Tenebrae

8:30 AM the day before Easter and both my boys are faaaaaast asleep. Glory.

Probably only for another minute or two.

Last night at the Good Friday service, I tried so hard to focus in on what was going on, what was being told. I was late getting there. I tried to read the scripture on the sheet they handed out. I read it about 15 times trying to bring my tempest of a brain in to focus on something at hand (listening at that particular point was a lost cause. Not an auditory person, me).

I kept saying: What does this mean NOW? What does this mean for ME? What does this mean in my life and with Avery?

Things have not been good. I have spent a few afternoons and evenings blowing up entirely (while Avery is asleep), enraged, frustrated, spent, done. I feel like it’s not getting any better. I feel defeated by something I signed up for, and something I know a lot of my friends have a lot harder. I feel like a failure and I want to quit and I don’t like it.

So I said yesterday: What needs to die tonight, and what will rise again Sunday morning?

The defeat, the grumbling, the selfishness, the complaining, the short temper, the anger at my child when he does things he doesn’t understand (and even when he does things he does understand): those are my sins and they DIED. They died then. I am ready for them to die now.

What rises again Sunday?

Grace, hope. Ok those are buzz words but to me, right now, they are huge and vast and important. They are things I have felt VERY lacking in lately.

Other people were crying when they came out of the service. Other people were thinking about what Jesus did for them and what he went through. I am selfish I suppose, but I have been colossally selfish and negative lately, and I wanted to basically say, Make it about me right now if we have to, because that’s better than me thinking through my grocery list for Sunday dinner and how I’m going to manage logistics of getting a toddler out after church while waiting for Daddy. Make it about me, because that’s the best I can do right now, and something MUST change.

So making it about what happened, about what story the ministers were telling up on the stage, but making it about what that means for me, for my life with my child, for the way I keep my house, for the work that we do and the people we meet… That’s what my Good Friday service was about.

What rises again Sunday?

Purpose. We’re doing this parenting thing for a reason, although that gets lost in tantrums and laundry and trying to fill up the day with parks or Play Doh or things that often seem to me like a waste of time.

What rises again Sunday?

Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. I have literally found myself angry with God recently because he promised me those things and I don’t have them. Well, apparently I do. I’m not sure how to come to a place where I act upon them, but hey. Here’s me believing that they are already mine.

Real talk guys: You hear a lot of horror stories about adoption. Everybody has a niece who has a friend who adopted a kid and then they murdered them in their sleep. Or something. And you’re like great, thanks for sharing.

But the truth is, every parent probably stays up at night sometimes wondering if their kid is going to turn out okay – I’m sure that’s a universal parent problem. But I don’t know if it’s a little different for adoptive parents because you have people saying things about how some things are completely beyond your control. I don’t want to get too far into it. But seriously – I think sometimes there is this thing that makes it to where every time he acts out or throws a tantrum, I am struck with fear that we came into his life too late, or even just that other people might see his normal toddler actions as evidence to support their already-held belief that adopted kids are… whatever. Too hard. A lost cause. Whatever.

So I hold SUCH a tight rein and I stress SO much. I want him to grow up and defy those beliefs and show everyone that every person can be redeemed and can choose a life of grace and purpose.

But you know what? I know half of you are already laughing at me and going ABBEY. HE IS TWO. Which yes, is true. Maybe I would have done this with any kid, held a pretty high standard. He is a BRILLIANT child. Who displays great capacity for empathy and compassion. He has attached magnificently to Dane and me. I want him to prove everyone wrong that wants to write off children based on their backgrounds…because I see in him that he can. He understands so many things about what I am teaching him that when he willfully bucks against it, I… might have a tendency to overreact. Maybe not always to him, but later when I am wringing my hands to myself in my bedroom.

But he is two and a half years old. And he IS an incredibly willful child, which I choose to believe is why he will not accept status quo and will LEAD (which I already see him doing with his peers) and will leave his mark on the world. And which is why I am the mama he was supposed to have, because guess what? I can be a SMIDGE willful too, and I know what he’s capable of.

What rises Sunday?

Hope that my child’s past is gone. Belief that I am not the one that saved him before, and I am not the one that will save him the rest of his life.

photo-2

[PS They didn’t wake up until 8:52!!!]

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2 comments on “Tenebrae
  1. welderbeth says:

    This is beautiful, Abbey. I’ve also been praying that my kids (and whatever behaviors they might have) won’t become the poster child for “All Adopted Children” (whether that it would be a good or a bad poster).

  2. […] year I wrote a blog post called Tenebrae. It was about the things I was believing would die on Good Friday, and the things I was believing […]

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