"Once our eyes are opened, we cannot pretend we don't know what to do. God, who weighs our hearts and keeps our souls, knows that we know, and holds us responsible to act." Proverbs 24:12

“There are no strangers here; Only friends you haven’t yet met.”- William Butler Yeats

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Move over God!

How many times have we said those words? Out loud and verbally? For most of us, probably never. In our actions? For most of us, probably daily.

The past few days God had created some instances in my life where He has made me reflect on myself, my children, my life. Even yesterday, he led me to the Mooney's Blog detailing their short 99 days with Baby Eliot, and after hours of reading, had me down on my knees thanking Him for being our sovereign Lord.

This post will once again be in rambles and a flurry of thoughts that have been crowding my brain, so if you get to the end of it and you are still awake, I commend you. If not, I totally understand. But this is one of those moments in which I have to journal my thoughts and feelings since I am pretty much overwhelmed with an array of different emotions.

First, before I began typing, I prayed. I asked God to use me to glorify Him. I'm not quite sure what I want to say and I again ask the Holy Spirit to lead me and give me the words that not only I need to read back to myself, but that may lead others to question their faith, and to ask themselves the very same question that I was asking myself yesterday...."How truly big is my God?"

This morning, I thought I would put the kids down for a nap and do what I have been meaning to do. Weed the yard that has somehow been overrun with weeds in the past few months. Although I hate the heat, it's something that I enjoy sitting on the grass and doing by myself because it gives me time to think without distractions. So, all excited to have my quiet time, I grabbed a big cup of ice water, the telephone and plant myself smack in the middle of a vine/weed fest. As I started pulling the weeds, I started thinking about the kids. Anna Grace for starters.

As many of my regular readers know, it has been an emotional struggle for both Anna Grace and I, the past 4 months. The culmination of my public posting came with this post. In whereas I received a barrage of emails, all positive, with the exception of one that stated (the words still resonate in my brain) that holding time "is just killing your relationship with Anna". Wow! Those were powerful words, but as God has told us in Romans 8:28 "We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God-those whom he has called according to his plan." While at first, I was hurt (because this is someone who I have befriended for some time now) and angry, I now have to step back and be so very thankful for that email. That single email of over 40 some emails that I received from that blog entry, sent me humbly back into my Father's arms, asking, no, pleading to Him for knowledge, wisdom and guidance, but most of all begging Him to take over the situation. He did. The next day, I read a blog with the picture affirming that I needed to stay on the path.

I continued to pray, he continued to reassure me that holding time, love and most of all prayer was what my daughter (and I) needed. Yet, the bitter taste in my mouth of the email still remained. Until this morning, while I was pulling those weeds. Now I can, with a cleansed heart, thank God for that email and thank my friend for sending it. You see, in the past few weeks since that email, Anna Grace has made an amazing turnaround. Oh yes, we still have rough days, but they are patchy with some very sweet moments blended into them. Now we can go 3 and even 4 GOOD days without having displays of attachment. Whereas, a month ago, a good day meant I had to prepare for a battle in hell the next day.

Every morning she wakes up and comes to my bed yelling, "Mama! Mama!" as I hear the sounds of her little feet pattering closer and closer to my room. Nothing makes my heart swell and my eyes tear up more than driving in the car, peering into the rear view mirror and watching her. She will sometimes realize that I am and go from a quiet little girl watching the going-ons in the world around her to a radiant, glowing angel with a smile for her Mama that goes from ear to ear. Oh yes, I am so very grateful for that one single, negative email. Thank you, Lord! You are SO very big! There were times when I thought that things would never change and that this child would hate me forever. I was beginning to succumb to the realization that this would be our lives.

Instead, now after my tantrums, my waivering faith, and my lack of patience, you have once again revealed to me (I'm a really slow learner) that you are the almighty Savior. I am ashamed and embarassed that it takes someone hurting my ego and making me doubt my abilites to parent to bring me to You, but on the flip side, I am so very thankful that you are a merciful, loving God who despite my disappointing you daily, sometimes ignoring you completely and even have questioned you at times, You never for one single moment have stopped loving me or left my side. And the most incredbile part of it all is that, like with our own children, there is nothing I could do to make you love me less. I am Your child and have been saved by grace.

Anna Grace continues to have holding time, now maybe once or twice a week, compared to 3-4 times a day. We continue to do play therapy, while nurturing and caring for her baby. Although most people would think that a 2 year old needs independence and should be feeding themselves, learning to dress themselves, etc. I have reverted her back to being a baby. She will even tell you when asked, "Who is Anna Grace?" Proudly she says, "Mama's baby!" We both gleam with pride. I am so very, very proud of her. She truly humbles me. I can't even fathom going through what these children go through, yet they come through it and shine. I pretty much do everything for her. I feed her by hand at every feeding, bathe her, dress her, carry her, stopped toilet training and have made her almost 100% dependent. Something that is so evident that she so desperately needed and never had. Every baby needs to know that they can depend and trust, yet in her past, whenever her little heart had allowed her to do this, it ended in a painful separation causing her to feel abandoned. This time she is realizing it is different, and is beginning to allow herself to love without regrets. What a heavy burden for a 29 month old to carry. This little sparrow's walls are breaking down quickly now, brick by brick. When once she had to rely on herself for comfort and her needs, she now knows that Mama is always there for her. She loves prayer time and our ritual song of Shout to the Lord, at bedtime.

We were at mass the other day and as we were leaving, she pointed to the huge crucifix behind the altar and whispered to me, "Mama, Jesus?" I said, "Yes, Anna Grace, that is Jesus." She stared intently at the cross. So, I took her up to the altar and she stood in my arms, looking up at the enormous crucified Jesus on the cross with a questioning look on her face. No words, but I could tell, many thoughts. So, I said to her, "Anna Grace. See his hands have boo-boos?" She said, "Yes". I then said, "Those boo-boos remind us of how much Jesus loves us." She said, "Jesus loves Anna?" I fought hard with myself so that the rush of tears would not come flooding out. After swallowing hard, I replied, "Yes, Anna Grace, Jesus loves Anna Grace so very much!" I held her tight and whispered to her, "Yes, baby....you are living proof of how much Jesus really loves us."

I will finish Anna Grace's portion with a reminder to those of you who do bring home children with attachment issues to follow your heart, pray and know that there is a very big God that will equip you with everything you need to handle whatever situation arises. And when it gets to the point that you just don't think you can carry that cross anymore, go before Him and lay it at His feet. Even if you have to envision a little two year old Chinese girl standing before a huge 40 ft. cross asking Jesus if he loves her as a reminder. He loves you infinitely and unconditionally and He will never leave your side, even during moments when you are surrounded by total darkness, He is there. Actually, that is when He is most waiting for you to call on Him.

You will light my lamp; The Lord my God will make my darkness light. (Psalm 18:28)

.....this is it for now. Please come back for Part II of my weed picking thoughts. Oh, by the way, I weeded for less than 5 minutes before I had God drawing me back inside to tell the world about His awesomeness.


Monica said...

I have no words. That was beautiful. You are amazing. I am crying tears of joy for you and sweet Anna Grace. Thank you for sharing. I know your words will help someone who is facing these same hurdles.

geminirn said...

OH Ohilda,thank you so much for your honesty and this beautiful post,as i've stated before...it is your honesty that keeps me coming back here.......well of course the photos arn't to shabby either....wink!!!!!


waiting4Isabella said...

Love this post. I will forever remember the image that you described as Anna Grace stands right before the 40ft cross, asking if Jesus loves her ? How remarkable.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

Marian, Aubri and Andy said...

I am so happy to read that things have worked out just the way they have. Isn't is amazing how when things get tough, something will inevitable push us into the Right direction if we allow it? Anna Grace has both brought to you and found a piece of her self and her name... Grace. A true little blessing in your beautiful bouquet!

I will be keeping your entire family in my prayers as you travel for Kai's surgery.

Becky said...

O -
I cannot even see to type with the tears in my eyes. Never doubt that AG needed/needs to be that baby in your arms - needs to have that trust that she never had. Know that love she has never known. You were meant to be her Mama even before the seas were made. Never doubt.
Love to you,

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