Last night I had a crazy dream…
2- Week Bible Study –
Based off of the book, “Reclaiming Hope: Overcoming the Challenges of Parenting Foster and Adopted Children”
Available on Amazon
Click here: https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B016OKS7NG
Last night I had a crazy dream…
In it, my dad told me that he didn’t believe our adult son has Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD). I was beside myself. “So you’re saying that the ten years I’ve spent living with this child, and the therapist’s documentation of this diagnosis, and feedback from his school and mentors… like, all of that means nothing to you?” He responded affirmatively. He knew without a doubt that my son was “normal” and, I presume, the challenges we’d faced for so long were our own issues.
“Have you ever even read a single article about RAD? Or met anyone with it? Don’t you trust me to know whether or not my own son has special needs?” No, no, and… no. I spent a chunk of the dream appalled. Shocked. Helpless.
I was glad to awaken and realize it was only a dream. A bad, bad dream. But it pointed to a fear that I live with. Another area of life where I’m terribly out of control. Another opportunity for hopelessness.
And friend, these opportunities barrel toward us all the time.
It is time to reclaim our hope.
The hope of Christ is already ours, but sometimes we’ve lost it, given it away, rejected it, or simply believed the lies of the world, Satan, and our flesh that hope is for the dreamers. We get to regain possession of the hope that is not only at our disposal, but ours in unlimited abundance.
One definition of “reclaim” that I love says “to bring (uncultivated areas or wasteland) into a condition for cultivation or other use.”
Is there any time in life where you feel more in a wasteland than when you’ve lost hope? When your soul is in despair? And your heart is tired?
Reclaiming our hope is like taking a wasteland and preparing it to be used. Tilling the soil, clearing out the stones, pulling up the weeds… taking back land that was lost to the wilderness and making it fruit-bearing again.
This is what reclaiming our hope looks like. Does it take work? Yes. Is it worth it? Absolutely.
“Those who overcome great challenges will be changed, and often in unexpected ways. For our struggles enter our lives as unwelcome guests, but they bring valuable gifts. And once the pain subsides, the gifts remain. These gifts are life’s true treasures, bought at great price, but cannot be acquired in any other way.” Steve Goodier, author
When we choose to avoid pain, we also choose to avoid the most beautiful and precious gifts in life. I could write a book on the gifts we’d have missed if we’d chosen not to adopt, even with the immense challenges we’ve faced raising a child with RAD. When we leave the wasteland to lie, we miss every beautiful flower, delicious fruit, and God-given beauty of a tended to land.
And do we ever actually succeed at living pain-free lives? Absolutely not. And in fact, refusing to reclaim our hope only increases our pain and suffering.
Maya Angelou said, “You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.”
We reclaim our hope, not only for the sake of lifting our heads from despair, but to discover who we are. To see ourselves as Christ sees us, able to overcome incredible adversity when strengthened by His Spirit.
As I said in my last post, I believe we lose hope when we lose connection with who we are in Christ.
The more we live from a position of women adorned with value, the greater our capacity to walk in biblical hope. But the more we nurse lies that we are forgotten, unloveable, ugly, unwanted, nothing, the more we fall into despair, living in a wasteland of thorns and muck.
One way to restake your claim in hope, is to soak in the truth of who you are. I’ve started a Pinterest board here where you can find a favorite printout to hang, allowing God’s truth to speak over your identity. Today, pick a few traits that jump out at you and look up the Scripture verses.
When the enemy comes against you with, “No you’re not “accepted,” you can answer with, “Yes I am! Ephesians 1:3 – 8 says…” and lay the smack-down on his lies.
We can walk through one more day, one more minute, when we remember that we are not walking this road alone. Together let’s sing “Lord, you know the hopes of the helpless. Surely you will hear their cries and comfort them” (Psalm 10:17, NLT).
Meet me here again next week as we continue reclaiming hope together!