Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Jello and Kidney Stones...

My level of transparency on my current well being has been very shady. I feared that I would easily lose the trust of my children if I continued to allow myself the ability to process who I am and who I want to be through written word.

That stops tonight.

I have always known that part of my way to process anything was to write it down. I have tons of notebooks filled with my thoughts and transparencies from early through a couple years ago. Now I don't just enjoy the thrill of writing the words down and the time alone I get with Jesus to process what those words say back to me, I enjoy the thrill of having others read what I share and giving their opinions. I enjoy their kind comments, the advice from strangers, the reassurance that all will be ok, and even the comments that taste like hot lava running down my throat. Now as with everything else there truly is only one opinion that matters to me and that opinion belongs to Jesus. No matter which way to spin the Jesus thing I am totally one hundred percent in. I am sure that my Jesus loves me even when no one else does. I am sure that my Jesus smiles with me, enjoys my children with me, takes on challenges with me, and catches me when the entire world gets torn from beneath my feet.

"Raising a teenager is like nailing jello to a tree" I LOVE that quote. If I had to sum up my experience of raising an 18 year for under 6 months it would be something like "Raising a teenager is like having a gag tied around your mouth, chains around your body and being anchored to the bottom of a far off lake." It is lonely and tiring and one of the worst things God has ever asked me to be a part of. I have had a few hard hits over the past 4 years all starting with learning that my marriage was a lie, terribly difficult pregnancy, terribly difficult adoption, kidney stones, kids getting kicked out of school, violent kids, hospital stay after hospital stay. money crap, MONO. Though everyone has their list and mine is neither easier or harder just different. Over the past four years I have lost most of who I should be. Don't read that wrong I am extremely strong willed and have not lost totally who I am just who I should be. The past 6 months have been the ones where I cannot even try to hold my head above water, it honestly is no wonder that I have mono. Jesus had to give it a name so I would be willing to share with others how low I have sunk. I feel so defeated in terms of parenting an 18 year old. I have tried hard to give her space, be involved, get to know her friends but not be the annoying mom. I have cared beyond cared about this child and everything I do is thrown back in my face. I am completely used to this with my younger ones but to have an adult verbally assault me on a regular just does something to you. I have spent more time on the phone or in the office or at the hospital or at therapy with this child than any other over the past 6 months. I find myself often imagining what Jesus must feel like with how defiantly we live our lives. How often do we tell him no and just do what we want. I think that God is using this experience to answer my years long prayer to allow me to see others as He sees them but he flipped my intent. I wanted to have more compassion and instead he is showing me the ugly in me. I wanted to look on my enemies with kindness and instead I get to experience someone screaming out to me "why do you even care, I don't want you to care". I am being broken.

Now in the past 6 months I have seen true heartache from this child. I have seen what trauma looks like on an 18 year old face and it has crushed me. I would not trade these terrible 6 months, the growth that I have seen is wonderful. I have seen her feel good about accomplishments and experience joy with the family. I have seen her really put effort into some things. That is what makes where I sit right now so difficult. She is 18, she is an adult, and she is choosing to not follow the house rules. I stand at a cross roads and I honestly am not sure which way I will turn. I cannot keep up the way that I am or my next post will be from a hospital bed. I need a break, I need to be able to take a breath.

Loving others does not always feel good. It is not always saying yes, it is not always coming to the rescue of your children's mistakes. Love sometimes hurts and no matter which way this all goes, tomorrow someone will be hurting. Ugh, so in this story Love almost equals hurt...I don't like that.

I have felt like if I quit I would get a break but God spoke LOUD and FIRM through the voice of a constable at LCBC. He told me "Every fight is worth it" ,"KEEP FIGHTING" he shared a bit of his story and then lovingly said "I appreciate what you are doing for her, she NEEDS you!" I promise it was as if I had a conversation with God himself; I could feel Him speaking into me. I don't know what this means for tomorrow but I do know that I am letting the chains go and not going to feel guilty for sharing the difficulties of parenting a teen.

Some days I feel bad for Ryan. This is NOT his chosen is where Jesus wants him but it is still a bit of a stretch. He is the man stuck in the middle now with the hormonal teen and the wounded wife. I think everyone needs to get him some soda :)...Though being that today is our 9 year anniversary I think he should count himself as lucky! Not all men get a wife who can hold her own in fist fights, talk to doctors like they are speaking English, understand enough Amharic to keep our girls in line and at the end of the day he does not need to get me jewelry because I make my own stones.