Last night on Facebook, I shared a story that our newest daughter, Charlie, shared with me about how her last Christmas went. We were sitting casually in the living room discussing how Christmas goes at our house (it’s a BIG DEAL around here) and she just said, “Wanna know what I got for Christmas last year?” Of course we did! It’s always great to learn how our children’s traditions were celebrated before they came to us. Well, her response left me speechless. I shared it on Facebook later in the evening and received many responses of outrage, sympathy and gratitude that Charlie was now with us. I must admit, I shared many of the feelings of my friends, I was disgusted.
I often feel like Scrappy Doo when I get into the details of one of my girl’s past with them – “lemme at em!!!! lemme at em!!!” Unfortunately, I can’t reach into their minds and fight the ghosts of the past – the abuse, the hurtful words, the fear, the pain, the neglect – those are all formidable opponents trapped in the recesses of their memory to which I have no access. This reality breaks my heart on a daily basis. But I refuse to stop there, because I am a fighter and nothing is worth my energy more than my children. Even though I can’t fight the past, or ghosts that I can’t see, I can fight for a better today and a brighter future.
I find peace in knowing that the weapons in my arsenal are greater than any measure of fear, any residual from the painful past and any tactic my unseen foes bring to battle. I know that my strength comes from Jesus and that joy, love and a steadfast heart will eventually win. I won’t downplay the difficulty of the fight – I’ve talked often about sleepless nights, conflict that arises from the ashes of brokenness, and wounds so thinly veiled that they break wide open with the slightest of touch. It’s not easy. But, it’s a fight that’s worth it and a fight that I know I can win.
As parents of children from hard places, we all must keep our eyes on the prize (our children’s healing) and remember that our battle is not with flesh and blood. To take to task the ghosts of the past, our minds, hearts and energy must be keenly focused on the moment in front of us. What love is needed now? What words of comfort are needed now? What prayer is needed now?
NOW we can fight ghosts of yesterday and NOW we can plant seeds that will bear great fruit tomorrow. Don’t waste your NOW.
This is a beautiful picture of the most powerful weapons in my arsenal.
I don’t remember where I got this image… it is not my original….but I LOVE it.