We cannot get in the midst of someone else's pain - really in the trench of grief with them - and not come out unscathed. Sometimes, the cost of ensuring our child knows they are not alone is feeling incredibly alone ourselves. It can be hard, but there is a truth greater than the facts we face every day: Jesus is with us, and He is for us.
when it's hard.
My kid's been raging for two weeks, and I don't know how to help him.
The bright lights at the grocery store trigger melt downs.
I'm educating all the professionals in my child's life because they don't understand the long term effects of trauma on the brain.
The number of children, even at the sensory park, are too overwhelming for our daughter.
My child isn't invited to parties... and neither is our family anymore.
Every time I leave my son in the care of someone else - even for just an hour - it causes weeks of trauma behaviors.
We haven't been to church in 3 months because we don't know what to do with our daughter who can't go to children's church.
We grocery shop daily and have locks on all our cabinets because our child eats until he makes himself sick.
I sleep - really, I lay awake - on the couch so that I can hear if our daughter tries to sneak out at night.
We have installed video monitors inside our house to keep everyone safe.
I've lost... friends... family... finances... my job... my health...
I feel like a prisoner in my own home.
If you're in a hard place, chances are reading through this list has you nodding emphatically or weeping.
These can be the realities of loving children from hard places. Children that are hurting - who have been neglected, abused, and traumatized - often don't know how to process the things they've experienced. That pain and grief can come out in ways that are incomprehensible to most people.
We can know the facts: hurting people hurt people; it's not us against our children, but us together against the pain; we have to look for the underlying need expressed through challenging behavior; trauma changes the brain; in utero exposure changes the brain; people push against those closest to them; these behaviors are survival techniques that helped our children survive unbelievable pain.
But we can also acknowledge the pain: our lives have changed, and saying 'yes' every day to being committed to loving our children requires the daily decision to continue saying yes.
“If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever -- the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you."
Sometimes, facts and truth seem to oppose each other. And while we cannot ignore reality, we have the blessed ability to view reality through the lens of spiritual truth. It doesn't make everything easy, but it does provide grace that sustains.
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connecting with community.
Community is critical. But let's be real: sometimes, we just don't have it.
Whether a recent move, family dynamics, or the logistics of countless appointments keep you from connecting, there are seasons where the entirety of our energy is dedicated to fighting for our family. In these seasons, some of us are blessed to have compassionate people around us who understand trauma and the unique needs of foster and adoptive families. For the rest of us, our reality may not hold the connection of community.
There are lots of posts about finding your tribe. Most of them revolve around us reaching out and making those critical connections. But there is hope! Even if you're in a season of survival, and you don't have the time or energy to forge ahead into new relationships, this truth remains: You are not alone, because Jesus is with and for you.
more scriptures to combat loneliness.
Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you.
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
1 Peter 5:7
How do you deal with feelings of loneliness? Do you have a strong community of support? What would you recommend to others who are walking through a season of feeling alone?
If you enjoyed this post, you may like to read Lies & Loneliness.
Here you will find the musings of a homeschooling, work from home, adoptive Momma of 7! Adventures in faith, family, adoption, and training up a tribe to follow hard after Jesus are spilled into these posts --- most often written with a cup of coffee in hand. I hope you'll stick around a while and find something - more likely SOMEONE! - that brings you hope!
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