Tuesday, December 17, 2013

God is close to the brokenhearted

It has been so neat to have such great conversations with Maran over the last 2 months or so. We have seen a sudden shift in her to start talking about and sharing her feelings instead of shutting them out or pretending it doesn't affect her.  Back in October we shared more of her story with her about how she came to be in an orphanage in DR Congo and then in our home.  Our goal from the beginning was always to be as transparent as is appropriate so she feels like we have never hidden anything from her and she can come to us about anything, nothing is taboo or off limits in our family when it comes to her talking about her adoption.  So on that early November night as we shared with her, it was the first time we have seen her weep, grieve, wail over her past.  She healthily grieved and processed what has gone on in her little life and story. She has told me memories about Congo and where she lived before the orphanage. But it was always cold and distant. This brought a new realness to it all, a closeness.  She finally felt safe enough to lean on me for handling it and shared how it hurt and how she missed and how she was sad and even in her own words "my heart is broken". It has opened up doors for conversation about where God is in suffering that I never thought I would be having with my 5 year old who spoke her first english word just over a year and two months ago. It ebbs and flows in and out of daily life as I pick her up from school, we play games, or during our time as a family reading about Jesus. One night was particularly memorable as we had just finished the story about Naaman. I read the final words,
"God healed you. You can't pay," Elisha said. "It's free".
And so it was that a very sick man was healed- all because of a little servant girl who forgave him. God knew sin was like leprosy. It stopped his children's hearts from working properly and in the end it would kill them.  Years later, God was going to forgive as the servant girl did- to forgive all of God's children and heal the terrible sickness in their hearts.
Their hearts were broken.
But God can mend broken hearts"

Now normally during anything that involves being still, Maran is all over the place. Usually not listening attentively but checking out her fingernails, my hair, the Christmas tree lights, etc. But here eyes were peeled as I read the end of that story. She responded.
"Mom, why hasn't God healed my broken heart yet?"

This has been the question she has asked day after day, week after week for over a month now. She came to that conclusion, I never put the thought in her head that her heart was broken and needed fixing. She told her family that her heart is broken. It is in need of a Savior. She didn't ask me to fix it. It's like she knew it was something only he can do. And in faith like a child she looked up and asked why on earth her daddy in heaven hadn't fixed it yet. Tears came to my eyes as I tried to answer that it takes time, but God promises he will heal our hearts. It may not be fixed until heaven or he may fix all of it before then, I don't know, but I know he is mending broken pieces together and writing a new story. That answer seems to appease her until the next time she asks.

So one morning I went in her room and I said "Maran, I have been thinking and praying for your heart and God gave me a verse for you. God is close to the broken hearted". We chatted about if she likes being close to mommy, snuggling and hugging or if she would rather me a long distance away. (My child who can never be close enough to anyone and has no idea of why anyone would want personal space) She replied emphatically that hugging, snuggled, cheek to cheek is best. And I told her, well God sees your broken heart and sad heart and that makes him want to be even closer to you! He promises it! He will be so close all of your life as you go in and out of sadness and on the days when you don't understand how you got here or why this has happened to you. He is close. 

It was like I had just given her christmas gifts to her. Her eyes lit up and she hugged herself and squealed. A few hours later, the interchange wasn't top of mind for me and she came over to me and grabbed my face. "Mom, I want to teach you and everyone in this world my song I made up."

It went something like this,
"God loves you, I love him, even when you have a sad or broken or bad heart he doesn't mind, he is close close close to you. God loves you, I love him, even when my heart is bad I know he loves me too, because he is always close to me."

God promises his word doesn't return void. It was like a balm to hear soul that day and it sunk in deep. 

Our counselor encouraged Maran to share her story with her sister and brother. It is of course hers to share so we hadn't told Reese or Wheeler. We had some one on one time with the girls so I asked Maran if she thought it was a good time to share with reese. She excitedly said yes with only a slight shy hesitation, she grabbed her Congo picture book and we all sat on the couch. Maran shared in broken pieces her story and asked me to fill in in some spots. I watched as my 7 year old started to weep. Heaving weeps for her sister. It was beauty in my children like I rarely see. Reese saw her for who she is, where she has come from, what she has been through. And she met her there. In her sadness and wept for her. Maran was fine this time sharing and didn't get upset. But she was shocked why Reese was crying. "Reese, why are you getting sad, why are you crying? Are you crying for me? Are you sad about me?" Reese couldn't answer. It was the most perfect way I have seen them love each other. Maran's bravery and trust to share it with Reese and Reese meeting her there with a heartfelt response. Later in the day I pulled Reese aside and chatted with her about it as we painted nails. I asked her what she was thinking as she cried. She teared up again and said how sad she was for Maran and how hard that must've been. How she can't imagine losing her family and going to live with a different one. For the first time she understood adoption from both sides. The trauma and the beauty. The loss and the gift. 

It has been a beautiful process as we walk through this together. It is tough and challenging as I navigate uncharted waters. But it is worth it. It is hard work but it is worthy work. I will sit on the sidelines in awe as watch as God works, moves, heals, starts a fresh, teaches, and comes close. 
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  1. Wow. The story God is writing in and through your family is magnificent. He is magnificent and I'm so excited for Maran to know it!

  2. This post was so beautiful. Even from a far distance of time and space, I'm thankful for what God is doing in your and your family's hearts. Sending love to you this Christmas season!

  3. Kylie, I read this post yesterday and keep thinking about it. I know that Maran's hurting heart is sensitive stuff and it may be difficult as her Momma to decide how much to share or whether to share, but I really want to thank you for writing this. My husband and I both appreciate the insight that we have gaining from reading about your family, particularly Maran. Our little ladies are very close to Maran's age and we want to be prepared to help them heal (as best we can) when they get home. So thankful that all of us can look to the Lord who is close to the brokenhearted for healing!

  4. Wow, beautiful! Thanks for sharing. What absolutely amazing children!