Hi. Still here. Still doing well, interestingly, despite the circumstances. Busy. Very busy. My oldest graduated. I'm not ready for this. Not ready to let him leave. He's ready. Prepared. Trained. Well respected, hard worker, gets along with people. Won all sorts of awards and recommendations of his teachers for his character. Loved by his peers. Ready. We've done a good job with him. He's ready. I'm just not. I love this kid. He's the one who made me a mom. Love him to bits. He's my friend besides being my son. We talk. We think things over. We observe the world together and learn from it. We laugh. We just like each other. Now he is leaving. And my heart will break. I'm not ready for this.
My next son has graduated from that stage where I think all children should be given away. :) That awful age from 14-15. Now he's turning into an enjoyable person again. We talk. We laugh. We enjoy each other. I plan to thoroughly enjoy his next two years! The third one - well, he's entering those awful years. I plan on holding my breath, sticking to my guns, and reminding myself that this too will end. We will survive.
We're doing well. Except when our mission fusses. They are not happy that we want to go to debriefing. They say, "well, that might be nice, but it is not what we want for you and will not give you the help we think you need." We feel like sticking out tongues out at them and blowing a raspberry. They don't know us. They don't even live near us. They are so ignorant on what people need that they let people go through some awful crisises and never even asked afterwards if they are doing ok or if they would like to talk. I will not let such people tell me what they think we need.
They want me to get help, psych help, to learn how to talk to people without offending them. Because they say, "your words produce an emotional response in people." Ok. So? Are emotions inherently bad? I wrote many things that the mission used precisely because they were emotional and caught people's attention. But if I produce an emotion they don't like.... then I need psychiatric help? Or how about they talk to people I work with, people I have worked with now for almost ten years. People who would tell them that one reason they like me is that I have the ability to get along with anyone, with any team, to coperate well. People who would tell them that they call me in to be with difficult patients or families because I have a way of comforting and calming down a situation and being tactful. Or call in the parents of the boy I work with who want me full time because "when she works, he comes home with a smile on his face!" Or another school who is trying (unsuccessfully) to recruit me for a new student they have. Why? "Because you are so good with dealing with people!" I do know how to talk to people without offending them and do not need psych help.
But they control our money for now. And they are threatening us with it. Sigh.
So for now, we have to dance to their tune to a degree. It is sad. We deal with threats and bullying. That is basically what it is. It is the words the counselor used to describe it when he saw their letters. He advised us that we get out and do it quickly! But he acknowledged that it is complicated to do until the finances are settled. He shook his head and said that this is abuse, and it deeply upset him.
However, for now, they want regular letters. What help we are getting, what struggles we are having, what challenges there are, names of counselors and when we talked to them, etc. So we write. I did not live my entire life among "Christianeze" not to know what they want to hear. For me, it is a step back.... back to the dishonestly of a "perfect" life, but we do it under temporary duress. I don't tell them that our biggest struggle is dealing with the threats and pushing from those in authority over us. I don't tell them that we are doing fine until he recieve one of their scolding letters again. I don't tell them that we can not sleep for two nights from the stress of those letters. I do not tell them what it is like to have a mission who did not care for you during or after a crisis now object to your attempts to get help to recover. To tell you that we don't think your symptoms have anything to do with undealt with stress, but are personal sin problems. We are reading Job recently, and it strikes me that they are much like Job's comforters. "All this is because of your sin which you refuse to deal with." I'm not saying that we are sinless. I'm not saying that Satan is out to test us or that God has something to prove with us. I'm just saying that when you don't deal with sever wounds from severe trauma, you can end up with wounded people. And wounded people hurt people. Not because they want to. Not because they are inherently evil. Because they are wounded.
We are called to bind wounds, not kick the wounded.
So I write them nice letters now. Things they want to hear. While we wait, pray, and wait some more. God is working. Change is coming. But we are not going to change ahead of God's leading. We will take our time and pray and search. In the meantime, we have to dance their tune.
Yet Job was proved right one day, and his "comforters" silenced. Perhaps God will one day raise our heads here on earth, be our glory and show His favor on us here in the presence of those who have spoken evil of us. Perhaps He won't. But He knows our hearts that are before Him. And we will continue to believe Him. He has not thrown us away. He has not judged us without compassion. He is not in the actions of some of His people. So we hold on to Him right now and trust.
Does that mean I am close to God now? Not sure. I hold on to Him. With confusion. But even in that confusion, I know He is the only stable thing. So I hold on. I let Him see my questions and my pain. I don't demand answers now. I don't know if I could even handle them at this moment. All of this is so confusing, so bewildering. We've had people that were our close friends, people whose houses we could walk into without knocking for ten years turn their back on us, suddenly never phone, never say hi, nothing. It's bewildering. My trust, which was always fragile, is numbed. I stand puzzled in front of God. How and why can His people be behind such pain and such harshness with us? How can people turn their backs when we are near as if they never saw us? I'm numb with a bewildering confusion. I have nothing to trust. People I trusted with all my heart disappeared overnight and became my accusers. Others who were solid friends just stopped being there. With no explanation. People I would have sworn up two sides of Sunday would always be there. They're not. I don't even have the emotional energy to process it all.
But I know God is good. I know His way is right. And I know the end of the story. I know that with a certain sureness. So I wait in quietness. I've given up trying to battle against what happens. I rest my life into the arms of a God I know, but whose path I can not understand. I am more silent. I think less. I simply am. This too will end, and God will be there in the end. He will one day make all things right. Today is not that day. Today calls for a simple quietness and a trust. I can't stop trusting God; what would I have then? Nothing. So I trust, out of habit, out of quiet desperation, out of the quiet knowledge that He still is, and that He has been there through awful things before.
And, as my husband says, interesting things are happening, and as we step more and more out of the way and don't fight, more and more God will bring to light the behaviors of a few people, and they will be seen for who they really are. Not all battles are ours to fight. So we rest in the middle of the storm, trust God, and wait it out.
But we are here. We are doing well. We are just on the "tumble" setting in the dryer, and I do not know how long the cycle is.