Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Better Than a Hallelujah Sometimes

This one is for those struggling . . .

Amy Grant sings a song about dealing with pain, and how the honesty of crying out in pain or failure to God is “better than a hallelujah, sometimes.”  (Click on “song” if you want to hear it.)  As a parent raising hurt kids, there are many times I’ve cried out in fear or in failure.  There are times when God felt far away, and my prayers were hitting the ceiling.  There have even been times, even recent times, where I’ve wondered what good my faith does in raising children whose behaviors have truly caused me to question everything I thought I was, including "good mother."  What could I have been thinking to adopt two much older kids from such a horrific background?  (This is where you hear the record scratching as the needle is pulled and the turn table comes to an abrupt halt.) 

Wait a minute, Mama T!  You said, not two posts ago, that your faith is important to you.  You said you love your kids.  We thought you loved your kids!  You said the things you write here about therapeutic parenting will show that faith to be evident, and now you’re telling us that you’ve doubted your faith as you are in the midst of raising your kids?

Yes.  Yes to all of that.  I love my kids.  I wanted my kids.  I want my kids.  I want my kids to go away sometimes.

I want you to know that I’ve doubted my faith and I’ve felt God was far away even as I passed through the hardest of the hard, because I also want to tell you I believe He was there through all my doubt!  He didn’t want my false, heartless praise or hallelujah songs at that point.  He wanted the relationship of trust proven by my honest cries to His Spirit – he wanted ME to be honest with ME, and get to the point where I could say to myself, “This is damned hard!”  (Yes, God allows me to say that to myself and to tell you about it.)  He allowed me to walk through that valley of the shadow of death (and really it was – and still is some days) because it got me to the point where I allowed myself to believe some important truths.  No matter how much therapeutic parenting I do with my kids, no matter how much I love them, no matter how hard we all work, there are just some things I cannot control.  There are just some decisions they will make and some things they do – often in the heat of whatever moment they’ve been triggered – that I will not be able to fix for them.  There are indeed some things I need to let go and let God.  And that – THAT – is okay!”

I think if you’re a struggling parent going through some of the hard stuff with a child that’s been abused, neglected, and traumatized it’s essential – it’s even sanity and life-saving – to get to that point.  It is important for you to know this – listen – while yes, it is a blessing and blah, blah, blah, parenting hurt kids is HARD – really hard!  There are some things you just may need to let go and let God – and that – THAT, my friends, is okay.  YOU are okay – even wise -- in doing so.  It doesn’t mean you’ve given up.  It means, you’re facing some real, hard life.  It means that it is true there are some things we parents cannot control and there are some things we parents cannot fix.  That’s okay.  The good news is there is a peace that passes all understanding when you finally come to this point.

God loves a lullaby
In a mother’s tears
In the dead of night

Give yourself permission to cry out, to let go and let God.  You’re not giving up.  You’re getting up.  Stick around.  We’ll get back to therapeutic parenting techniques and ideas soon.   I want to share some more about who we are.


Diana said...

Beautiful post, my friend. Well written, well said, and so very true.

Melanie Nolt said...

Thank you so much for your brutal honesty! Letting go is something I've been working on. Its a daily thing for me. We adopted a girl from Guatemala when she was 13. She is now 18. She was adopted by another family and in 2 foster homes here in the states before she came to us. She was abandoned and in an orphanage for years. So she has alot of trust issues. The past 5 years have been well...hell. But I keep trusting that good will come and some day she will allow God to heal her hurts. We have 4 bio kids and she is the oldest of them. One thing I do know is that God brought her to us for a purpose and I am not the same person as I was 5 years ago! I do love her and thats why it hurts so much to see her make choices that hurt her. I look forward to reading more of your posts! Its nice to know we are not in this alone! Blessings!

Trauma Mama T said...

Melanie, Thanks for your comment. The verse where Paul says, ". . . not that I have achieved this . . . " comes to mind as I read your response this morning -- months after this post was written. This journey does have its ups and downs -- its heavens and hells. We've been through hell here, too. More than once. Again now. It's a little different each time, but always there is the same trauma underneath it all. I have recently been diagnosed with my own secondary PTSD. Just like illness from secondary smoke, I now deal with my own challenges from living with PTSD. I have become hyper-vigilant. It is the most uncomfortable feeling and I hate dwelling in this state. Still, I know my Redeemer lives. I hold onto that knowledge like a lifeline. My heart indeed cries out and it is so much better than a nominal hallelujah sung in comfort.

I just prayed for your and your girl. May God bless you.