It’s been 1 week since our girls came home. So far, this adoption has been the hardest on Jayla. I am not surprised by this, but rather I am thankful that God fully prepared me in advance that this would happen. I wrote about how God plowed up my heart and gave me the right perspective, His perspective, regarding this HERE and HERE. Because of the work God already did in my heart, I’ve been through the raw emotions that I needed to feel and work through prior to Jennifer and Jasara coming home. In knowing myself, I am realizing that if God wouldn’t have had me work through the hard parts then, that my tendency would have been to see Jayla hurting now, and respond by pulling love and affection away from Jennifer and Jasara (which would have been devastating for the attachment process). Thankfully, God already had me work through that, and made it real clear to me that I can’t give our adoptive daughters my leftovers. I must love ALL my children with everything. To many people reading this, that conclusion seems obvious and right. But it’s one thing to think it, and one thing to do it when you see your child distressed because of it. Yet, in working through all this, God has readied me in the past few months to respond to Jayla not out of emotion, but out of His wisdom. I am so thankful for that.
I’ve had a few people suggest that I take Jayla on a solo mommy-date to help her and give her some individual attention. Although I am *ALWAYS* thankful for suggestions and encouragement, God is whispering something else to me. She doesn’t need more of me. She needs more of Him. When everything around her is changing, she needs to know that He doesn’t change. He is constant and NOTHING will ever interfere with His love for her.
Nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:38-39).
I love Jayla more than I could ever put into words. But He loves her more. I could take her on 100 mommy dates. But it would just be a temporary fix. In the same way when us girls go through a bad break-up and we decide that a little shopping therapy will help. And it does take our minds off the situation. It dulls the pain for awhile. But then one day we see our ex out with another girl. And all the emotion comes flooding back. Jayla still will come home to her sisters. And the next day I will still watch her hurt, her distress, her scramblings to make sense of it all as the situations arise. Jayla needs a fix that is permanent. Constant. Eternal. Not dependent on circumstances. This is something that no human being, not even Mommy, is designed to give.
Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty (John 6:35).”
The best, most important, thing I can do for Jayla right now is to lead her to His living water. To the bread of life. Where she will never hunger or thirst again. When she is captivated by His love, she will be FILLED.
She hasn’t had to learn this yet. She’s always been able to rely on Mommy and Daddy to meet her needs. And many of them we can. But this deep, fulfilling, far-reaching, yearning, longing she has in her heart for love – acceptance – identity – purpose…..the purest, most undefiled forms of these can only be found in Him. That doesn’t mean that I don’t have a role. It is my job to lead her to His feet, where He can fill her – permanently. As her mom, I am the channel through which she will learn, hear, and be directed to His unconditional love, His never-ending joy, His peace that surpasses understanding. No matter the circumstances. No matter how things change around her. Though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. THERE IS A RIVER whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells. God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day. Though nations be in uproar, though kingdoms fall; He simply lifts His voice, and the earth melts. The Lord Almighty is with us (Psalm 46:2-7).
This all sounds great in theory doesn’t it? But how, PRACTICALLY, does this play out? Well, God told me that in order for her to be filled with the bread of life, then we have to eat it. In order for her to be quenched with living water, then we have to drink it.
Two mornings ago I had two girls in tears. The trigger was getting dressed and not liking the clothes in their dressers. But the tears welled from something deeper. One of my girls has started the grieving process. She’s lost everything familiar that she’s ever known and been thrown into a completely different world, with new expectations, and all new faces. My other girl is searching for her identity that she perceives to have been displaced. When the pain is exposed and comes to the surface. When our hearts are laid bare, exposed, wondering and hurting. When there is sadness in my girl’s eyes. Right then and there, we will open His word. We will eat of His goodness and truth. We will drink of His promises. I will pray over my girls as we huddle together in their pretty pink bedroom and drench the carpet in our tears. Each of us grieving and hurting and wondering and hoping in our own ways. I will swallow the lump in my throat, and lift us up into His embrace and ask Him to tell us again how much He loves us. That He won’t ever leave us. That He is all we need. And He will meet us there. You can count on it. This is where He will come through. Over time my girls will be able to rehearse His promises. They will come to understand that He is the only One who truly satisfies. They won’t have to try to find their identities as an African child adopted into an American family, or as a once little sister shaken into a different family structure. They will find their identity, their fulfillment, their purpose, their self-worth, their true love in Him. As His child.
I pray that from His glorious, unlimited resources He will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make His home in your hearts as you trust in Him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep His love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God (Ephesians 3:16-19).