Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Don't Waste This RAD

I have felt the spirit of oppression beating down on me...every day.  This is very unusual.  I am pretty sure no one would call me "suzy sunshine", but I do tend to look for the positives in each day and concentrate on the good.  Lately, I have been incredibly focused on the bad.

Like George hiding his graded papers and then lying about what scores he was getting.

Or, George telling me (again) that I am the worst parent in the history of all parents who ever lived.

Or, George doing his best to triangulate Joe and I (RAD term - basically means he tries his hardest to get Joe and I fighting or disagreeing with each other).

Or, George picking at his fingers until they bleed and them blaming me somehow.

Or, when I get an email from George's teaching telling me that he announced to the class that Joe and I worship Satan.

Yes...you read that correctly.  Joe and I worship the D man, himself.

And so the oppression just kept piling on.  And I felt as if I were drowning.


God started sending me little messages.  First, they came from the radio.  Then, they came from a Bible study. And finally, a message from our nightly family devotionals.  The messages were tweaked a bit here and there, different words and different applications, but for me the message was the same.


But, my God, I want to give up!  I want to throw in the towel, raise the white flag, surrender...this is truly too much!  My heart hurts every time I look at my family and see the destruction one broken little boy can cause to very healthy people.  My marriage takes a hit every time Joe and I disagree about how to handle George - which is OFTEN when George is causing problems every hour of the day.  My relationships with other women are...well...non-existent.  I just can't relate to anyone else around here - and even if there was someone out there suffering like I am, I am not sure I would want to sit around and have a pity party.  So instead, I stick to myself.

Psalm 116:1-2, "I love the LORD , for he heard my voice; he heard my cry for mercy.  Because he turned his ear to me, I will call on him as long as I live."

This is where I have to start.  Knowing that God hears me...sees me...knows what I am going through.  And then, He sent me messages.

Don't waste this!  I am up to something you can't see.

But, I don't WANT this.  And I WANT to see what you are doing.

Just wait upon me.  

Wait?  Who wants to wait???

I realized that if I fail to wait on the Lord, I will miss out on what He is doing with my life...and with George's...and probably the rest of my family!  If I fail to wait, I will never see the tapestry He has been weaving.  If I fail to wait, I will stop changing...which means I will fail to look more like Jesus.  God is giving me a testimony to share, a testimony that will someday bring Him great glory!  And during the wait, I am charged with using this life and this time to bring glory to Him!  I  told God that He can use my life...so how can I now tell him that what He has given me is something I no longer WANT?

Then, in our devotional, we read about a famous speech Winston Churchill gave to some students as he recounted Great Britain's first 11 months into WWII.  He said, "Never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never -in nothing, great or small, large or petty - never give in..."

As Joe read these words to our family, I was moved knowing that yet again, God was sending me a message.  Never...never...never...never....never...give in.  George is worth the fight.  God's glory is worth the fight.  Our testimony of God's goodness is worth the fight.  

And then I heard today, words spoken by John Piper, "Don't waste your cancer."  Of course, we don't have cancer, but the premise is the same.  Don't waste this RAD!  

I must not waste the opportunity God has given me to grow more intimate with Him.  I think about those moments when I am laid out prostrate on the floor of my bedroom crying out to God with a broken heart.  I have never
felt more intimate with God in those times.  Or when I look at George and wonder how I am ever going to get through this.  Those are the times that I clearly hear God whisper in my soul that He is with me. 

I must not waste the opportunity to share our story.  My hope is that through this little blog, I can teach others about what RAD is, what it does to a family, and how one might minister to other adoptive families who are parenting a child with emotional issues.  I must not waste the chance to be honest and transparent, even if it reveals the ugly parts of my heart.  

I must not waste the opportunity to be sanctified.  Oh how I want to be more like Jesus without the pain - but frankly, I just don't see anymore how that is possible.  I must walk through the dark days holding on to His hand to learn that it is Jesus who sustains me.  I must confess and repent of my selfishness in order to burn away the
chaff that is useless and weighing me down.  I can only learn patience by living with someone who drives me up a wall.  I can only learn how to love the unlovable by parenting a child who most days, does not want to admit he loves me or needs me.  I can only become more forgiving when I am giving many opportunities to be betrayed, and thus facing the choice to forgive...again.  

These days, I feel a bit like Moses.  I have been given a task and have been asked by God to see it through.  Moses was overseeing the Israelites as they battled Amalek.  While Moses had his hands raised above the battlefield, in prayer to God, the Israelites were winning.  When Moses lowered his hands, they began to lose.  Lately, I don't have the strength to keep my hands raised over the battlefield.  But the beautiful part of this passage in Exodus is that Moses' brother and friend stood beside Moses.  And then, 

When Moses' hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up--one on one side, one on the other--so that his hands remained steady till sunset.

I need that right now - and I am humble enough to admit that I need someone to help hold my arms up as I face this battlefield.  So, I write this to ask, will you pray for me?  Will you help me?  Help me to not waste this RAD.


Brenda Schatz said...

Oh Tracie, you have no idea how this has touched my heart this evening. I, too, have been really struggling with knowing that I told God I was "All In" for Him to use me but now feeling like it is just too much to bear. It is an adoption story that is too raw to share but I have been crying out to the Lord, just today, for Him to show me how He is still there with me. He has used the radio, words from the Bible, and now you to shout at me to never quit. Oh, I want to soooo bad! But thank you for bearing your soul so that your testimony can be used to encourage others. I know I'm not the only one who will read this blog and cry. We are in the same boat! I am so excited to pray for you, Sister. Thank you for sharing

Cedarburgmom said...

I see you. I hear you. Traci, I don't have personal experience with RAD, nor do I claim to know what you and Joe and the family have walked through with George. But know that your work with him is providing bounty - not only for him but for the other families experiencing the same pain you are. And know that your struggles, your honesty, your cries to God are seen and heard by those who love you. Our cords were tightly wound by God all those years ago and though time and distance seperate us, know that you are still in my thoughts and prayers. I love you and miss you!

M Dasek said...

I don't have the same difficulties that you do, but I am in the midst of tough things with parenting too, and your words were emotional to read. I didn't realize how difficult it is when your child is in pain for whatever reason, and how it does impact the entire family and marriage, too. But, I also hear from God when things are most difficult, and that is such an amazing gift. It bolsters my strength and renews my faith, and gives me just enough to do today.
God is here. He's allowing this for His glory and our good. He will never forsake us. He is our strength, a present help in danger. He is here for us to cast our burdens upon him. He never tires, never stumbles. We are precious in his sight. Our children are precious in his sight. He is a strong and mighty fortress. He told us that there are troubles in this broken world, but he has overcome. He has plans for us, plans not to harm us or our children, but to give us a hope and a future. He is mighty, merciful, loving, and He is here... Praying for you and your family. The crowns you will receive from the Lord in heaven one day for the love and life you've given to George will be amazing!

Tara said...

I'm a RAD mom too. I feel like I'm under a gray cloud and everyone around me tells me to throw in the towel. But you and I know there are no cast away children. God is telling me to be still. Walking along side you and praying.