My cousin posted this article from Jen Hatmaker on my Facebook page recently. I had to stop and think if this was to warn me or to encourage me. She said it was for "preparation" and I actually read the whole thing aloud to Jeff.
I was praying about it the next morning asking God if Liam could go through these stages quickly, especially the "Spaz Out". I prayed that he would know that we love him and even though he wouldn't understand every word we said. I prayed that there would be a bond and he would feel like part of our family. I prayed that he would trust us and understand we treasure him even as we have to teach him the rules and enforce loving discipline.
Instantly, I heard God ask, "Which stage are you in?"
"What?" I asked
"I adopted you and brought you not only into my family but into my kingdom. Do you feel like you are a part of it? Do you know that when I'm disciplining you, it is because I love you and for your good? Do you trust me as your Father and know I have your best interests at heart just as you will for Liam?"
Well, that was intense. After 36 years, if I'm to really be honest with you, I'm still in "Spaz Out". I throw inward pity-parties and fits when God doesn't answer my prayers on my time table. I still put on a pretty face at church and act like its all okay when it really isn't. I don't communicate with Him as often as I should because I don't feel like I even understand the language He is speaking.
And like an adoptive father, He keeps pursuing me with love. He keeps using "pull-close" parenting methods and inviting me to just sit with Him and let Him hold me when things don't make sense. He gives me "time-ins" instead of "time-outs" so I can take a breath for a minute and figure out where I went wrong.
I think I'm ready to move on to the next stage. I want to trust His love and be fully ingrafted into His family. I think a lot of it is a choice though. Just as it will be for Liam. He is going to have to choose that even though we are strangers, we love him like he is our biological son. I shouldn't ask Liam to do anything I'm not willing to do.