Some dear friends had us over for an amazing dinner Thursday night. As we were sharing with them and talking over our journey, Sean had some great insight into somethings we experienced with Emma.
I hope I can relay it with as much revelation as he was able to express last night.
We were discussing how difficult it was when after three days of great visits with Emma that suddenly she didn’t want to be anywhere near us. He said something like this, “You know in those three days, she experienced genuine love and affection, and at that three day point, her heart reacted. Meaning, she realized that this was something she had been missing for three years. Her heart reacted to genuine love by letting loose some of the pain that she had been bottling up. ”
He felt that her reaction may have been a response of grieve. Realizing that she was safe, she was able to really express things that had been repressed for years.
Fortunately God gave us the grace to walk through it with her. It was hard. We had to really battle NOT to take it personally. I remember when I finally got the push from God to love her back in spite of her reaction to me. I went into the room where she was playing with the other children. She was moaning and rocking back and forth because she had seen me. I sat down within sight of her, but not too close and began to just play with the other children who had swarmed around me for kisses and hugs.
After a while I moved closer to her and got as low as I could and gradually began to reach out to her, touching her foot or her knee. I would leave for a few minutes and come back and then approach her softly again. I persisted even when it seemed there was no positive reaction or response. To be honest I was baffled by the change in Emma’s response to us. I didn’t even know at first if what I was doing would work or having any impact on her heart at all.
The bottom line is the message that the Lord allowed me to convey to Emma was this, “I’m here. I love you. I’m not afraid of the pain you are experiencing. I’ve been through pain of my own. I know what it feels like. You can’t push me away. I won’t let you. I’m pressing in. I will not give up on you. I am willing to grieve with you. I am willing to cry with you. I am willing to bear rejection so that you will know that I will not reject you.”
Of course I didn’t say these things. I just showed up day after day and got down on the ground with her to show her that I was not giving up on her.
Jesus has done the same for me, and He created us to reflect His love to each other. He made Himself low, He was rejected. He did not walk away when we rejected him. He did not give up on us when we fell. He is not a stranger to our pain- He bore it all. He holds us while we grieve. He come close when we hide in shame. He is strong when we are weak.
I will see Emma again on Friday. I do not know if she will remember me. I trust that she will. I do not know if seeing me will bring up painful emotions again, or if she will know that I came back because of love. I am ready if need by to woo her again, to convince her once again, that I will not reject her and that I will not give up.