Thursday, December 14, 2017

And The Soul Felt Its Worth

When your early years of life are filled with horrors and atrocities, too awful for sharing, your sense of self is extremely skewed. You may believe that you have somehow deserved the abuse...the neglect...the beatings and stomping...the utter starvation of soul and body. Even though this is inherently NOT true, it takes so much time and intentionality to help a child relearn their true value. It takes time for them to believe us when we tell and show them that they are of incomparable worth. That their value is far above rubies. Love has such a foreign cadence that feels awkward and easier to avoid.

When Christmas rolls around, we think of the beauty of all that Jesus did to come to us...abide with us. We try to live that way at HoP. We try to just abide in the places of suffering and bring triage to the soul and relief to the spirit of our girls. We do all that we can to establish new memories of happiness and worth. We struggle to swing that nasty pendulum of harsh words and even more harsh hands, to the other side where tenderness is felt and life is spoken.

We have parties galore and there are more cookies and treats than it would be humanly possible to consume. We decorate and shop. We use oils and candles that trigger new brain responses to new memories. We play Christmas carols for MUCH longer than the staff would, if they had their druthers! We do crafts and look at toy catalogs.

As we all sat together at our Christmas party this past Sunday evening, I looked around the room at our board and staff, and their spouses. I was overcome with utter gratitude for the willingness of these mamas and warriors to believe that there IS better for our sweet girls. This group of men and women fight in their own God-assigned way, to see that HoP moves forward and that more children are rescued. Over the past eighteen months, 14 of our 19 girls are slated for a PERMANENT exit from foster care. This is remarkable and we are grateful to be a small part of the Lord's plan for redemption.

Surrounded by coffee, warriors and desserts, and in the glow of low restaurant lighting, Quela began to sing, in a way that only she can. She sang: "O holy night, the stars are brightly shining. It is the night of the dear Savior's birth. Long lay the world in sin and error pining. Till HE appeared and the soul felt its worth...". She continued on with the timeless lyrics, and everyone was captivated! One staff member held one of our girls on their lap. Another wrangled our seven year old from an attempted escape to the vestibule. Our fourteen year old was mezmerized by Miss Quela's voice. The room was peaceful and holy.

I was a certain kind of mess, though. I was not able to focus, or be in the moment. I couldn't move on. I was completely undone. "YESSSS"! I thought to myself! It hit me as never before! "That is exactly IT! We work at HoP every day for exactly THAT!!"


May we always help the soul's of these sweet, battered children truly feel their worth!