Loving until it hurts
I have always loved Mother Teresa and her work. She has a quote that says,
“I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love.”
This weekend I learned what that means. We had a great weekend planned for Ntokozo to continue celebrating her birthday. Her cousin Minky was spending the weekend with us and we were taking them to Cavendish Mall (a big fancy mall near the city) for their first trip there ever, to shop and then have dinner. Friday night I decided to make a roast pork dish for the first time, and put it proudly on the table for our ‘family’ when it was finished. We all were eating, and I’ll admit it wasn’t the BEST cooked dish I have ever made. Meat was great, potatoes were just a bit hard. Ntokozo just moved everything around on her plate and then tried to say she was done. I decided to choose a battle and told her to eat one more potato. This girl eats HORRIBLY and almost nothing that is a vegetable, so I have decided to try to round out her eating. This is when she proceeded to freak out. She finally put the potato in her mouth but put her head down, looking at the table, and sat there for 15 minutes. Her cousin was teasing her and we kept trying to speak to hear, but she was already furious. She then went to her room and proceeded to be in a foul mood the entire night. We had to drag her to youth group, but then she sat in a circle with her jacket tied up around her face. I had to come to her and whisper to her to unzip her jacket TWICE. After youth she went straight to her room, not hanging with the other kids, it was AT OUR HOUSE. After everyone left, I spoke to her alone. I tried to have a conversation, but she wouldn’t look at me or speak a word. I told her that her attitude was unacceptable and she must change before tomorrow, I told her, but no response, not even a head nod.
I don’t even fully know why, but this was my BREAKING point. The rest of the night was tears/snot/crying/heaving/mess. It told God and then Casey that I didn’t want to do this anymore. They were both very sweet and didn’t really answer me back. It is just the most painful love I have ever experienced and I feel like at times I am laying myself out to get beaten. She really doesn’t understand or take in our love, and I know it’s because of her past trauma and abuse. But it hurts. Even if you understand all the whys, it still hurts something fierce.
Saturday was like nothing happened; she woke up with a completely different attitude. So we cut out a few things in the day but still went to the mall. Things are civil, better, but we have a long, LONG way to go. Some days I know I am up to it and other days I am fully aware that we can only love her through God’s power. We know God has brought her to us, so we walk trusting Him above all else. Even when it hurts.