“Perhaps only when human effort had done it's best and failed, would God's power alone be free to work.”
Corrie ten Boom
I love the quote above by Corrie ten Boom. Sometimes you have to come to the end of yourself and know that God alone is the only hope, the only answer.
We are back from a whirlwind trip to take Sweet Girl (SG) to the Ranch for Kids in Montana. In a mere 55 hours we traveled on six airplanes and drove over 500 miles. Exhausting under even the best circumstances. At two different times SG became agitated and aggressive on the airplane. One of the times I thought we could be removed from the plane. However we were able to get messages out for people to pray, and things improved tremendously and we had no problems whatsoever on the third and final flight. I'm here to tell you that God answers prayer. There's no other explanation. Seriously.
How are we doing? Lots of people ask this question. I won't speak for Mark, but I, myself, feel hopeful, peaceful, and relieved.
Hopeful because I firmly believe that God is going to do a healing work in SG's heart.
Peaceful because I have no doubt that God led us down this path.
Relieved because... Life with SG had become EXHAUSTING. We had to be constantly vigilant. Her anger was expressed aggressively, toward us mainly, but at times toward the littles too. If you have never parented a child who had become a danger to the rest of the family then you probably won't understand our relief. That's okay.
Our time at the Ranch was an amazing confirmation to me that we made a good choice. Bill (the Ranch manager and the one who teaches the kids Biblical truths and relational skills) spoke to SG with great compassion, but at the same time he made it clear that he had high expectations for her. Some of the things he said to SG were literally WORD for WORD things that we have been telling her for a long time. It felt good to know that we shared the same philosophy and were on the same page.
While we were talking SG was very fidgety, but she showed no sadness whatsoever when we left. An indication of how unattached she is to us, even after 4 years, and how high her defenses are. After the first night I sent off a quick text to find out how she had done. Her house mother said "We are having a honeymoon. She acts like she has been here a long time and like she knows everybody". This was exactly what we expected. To show sadness or anxiety would be too look vulnerable. It will take time. Although it will be painful for SG, we are praying for a very short honeymoon. Until the walls come down the healing will not begin. Angela (house mom) said this often takes a few weeks, but as she was observing SG she said "I don't think it will be that long". I hope she is right.
This morning Nik Nak was an emotional MESS. She didn't say it was because she was sad SG was not here, but it was clear that something big was going on in her heart. We decided to wear lime green (SG's favorite color) so that she could feel close to sissy, and so she could remember to pray for her when she saw the color. I have decided to let seeing lime green be my reminder to pray for SG in that moment. I would be blessed and so would SG if you would let seeing something lime green be your reminder that SG needs prayer too. :-)