Thursday, October 14, 2010
This week, our October Thankful Thursday hostess, Lynn, asks the question, "What victories has Christ given you?"
I like others who have responded to this post, have been given many victories - and it's hard to choose. However, one has sort of a double victory involved, and that's what I will share.
We had the great honor and pleasure to adopt our now 20 year old daughter (wow, time flies!). She came to us as a foster child when she was just a few weeks old - and never left. She became ours legally when she was around 15 months old.
So here's this dark eyed, curly-headed beauty of a baby - and all is well. Right? Not so much. She was affected by drugs and alcohol, which we knew, but were of this naive point of view that loves conquers all. Shortly after adoption we had to have her see a neurologist for a horrible startle reflex - she seemed to become almost catatonic. They told us she had "soft signs of neurologic damage" - whatever that meant.
Time went by and she began to exhibit an inability to control her temper, and some terrible outbursts of physical violence. She had unbelievable arm strength - more than the usual 2 or 3 year old, and could pull herself up on cabinets and get into things that I'd put up high so she couldn't reach! We couldn't keep her in the house - she'd sneak out. That was scary. We tried different kinds of locks - she figured them out (or broke them)! It got so bad we felt we had to watch her around the clock literally - to keep her from getting hurt.
Finally, just as she was to start Kindergarten, we had to have her hospitalized. She just wouldn't stop screaming....and that's what she did for nearly 3 weeks - 24/7. I panicked. I thought we'd lost her, that's she'd never come back from whatever was going on. I was so terrified the night we left her at the hospital - I thought if I didn't get some help myself - my poor hubby was going to be putting me in the hospital, too!
We went to a friend's house, and she and I began to pray. She reminded me that God didn't want us to fear. We went through those verses in Phil. 4:5&6 - "Do not be anxious (worried, afraid) about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition, make your request known to God. And the peace that goes beyond your understanding will guard your heart and mind in Christ Jesus." Over and over again, I would recite those verses, for hours every night I'd have to go through them again and again - fighting off the panic. Over and over again, I would have to slow my breathing down, sing songs, pray, - whatever it took.
This event triggered panic attacks for me. It became normal to have them often. Sometimes, for no reason, I'd awake in the night - shaking in fear. Or my husband would go out of town, and I wouldn't sleep at all - in sheer fright. I felt helpless to fight it off.
I can't say I had immediate victory over this problem. It took time. But one day, I realized, that I was beginning to not respond to bad things with that gripping, horrid fear anymore. Oh, there might be that initial rush of adrenalin - but that's been my cue to stop it, and change my thinking. I now know, I can face fear - because I have the protection and peace that Christ has given me when I became His. I'd always had it, I just didn't know how to use it.
Now I said this was a double victory - and it was. Our daughter's victory. Around the age of 8, we began to notice that she was pulling away from all that past behavior. She was growing up. She has blossomed into a beautiful young lady. The road will never be easy for her. Because of the damage that was done, she struggles with certain aspects of life. However, she's strong, independent, determined, and well-adjusted (though she still needs to find a job!! :-)
I believe the Lord healed her of all that horrible anger and violent behavior. At one time, I was told by a doctor that she would never bond with us, or with anyone. Thank the Lord, I never believed him. He was SO wrong...
and God is SO good.
To read other thankful stories, visit Lynn at Spiritually Unequal Marriage.