Tuesday, April 9, 2013

On Forgivness

I have the joy of practicing forgiveness each and every day...multiple times a day...with George.  I wish I didn't have to.  I wish he would just find peace in his heart and start to relax. 

But, he hasn't.

I will say that we are getting through this "traditionally very rough period" OK.  Just OK, but so much better than previous years.  The rages don't last as long...but they are more intense.  His RAD is full-blown right now, meaning he is doing EVERYTHING in his power to bother, annoy, pester, bug everyone in the home. 

I wish I could understand why in the mind of a child with RAD, pestering and annoying are ways to function.  I would think he would get so tired of all the pestering that he would eventually give up.

But, he hasn't.

So, Joe handed me a book of essays written by C.S. Lewis called The Weight of Glory.  He said, "Read the chapter on forgiveness."

"To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable, because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you.  This is hard.  It is perhaps not so hard to forgive a single great injury.  But to forgive the incessant provocations of daily life - to keep on forgiving the bossy mother in law, the bullying husband, the nagging wife, they selfish daughter, the deceitful son - how can we do it?"

And this is where I am.  I know how to forgive...I think.  I feel like I have been forgiving and offered that freely.  But when it comes to the incessant provocations of daily life...sigh...I am living in that now for 4 years.  And I don't see an end in sight.  George doesn't often to the single great injury anymore.  But what he does is like a dripping faucet....just little pestering and talking and talking and talking all day long, never stopping, never pausing, never knowing when enough is enough. 

His RAD wants to drain my life out of me.  Take all of me and focus on him.  So, he talks non-stop, bothers me non-stop, pesters everyone non-stop despite all the positive reinforcements we have given him, despite all the love we pour in when he is not in full-blown RAD, despite all the reminders of how happy we ALL are when he is not pestering constantly. 

And I was reminded that in THOSE DAYS, I need to forgive....constantly.

I need to forgive George for taking all my energy and leaving me with very little for anyone else.  Friends?  Who has time for friends when George is consuming my every waking moment?  Not to mention my need...and joy....of parenting the rest of the kids!  I need to forgive George for not trusting any of us yet.  I need to forgive George for not understanding true love yet.  I need to forgive George for being angry and hurt and lost still. 

Lewis asked, "How can we do it?"

Only God.

Only through God and in God.

Lewis goes on to say, "Only, I think, by remembering where we stand, by meaning our words when we say in our prayers each night, 'forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.'  We are offered forgiveness on no other terms.  To refuse it is to refuse God's mercy for ourselves.  There is no hint of exceptions and God means what He says."

If God can forgive my PRIDE and my SELFISHNESS and my BAD ATTITUDE and my HARD HEART....and believe me, my list of sins can go on and on and on.  God forgives me each and every time.  And if God asks me to do the same...I need to.  Despite how hard it is, or how tired I am, I need to forgive the way He does.

I have said it often, and need to tell myself again, how can George every know and trust the love of a forgiving Father in heaven, if he has never felt the love and forgiveness of a parent on Earth?  Whether I like it or not, or if I am worn out or not, God has asked me to be a tangible Christ to George.

And so...I forgive.

1 comment:

Julie said...

My heart goes out to you. I have written you before and follow your blog. We have an Ethiopian daughter (two, but our younger one is the daughter who struggles). I can SO relate to your words. I haven't shared as much on our blog but we struggle - and the bugging and pestering like a dripping faucet is what we deal with also. Her responses to nearly everything is a scream and she can't obey until on her terms in order to always be the one in control. Why she can't just relax in the love of our family after four years frustrates me to no end - despite understanding it intellectually. We have just adopted again and her role as "baby" has been replaced - so she is really in a tailspin (some of which is normal). I so appreciate your words on forgiveness. I need to implore God to give me the love that he has for my daughter despite her behavior. It is so hard. Praying for you - just wanted to encourage you - from a mom dealing with these same issues...