We have simplified the lessons around here. Three simple words are defining the interactions with our 14 year old son....no matter what. The shell has cracked..letting in a ray of light that can not coexist in the darkest part of the prison that Jordan had locked his heart in years ago. His protective instincts worked...they kicked in when he needed to survive. Our protective instincts are strongholds...they are intended to be that way when we need them to be...but that makes them so difficult to let go of when we no longer need them for survival. Many of us spend a lifetime in survival mode..and there is little room from growth and transformation there.
These past months, we saw growth in him that renewed our hope. With each step forward, there have been steps back...regressions. The fear of letting go had halted the progress..but then, we have been given yet another glimpse of healing. He wants to quit working with a therapist who is helping him with his PTSD. Last week, he even used three bungee cords to attach himself to the couch so that we would not make him talk with his therapist (I wanted to take a picture but figured that may not have been helpful at the time!)
I shared with him that because we love him and care about him so much, we want him to work on healing his heart...just like we would bring him to the doctor if he broke his leg. I talked (he wouldn't) about how he would feel if we didn't take him to the doctor if he was in pain with a broken leg...and that is why we will never give up trying to help him heal from wounds he has from his past.
This angry, scared young man verbalized the words that his behaviors have been screaming for 10 years..."I will show you!"
I will show you that you can't love someone like me. I will push you away. I will prove it...you won't love me if...
"If what? I said. "If I kill someone. Or burn the house down...you won't care about me then."
"No matter what, Jordan. No matter what...we will always care about you. We will always love you...and even more importantly, so will God."
And the angry, scared young man became the eight year old boy whose tense body relaxed and who was ready to accept the hugs, the tender love that he craves so much but is so afraid and feels so undeserving of.
We will love you forever, Jordan...no matter what..