I found myself sitting in the centre of my living room floor, tears rolling from my eyes, weeping. I didn’t have the words to describe it then. My sweet husband of 15 years at the time came over, wrapped me in his arms, and didn’t say a word. I remember feeling like I was in the darkest and deepest pit of life, a place where I could not see light even if I wished to. It’s a place I had never been before. I had too many complicated thoughts and feelings. I didn’t know how to unwrap it, let alone make sense of it.
You see, we had just adopted out six-year-old son about eight months prior to this. Bringing him home was the highest point of my life and the culmination of hundreds of hours of love and hard work. We had dreamed of this for years. I never thought I would have the faith to do it. And then I did. He was full of energy and life. He was excited and I was elated. He was finally home!
But this little child had already lived a life and a half - a life that was full of pain, misery, fear, and trauma - a life that no child should have to live. He didn’t wake up each day in the loving arms of a family, he didn’t even wake up in the comfort of a fully-furnished bedroom. In fact, so much of his little life was turmoil, filled with fear and yet strength and boldness to make it through each day. When a child goes through this and then suddenly finds themselves in a safe space, they fight the very things we think every child needs. Kids who have lived through trauma at a young age don’t understand how to make sense of simple things like family, parents, home, safety, warmth, and love.
You don’t just get over childhood trauma. You don’t just accept the good and forget the bad. You don’t just paint over the past. The past is still there. It’s still a part of who you are. But when you are seven, you don’t have all the words. You don’t even know what your feelings mean. You don’t know if you are happy or sad, safe or fearful, hungry or full. You don’t have the words to express not just what you have been through, but also how you are dealing with it now. And those deep emotions surface in ways you have no control over. They mostly manifest itself in what we simplistically call ‘behaviours’ - behaviours that are so chaotic and disjointed it doesn’t make sense to the onlooker.
We got to the point where we were no longer able to care for the needs of our son. We didn’t even understand what his trauma was and how we could help, the only thing we knew was that we needed to do whatever it took. But that help would put a chasm between us for a period. Even though all the professionals knew this was necessary and we knew it too, it was the hardest thing I ever had to do. And so, I wept. I felt so helpless, confused, and powerless. This is not what I had signed up for. I never meant for any of this to happen. I had just lost the child I had prayed for - for so many years! How could God allow this to happen? We didn’t pick this child. We allowed God to pick him for us. He knew our hearts were pure and yet how did we get to this point?
A few days later, I woke up in the early hours of the morning. My heart was so broken and sad. I didn’t know why I was awake. I texted my mom to pray for me. I opened my bible and the verse my eyes fell on for that day was from 2 Corinthians 1:3-4,
"Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God."
I was still lying in bed, too exhausted to even think, or move. I had no idea what these words meant to me at that time. It felt like my mind went into a different space, half asleep and half awake. Then, suddenly, everything stopped. Time stopped.
THERE WAS JESUS.
It was February 28, 2018 at 4:26 am. This is the vision Jesus showed me to comfort me. I was walking in a dark valley with tall pointy hills ahead of me. The colours were so dark with very light hints of blues and greens far away. Jesus reached down and held my hand. He was very tall, taller than the mountains but still proportional in size. He held my hand with his right hand. He blended in with the dark surroundings, He didn’t stand out, there were no bright lights or halos. I was walking slowly alongside him.
We had a sweet conversation. He reminded me of my questions to Him in the past, about my purpose in life. He said, “You know how you keep asking me about your purpose.”
I said, “Yes, I remember.”
He said he was working on it. He said, “Don’t look around you, don’t look to your right or to your left or down. Just look up! Just TRUST me. Remember how I took care of all your needs the past several months?”
I said, “Yes, but I’m so tired.”
He replied, “It’s only for a little while longer. Just hang on. I’ll be right here with you. I’m fulfilling your purpose. But what’s coming is big. It’s BIG. So just stay the course.” He repeated it a few times.
I felt a sense of GREAT peace and comfort. And I fell asleep.
The days and months ahead, though tough and unpredictable, were complete with His peace, strength, and comfort. We continue to see His healing hand in our son’s life.
I later realised what it meant to see Jesus blend into the dark valley. He wasn’t looking down at me, pitifully. He was right there, IN THE VALLEY with me. I know that no matter what happens and how life turns out, HE WILL BE THERE, in the valleys and on the mountain tops. Right there, holding my hand.
So, my friend, TRUST in Him. He knows what you are going through and what you will go through. He cares more deeply about your child than you ever can. He will be right there with you. Just TRUST Him and rest in His peace and comfort. He will hold on to your hand.
THERE IS JESUS.