attitude. She is glaring those big brown eyes at me as I am giving her the new lecture that I think might work. She is sitting down on the outside but I know my girl and she is definitely and defiantly standing up on the inside. With every look, every emotion I see across her face, I am just getting madder. I am trying to stay calm on the outside but inside I am a boiling mess. I have so many questions rolling through my head. Why is this so hard? What does she not understand? Why does she think I have no idea? And most of all, is there any possibility that reason will take over her brain instead of emotion.
I know that every parent of a teenager goes through this but I was secretly hoping I would miss it. It has been Olivia and I against the world, so to speak, for the last ten years. We cry together, we laugh together, we are close confidants and really best friends. Yes, I do draw the Mommy line but we are still very close. Of course necessity has created some of that for us. The hospital stays, the health issues, have not allowed Olivia much time with her peers and the "real" world. She walks through so much of her life afraid she does not fit in because she is always starting over with friends. A month seeing a friend at her age may as well be a year. So venting to a friend tends to be out when your friend is the Mom lecturing you.
Coming back to today a realization has fallen on me. Olivia is getting sicker. I had missed it. Not because she is in bed, not because she tells me, but because while I am giving her this lecture I get a deep look into her eyes. She is using every bit of energy she has to participate in life. While she is participating though, she has nothing left to give. I had missed it. She has been less than pleasant lately. Hard to understand her emotions and deal with her. But those things had been everyday life things so it didn't occur to me that life was leaving her eyes. They say that eyes are the window to your soul and I can see why. They say so much without saying a word. At this moment, sitting at the table, finally listening to my daughter. Not in what she is saying but hearing her eyes talk I see for the first time. In that moment I catch Olivia off guard. I say to her "You are thinking that "Mom, it is taking all I have to even sit in here and listen to you. That I am doing the best I can and doing it all for you. I don't want to be in trouble but I have nothing left to give and you are just not getting it!"…" She looks at me with those big brown eyes, stops for a minute as the realization that I had heard her settles in and tears start welling up in her eyes. As I hold, we cry together, we have an understanding that does not need words. That just for a moment the world stops for a minute so we can get off this carousel of life and just hurt together.
Has it fixed everything. No. But, even yesterday when we had a friend over and Olivia was being so edgy and so unlike herself I was able to stop and listen. As a Mom I still have to correct her behavior but I think I can do it more gently. I realize this is not Olivia, this is not being a teenager (yes I know some of it is and I like my denial at times), this is what real pain….real sickness looks like…and what a young girl with a lot of attitude , a lot of fight, and a lot of personality has to go through to make it through this one day. And that day, that realization makes me cry, hurt, scream, beg and ask God to let me have it and not her. I would give anything to take it away from her. But this is her walk. This is her struggle. This is the place that only she and God can go. There are three people walking through this, well four if you count our new family member Miranda, but we all have different walks. We all have different views and perspectives and it takes a mighty God to help us grow together through this.
Thank you for listening...today just seemed like this is what the Lord wanted me to talk about.