Thursday, December 3, 2009

Understanding George


I am back to the place where I say I've read all the books, I've done all the classes, but some things just take experiencing them to "get it." So, I've known that this journey would be filled with ups and downs. Naively, when we just sailed through a really great period around his 6th month mark, I dared to think the worst was behind us. And, in all honesty, maybe it is!

But, that doesn't mean we will still have set-backs. Yes, I am still humming that Paul Abdul tune..."three steps forward, two steps back..."

I have read that there would be these anniversary set-backs. This means there was something in George's past, something hard or hurtful, that would rear it's ugly head upon it's anniversary. And, it is usually subconscious. George doesn't even really know why he is grumpy and mean right now, but something in the depths of his brain are telling him to protect his heart.

I think that is the issue with his meanness....he wants to protect himself. If he is mean to us, it makes us angry and we lash out or say mean things to him. That in turn gives him the "right" to be more mean or more angry and say things like "I want to go back to Ethiopia." He longs to make decisions for himself and be "in charge" of whether or not he gets hurt. I see it now...I am starting to recognize the patterns. This is not a mean boy, this is a deeply hurt boy. 6 months of love and stability can do great things, but it is not nearly enough time to heal his wounds that cut so deep.

I have learned so much these past 6 months and I wish it could be about some deep theological point or some mind-boggling concept. No, I simply learned about love. Love that is sung about every day, written about in sappy cards, said very casually. Maybe that is why my epiphany seems trite...love has become rather trite. But what I have learned about is not the love of songs or cards or casually rolled off the tongue. I have learned about Jesus' love.

I am literally overwhelmed with the love of God. I can't even put into the words how my body even has a reaction to this immense, passionate, all-consuming love that God has for me. I feel it! And I know that He is asking me to pour that same love into George...and for that matter...all my children! If I ever want to see a picture of how I treat God, all I have to do is look at George. I know he loves me, I know he wants to be here with me, but yet he makes choices to hurt me or to get away from me...still. I know I do this to God. I don't like how He keeps asking me to wait, so I make a choice to let Him know I am angry about it. I don't hear an answer to prayer that I wanted and so I chose to spend my free time on Facebook rather than in His Word. I make choices every day that hurt God...even though by now, I should know better.

Then, I get this picture of God who is always love, always mercy, always grace. And He says, "Traci...be like my son." And I reply, "Oh, God! That is too hard for me!" And He answers, "I will give you what you need. Do you trust me? Then obey me."

I get tired of obeying. I get tired of the same song and dance each and every day. But this is where I am supposed to be right now, and I must chose to trust and obey.

Trust and obey
For there's no other way
To be happy in Jesus
Than to trust and obey

In our Hebrews study, I was caught off guard by yet another verse commanding me to love. "God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them." (Hebrews 6:10) I think I was missing a big part about following God before adopting George. I wasn't really loving His people. I was loving my people - my family, my friends. But, I wasn't seeking HIS people and loving them. And, continuing to love more and more of His people. THAT is what God is looking for from me. THAT is the word He is calling me to do, works that He prepared long ago for me to do. People that are out there, His people, that need to be loved. They need not MY love, but this love that can only come through God. But, He needs me to be His hands and feet - to go to His people and wrap my arms around them and hold them and tell them they are loved. Even when they squirm away and when they run the other direction and when they turn their heads, I am to LOVE THEM.

This is not about George...this is about God's love. I will never be the same, I will never love the same. Thank you, Lord.

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