Sunday, April 3, 2016

Rocks of Guilt

China is on my mind a lot.

It's a strange part of my identity and I'm not sure where it fits.

For me it's a piece of my identity, but for my children it's who they are. 

China is their America.

Caleb, our sweet little 5 year old literally mentions China everyday, even after a year and three months. 

I don't know how to process that. I want to fix it and somehow make it a happy thing that we left China.......

I can't do that though. 

We have been so blessed to be able to be apart of the homeschool co-op here at the (YWAM) base. Sydney has a teacher that is getting trained in how to debrief children who have lived overseas or who have experienced massive amounts of change/loss (like all YWAM kids do). This week she did a grief and loss time during class. 

Sydney's teacher took the kids through something where they could identify where they were in the process of grief and gave them language to put words to those emotions.

She described different places like Reality Mountain, Fog of Confusion. Swamp of Sadness, Volcano of Anger, Fearful Forest, Rocks of Guilt, Hills of Change, Desert of Loneliness and Springs of New Hope. 

Amazing language to give to kids and maybe good language for adults too......  

I think the best thing Sydney's teacher did was give the kids permission to be sad.

She encouraged us parents that this was an open door for us to talk with our kids about this stuff and to help them process the journey that they're on. 

When Sydney came home for lunch it was the perfect opportunity to talk with her. Matt and I started asking questions about how her time had gone. Her teacher had told us that she felt like she was at the Volcano of Anger. As we talked and asked her why she felt like she was in that place she started to cry. It was quiet tears that fell and she was trying so hard to hold them in. 

And then she told us "I'm angry that we left China and I'm angry it was so sudden. I was happy there, I didn't want to leave."


I had to hold back full on weeping. 

We were shocked. We had no idea that she felt this way. And this was coming from the kid that tells me everything. 

I felt so heartbroken for her and I felt heartbroken for us.  

Because, as we told her, leaving was sudden for even the adults in the family. We were shocked that we weren't going back and we didn't really know that untill we were in the States.

We talked with our baby, we held her, and we cried over the losses that we were all feeling. 

I've taken a very people-pleasing approach to healing. In my mind I've thought if people get it or understand than I'm worthy of ____________. 

When it comes to cross-cultural transition most people don't get it and after a year and three months most people would think 'time to move on, right??'. 

Well I've thought that I moved on, even though every time my babies talk about China it pricks my heart. I really thought that I had it under control until my sweet Sydney had those quiet tears running down her cheeks. It brought all my own grief to the surface. 

Whether I feel worthy to process it or not, it's there. 

It is so much easier to keep all the yuck buried. Facing it means I have to face those Rocks of Guilt that I carry. 

So much guilt, or really it might be more like Shame. 

I could go into that more, but I don't think I'm ready. 

I wonder where God is in all of this. What does he see, what does he know, what does he think? Is he disappointed in me?

If I were to ask Sydney that question, she would confidently say 'He's not disappointed in you'.

And she would be so right. I know He wants to take those Rocks of Guilt off my hands, but right now I don't know how to let him do that.

But, I know that the story doesn't end here. 

When we were talking to Sydney and while trying not to let the tears overtake me I took her face in my hands and I looked into her eyes and I said "Sydney, God has a purpose for you here in America". 

I know that Jesus is saying the same thing to me. 

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