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Author Topic: Our response  (Read 12960 times)
Hope
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« on: March 01, 2015, 06:09:09 PM »

I'm reading "Where is God when it hurts?" by Philip Yancey.  Highly recommend it.

1. He first asks and answers why pain exists, namely physical.  When you start to understand physical, the emotional makes sense.
2. Then he starts talking about our response.  Some excerpts below...

Once the tragedy has happened-now what will you do? Casting about for blame would get him nowhere; he needed to exercise responsibility in his response, the one area he, not God, had control over. (Talking about Job.)

It would be more accurate to say that God was working IN PAUL through harsh circumstances than to say he was at work in the circumstances themselves.

Does God introduce suffering into our lives so that these good results will come about?  Remember the pattern established at the end of Job.  Questions about cause lie within God's domain; we cannot expect to understand those answers.  We have no right to speculate,  "Some relatives came to Christ at the funeral-that must be why God took him home." Instead, response is our assignment. Paul and other New Testament authors insist that if we respond with trust God will, without doubt, work in us for good. As Job himself said so presciently, "...those who suffer he delivers in their suffering;  he speaks to them in their affliction" (36:15).

Would it really help us to know exactly why God permits a specific instance of suffering? Such awareness may engenger more bitterness. But it does help our actual condition when we turn to him in trust.  It can break down self-sufficiency and create in us a profound new level of faith in God.  It can transform our suffering into qualities of lasting, even eternal, value.
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AD18 RAD, Borderline Personality Disorder, PTSD, ODD
Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us... Rom 5:3-5
justine
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« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2015, 07:39:47 PM »

Great thoughts, Hope.  Thanks for sharing.   love9
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bio ds32  recklessly loving
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adopted sibling group at ages 10, 6 and 4
worstrad30  adopted at age 10, left family at age 18
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Sherrie1003
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« Reply #2 on: March 02, 2015, 07:03:00 AM »

That is an excellent book. I have read it and it speaks to how we should respond, not how we usually respond. I share those same insights with my adopted sons. I hope it all doesn't fall on deaf ears.

Thanks,

Sherrie
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"Sometimes the clearest evidence that God has not deserted you is not that you are successfully past your trials, but that you are still on your feet in the midst of it." Dale Ralph Davis
RADDails
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« Reply #3 on: March 02, 2015, 07:12:09 AM »

There's something in my makeup, I've never asked "Why?"  I don't like it much, but it seems yin/yang.  You can't have wonderful without terrible.

I 'learned' the hard way not to ask the dreaded "How much worse can it get?"  We all know THAT answer;  much!

I yearn to understand the reason the kids go through the crud.  I get that this will eventually make me a better person.  What did a kid do to deserve this?  And why must our girls go through such a shitstorm when they are not equipped to handle it.

I've told DD14 endlessly that she's just a kid, going through huge, big-person stuff.  We've talked about how her fight/flight response triggers her reptile brain (we have to use lizard brain, it's easier to understand).  And I use the image of a tidal wave on the horizon.  All of the stuff she's put off; school, social, sports, etc.  She's now 14, in the 8th grade.  She played volleyball in 5th & 6th grade and has been institutionalized since.  She peaked in 4th grade, the last time she 'tried.'  Look at all the stuff in her tidal wave.

Why would a kid who can't understand the nuance of reptile v. lizard have to deal with trauma, abuse, neglect, loss?  Why would an innocent have to face such a foe without a gigantic arsenal to get her through?  

Would it be easier if we (parents) weren't Christians (or believers of whatever sort?)  We're constantly trying for good, we have a moral black & white.  How can a child who never knew God/other, who only saw bad/negative, strive for a higher goodness?

We all pray for the miracle; that God will touch their hearts and minds.  I wonder what a non-believing adoptive parent would encourage the child to do?  If that wouldn't be easier for the kid, not trying to interject things like Forgiveness, Right/Wrong, or Faith into the mix?

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Sherrie1003
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« Reply #4 on: March 02, 2015, 07:25:07 AM »

RADDails,

I do not believe it would be easier for the child. Yes, they may not hear the message of God, but their hearts would always be empty and seeking. If the heavens declare God's glory our children will see it anyways.

I use all of the examples in the Bible of the people who suffered, for no reason, so they could be servants of God. Joseph, who's own brothers sold him; Job, who was afflicted for no reason he ever knew; Paul who was imprisoned numerous times, shipwrecked, beaten... and so on as examples that even though they all went through hell, none of them deserved it, yet each one chose to follow God and not whine and bellyache about their suffering. Yes, those are big people ideas but our children can understand. Eventually, I believe, they will come back to the lessons and apply them as adults.

We all whine when we are afflicted, for no reason, hurt by idiots, suffer unexplainably. Instead of acting like it is just our children I try and let my sons know lots of people suffer, the biggest difference is what you do with it. How do you handle the pain? How do you view the trauma and sadness? Does it make you better or bitter?

I can't explain why it happens, just that I refuse to be a victim and I will continue to teach my sons that they do not have to be victims either. I pray it works.

I also believe sympathy will never help our children. If we feel sorry for them and their plight we are not empowering them to overcome and survive, we are letting them continue to be victims.

Just my thoughts. I know others have things that work too.

God is on control. We just can't see the big picture. For that I am thankful. I can only handle my small glimpse anyway.

Sherrie
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"Sometimes the clearest evidence that God has not deserted you is not that you are successfully past your trials, but that you are still on your feet in the midst of it." Dale Ralph Davis
mcbfun
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« Reply #5 on: March 02, 2015, 08:20:17 AM »

Our family is not religious.
We do not believe in God.

I don't think it makes it any easier or harder.

Our hearts aren't empty or seeking. We have a moral code. We too, strive to be good... Because what is right is right. You don't need a belief in a higher power for that.

I do think, though, that having faith in god may help parents get through the "why" because you can always say that God must have a plan. Since we don't believe in God, we don't believe that there is a reason for everything that happens. Life just happens. Good things happen to good people and bad people, bad things happen to good people and bad people. Our job is to just get through life the best we can.

But never for one minute think that one has to believe in God in order to be fulfilled. In order to have a whole heart and to want to do what is right. Morality is not solely connected to faith in a higher power.
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« Reply #6 on: March 02, 2015, 12:54:26 PM »

mcbfun - your values and ours are very much the same. My son who is a committed atheist and humanist is one of the most kind, moral people I know.
Morals and a conscience are not the preserve of the religious.

I liked my daughter's therapist as he said to her "sh-t happens" now move on. She was abandoned because her mom was dirt poor and alone. She knows that.

We adopted her because we wanted a daughter.

I do understand that people find comfort in religion.  We don't.

I find comfort in knowing that we are doing everything that we can to move forwards (even if it is 1 step forward and 1/2 back).

 
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« Reply #7 on: March 02, 2015, 07:02:13 PM »

Hope, thanks for sharing.

LMK, I'm a Christian - but I still subscribe to the "sh-t happens" perspective.

I believe that bad stuff happens because there is sin in the world - not that God pulls the strings and engineers every circumstance, nor that one specific sin or choice is necessarily the cause of one specific misfortune. That's how I look at what the abuse and neglect our kids have gone thru.

I also believe "sh-t happens" - a boulder falls off a cliff and crushes something  /someone, or someone slips on the ice and falls, or a million different things - no great plan, no sin, it just happened.
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lmkadopt
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« Reply #8 on: March 03, 2015, 01:55:36 AM »

Of course in the world of RAD sh-t happens has a whole new meaning Smiley
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Sherrie1003
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« Reply #9 on: March 03, 2015, 06:36:51 AM »

Believing in God is about a relationship, not morals.

God loves us more then we can ever imagine through our cloudy lenses of sin and imperfection that exists in this world. he loves us so much he gives us the ability to become adopted children of Him. He sent his son, Jesus to die on the cross for our sins, Jesus was raised again after 3 days to completely destroy sins/satan's control over us and eternity.

All we have to do is believe the above truths. That creates the perfect relationship with God, which unfortunately, if you do not believe you don't understand or know.

God gives us the opportunity to become children of Him, but like some of our adopted children who reject our love, we as humans can reject God's love.

Yes, once you become a Christian you will hopefully, make good moral choices, but that isn't required. many people have become Christians on their death bed and they are in heaven now.

God is love. Without Him it's difficult to teach our kids that unconditional love exists.

Sherrie
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"Sometimes the clearest evidence that God has not deserted you is not that you are successfully past your trials, but that you are still on your feet in the midst of it." Dale Ralph Davis
mcbfun
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« Reply #10 on: March 03, 2015, 11:30:05 PM »

No it is not difficult to teach unconditional love without god. We do this every moment of everyday.

My son sees unconditional love from myself, DH, DD 14 and DD 10 everyday.

It is quite simple to show him and teach him it exists. Whether or not he ACCEPTS the love is the kicker...
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« Reply #11 on: March 05, 2015, 03:39:04 AM »

Ditto mcbfun
And for my kids it is even more important that they see real unconditional love from a real person.

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OHGrandma
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« Reply #12 on: March 05, 2015, 06:20:24 AM »

Getting a kid to accept the love, and look at themselves as a loveable person seems to be universal.

I am a Christian and GS used that to point out all my failings.  His interpretation of what was said in church, or lived, is skewed.  I don't even want to go there.  So being a Christian made things worse.  Oh, what am I saying?  We all know if he wasn't finding fault with me for NOT being a perfect Christian, he'd find fault if I WAS a perfect Christian.  And if it wasn't Christianity, he'd find something else that was important to me to find fault!

One of the things I like about the board is how we are free to talk about being or not being of a particular religion.  If we were on a religious board, I'd talk about my religious beliefs.  But we're all here because we have children of trauma and I'm glad we can talk freely about how our beliefs affect our behavior with our children.
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mcbfun
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« Reply #13 on: March 05, 2015, 08:51:15 AM »

Yes... I agree!

It is good to see how no matter what our differences are, we're all still in the same boat trying to help our kiddoes get through life in the best way we know how.

One thing I love most about this board is that it is not judgmental... I used to frequent anothe RAD board but I never felt I could share my true feelings because people would criticize and/or make me feel like a horrible person for feeling a certain way. I have never felt that here!
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DD 18 - bio
DD 14 - adopted at birth, attached and happy Smiley
DS 13 - adopted at 2.5 years, RAD RAD RAD
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