Friday, November 22, 2013

Season of Drought

With it being the season of thanksgiving... I truly wanted to write something upbeat, hopeful and filled with gratitude.  After all... I have a laundry list of all the things I'm thankful for.
Yet I also can't deny that this past month's worth of drama has pushed and stretched my heart to places I never knew existed.  

And then today pushed me over the edge...

I was on my way home when Sol called to share something that our eldest son had been hiding... 
There was dead silence over the phone.
Suddenly, I felt lost.  
Who was this child?  What happened to him?  I felt deceived into believing he was some thing that he wasn't.... Loyal, respectful and content with his new family and second chance at life. Where did I go wrong?  Did I fail him? How had I failed him?  
But.... It was his choice. Again? Why? Why did he.....? 

I drove in our driveway with my heart pounding with anger, bitterness and sadness.  Took some deep breaths and dragged my feet through the front door.  Sol's facial expression was enough for me to understand his heart was as broken as mine. 
We took a few minutes to calm down and sat down with our son. 
He stared at us blankly. I couldn't look at him. I was ashamed for him. Sol spared me the awkwardness by saying a quick word of prayer. 
I set my timer...for fear that I wouldn't stop talking.
We spoke with a loving, tender but firm tone.... yet our words bounced right off him. 
How I wished he could have seen the pain, the love and the hurt in our eyes and grasp it through our words.
But there was nothing.
Our 14 year old son had been trained all his life to believe a lie and live a lie.  He was never told and taught the truth.  He was never loved by a mom and a dad who devoted themselves to persistently guide him in the right direction and draw appropriate boundaries to provide him security and protection.

Our conversation ended....
No remorse. No tears. Just a blank stare.
My emotions stretched from one extreme to another...
I wanted to forgive him and move on quickly... forgetting all that had happened.... Just like I wanted to do all the other past times. 
But that would be another lie and I was too angry, sad and disheartened. He needed to understand there were consequences for his irresponsible choices.

All day...my heart has been in turmoil. 

Unfortunately all 4 of our children learned to hustle on the streets of Ghana. They were taught to beg and steal with an incredible charm that strangers cannot resist. Society taught them that lying was courageous and telling the truth was showing weakness.  The nudge of guilt from "making a bad choice" was stripped away from our kids at a very young age. 

Our hope is that we can somehow reteach our children proper values and build a character of integrity. Unfortunately with our eldest son, we only have 3.5 years left before his decisions in life become his full responsibility. 
And...
Truthfully, I.Am.Weary.  
For the past couple of months, I have been in a season of drought.
My heart is parched.
I have barely an ounce of kindness and patience left to bear the face of one more lie or devious act.

Hope hasn't died and I know where my Source of Strength comes from... 
I keep convincing myself  "No Chris... you haven't failed."
Every morning, my kids wake up to me (the same petite Asian mama) with breakfast waiting for them, homework corrected, school lunches packed. Perhaps there were moments where they might have "wished" me away.... 
But for the past 15 months of their life.... this weary mama has consistently tried to love them and refuses to stop loving them.
Our kids make choices that are beyond our control. Sometimes I wish I just didn't know. But... I still have to be proud that our son finally told the truth. Again.

Thankfully with the beauty of a drought season comes rain. 
Although I wish I knew when my rainy season is.... I guess I'm okay with waiting and simply hanging in there. Perhaps, it will slow me down enough to regain perspective in order to keep persevering. 

" Successful mothers are not the ones who have never struggled. 
They are the ones who never give up, despite the struggles."  
-Sharon Jaynes