Lucia and I have spent many hours together over the last 4.5 years talking about what love is and is not. In the beginning it was more me doing the talking and in the early days I had no idea the fear she was living with that I might, at any time, flip my personality on her and in an instant become to her the mother or caregivers who harmed her.
After the initial days of discovery in our home, I could see apprehension in her eyes and so I tried harder at connecting, and you know what? For a time things became so much more difficult. Lucia the sweetest love, ever ….said some not so nice things. And I wondered if the newness wore off and I was seeing her “real” personality. The answer to that is no.
Her fear was building and so the kinder I became. I tried harder. Years later she told me that when I told her she was beautiful, incredible anger would rise in her. I was astonished that the great efforts I was taking were backfiring. I wasn’t “wrong,” I just had to be worthy of trust. Truth is, there had to be times she was seeing me change from the doting mom having to transition back to my regular daily routine. Was she questioning how genuine I was? Of course she was. Thats what we do as humans.
Loving my sweet Lucia is not hard. But learning to live out love how she needed it, well that was challenging. Honestly I still feel a bit of pressure not to cause fear to stir. I know I will have bad days – those days where sleep was sparse and juggling many things causes me to give to a flip flesh reply and then I see the disappointment in her face.
Our love has grown through the connecting, that thing she was so afraid of. And my words of praise and affirmation, they certainly build her up. It isn’t those things though that have actually knit this bond. It’s that after she saw me flub it, she saw me acknowledge it. She saw my sorrow. She experienced being valued and a new sense of power when I asked for forgiveness. It is so true, that when we are weak, we can be strong.
I knew that my disappointments, my flub ups landed on her very differently than they did my children I gave birth to. Abandonment and abuse was very real to her.
“Lucia, I wish so much that I will never hurt your feelings but I know there will be times I do. I need us to pray to God together for our relationship. I know we both need His strength and to trust that we can love well.”
That conversation wasn’t once or twice but weaved throughout our lives. Loving can be hard. It requires surrendering and it means bearing honesty. It risks that it won’t be accepted. And when my love isn’t accepted, my flesh wants to remove it. It’s the nature of man sadly. But the nature of Jesus is love. Only when I live from my abiding, clinging to the branches, will I bear fruit. If man rejects me, Jesus still receives me.
Our feelings don’t make us evil. No need to beat yourself up. Thankfully we don’t have to live out of our feelings. We do however have the freedom to speak truth to them and surrender them. Forgiveness is the sweetest gift and the key to developing long lasting relationship.
Lucia has developed into a true hero. She not only prays for our relationship, but she prays intentionally for every heart she meets! Amazingly, God has walked her through forgiveness and healing towards those who have hurt her in her past. Not only that, God grew affection and compassion in her for her them. That is a miracle that only comes Jesus!
5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.
Loving is hard, but as Lucia always says on her blog, “Love is in the Light!”
Visit her at luciaslight.blogspot.com
By Tina Kacirek