Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Love is a Battlefield...Love is War...

I sat in a youth building listening to a church worship band rehearse for this Sunday's service.  Every song had the word "love" in it.  I have to admit that I cringed when I heard the guy on the keyboard say, "This week, so and so is going to preach on the love of God."  Not that I don't believe in, feel, or experience the love of God.  But because I know there is HUGE potential for MASSIVE conviction if I dare listen to a sermon on love.

I have made LOVE my goal...my aim...my aspiration over the past 4 years of my life.  I learned in April of 2009 that my newly adopted son knew nothing about LOVE or how to LOVE a momma.  So, I set about to "love him out of his bad mood."

As most of you know...that didn't work.

Joe and I have attended conferences, read books, watched DVDs ...all in the hopes of teaching us how to parent George - who so obviously and clearly feels the OPOSITE of love toward me. These human techniques and words of human wisdom are not working either.

Again and again, I am reminded gently by God that it truly is all about LOVE when it comes to George.

And our love...this love...is a fight...a battlefield...and some days an out and out war. 

Here is a short story to illustrate the BATTLE that wages inside George...between myself and George...and between myself and God: 

We (our whole family) bless George with his very own MP3 player.  This happens because Eleanor has earned a new iPod.  She passes down her MP3 to her brother, who in turn passes his on to his sister...who in turn rather graciously gives hers to George.  George has no ear buds or headphones.  Said sister, lets George use her very nice (special birthday present) headphones every day.  But...not good enough for George.  He asks to do some extra jobs around the house to earn money.  I happily give him a chore - which he completes - and I give him his earned money right away.  George then asks to go to T*rget with me...I say, "Of course!"

He looks at ear buds for probably 26 minutes while Eleanor and I do other shopping.  He asks "Can I buy these Darth Vadar ear buds?"  I say, "Of course!"

As we walk to the check out line, he decides he doesn't want to spend his money.

We go home.

About 26 minutes later, George comes riding into the garage on his scooter announcing, "Look what I found!  Just lying on the street over there!"

You guessed it...ear buds.

Does the kid think I am stupid?

Obviously he does.

I ask, "Where did you get those?"

"On the street."

He is adamant. 

I press.  I ask more questions.  I tell him I am having a hard time believing him. 

He insists.

I then lay down the law and tell him..."I am SURE someone is going to want their ear buds back.  Please go back to "the street" and put them back exactly how you found them.  Someone may have been running and dropped them...or someone accidentally lost them as they were riding their bike.  That person WILL come back and look for those ear buds."

Instantly, George is a monster.  A green, fuming, steaming monster.  He is SO ANGRY with me.

This is not my first rodeo...in fact, I just start to vacuum so I don't have to hear him yell all the hate-filled words meant for me.

He settles - but this is after ripping apart a book I gave him, telling me he is no longer my son, threatening (AGAIN!!!) to call 911 - seriously - if there is a cop who is reading this and can actually come to my house and teach George a lesson in this area - please talk to me!!!  Then, he tells me he is no longer my son.  He is going to "rip off Anna's head" and "tell Isabel she is a fatso!"

Here is where LOVE becomes WAR for me.  I must FIGHT TO LOVE GEORGE.  Maybe it is because he has done this for 4 years?  Maybe because I simply am tired and want to just throw in the towel with this child?  In that moment - I fight.  Sometimes I don't fight well...and I just give up for an hour or two.  Today...through the leading of the Holy Spirit...I fought.  Now, my fighting is NOT yelling, spanking, threatening or harming George.  I have to FIGHT to show this child the love of Christ.

I have said it often...I have learned that it is not and will never be MY motherly, human love that brings peace and healing to George's life.  It is God using me as a vessel - or a conduit - to pour God's love into George's life.  Frankly, I don't have enough love in me to even fake it with George most days.

But God does.....His love is amazing and powerful and healing....and constantly pursuing us.  And God has asked me to do this part for Him while I am on this earth...pour out that amazing and powerful and healing LOVE into a small, broken child. 

Lately, I have been failing often.  I mean...did you get that George spewed out all kinds of hatred because I made him take the ear buds back? 

Which...for the record...George did finally confess that he asked a friend if he could have them.  So, no...they were not just left on the street - but returned to the rightful owner.  But, the words and the looks and the actions that come from George toward me wear me down.....and God simply tells me....LOVE HIM.

Continue to love him.

Fight for him.

Fight for LOVE.

I am a bit scarred and wounded from being in the battle for so many years now - and when I let myself start pitying myself...I turn my eyes toward Jesus who took it ALL on - to fight for...


Even in my sin.   Even in my disdain and jealousy and selfishness and judgements and laziness. 

He fought for me.

And paid the ultimate price.

Why should I do any different?  I CLAIM to be a disciple....the problem is I can't chose to be a part time-disciple.  Either I am one or I am not.  Part of what God is teaching me is coming through this pain...and I must keep fighting for the love of George.


ESolgos said...

I wish I couldn't relate! Traci, I am so proud of you! This is a difficult war, but you are winning battles in the heavenlies each time you to choose to love.

12 in all said...

Not long after we got our first 2 home I realized that most of what I do to restore faith and love in their hearts will reap no benefits until they are grown ,have families of their own and developed long term hind sight.
A sad but bitter truth. Your little guy did learn form the ear bud incident and he will forever remember that his momma expects him to rise to a high level of integrity. That will reap a reward someday. I have 2 with obvious symptoms of RAD but am thoroughly convinced that all older adoptees suffer some symptoms at some times from RAD. I know you have heard a hundred times but this is true,the resentment,rejection and anger is not really directed at you personally. You (and me) just represent all that went wrong in their young lives. We represent the woman who for whatever reason abandoned them (death to a child is not real and it is perceived as abandonment) , the woman who was supposed to provide for,protect and care for them . They dare not risk such loss again in their minds.
Although I can truly say the symptoms are displayed in a more mature way in my guys and I don't have quite the battles some others have we do see it,it breaks my heart. Because I decided to quit my job and stay home to mother these guys for the very short period of time I have been given,I am around them enough that they pretty much view my role as the heavy.(can't say my bio kids thought differently at times though) and dad is the comic relief. They respond so beautifully to his suggestions,his reasoning, his love. so I do often leave things for dad to deal with. Dad accepts this role thankfully or I would probably be a babbling idiot by now (oh wait I think my teens think I am that already...well they think all I do is I babble anyway)But we muddle through and if it were up to me school would go all year because they function best with structure and responsibility.
Well anyway, when you need a bit of respite, send him my way for a couple days, even with their personal struggles my boys have mentored
some kids through some tough places. They have a bit more hind sight and do actually have some positive experiences to share and definitely can help others figure this mom/authority/love thing out a little anyway.
Go have a gooey,chocolately,foamy,high calorie starbucks treat today. You earned it! And call me time,

12 in all said...

Oh yea...6downand2-2go.blogspot.com
Post Taking a Chance & Buried in Prayer