And, in what seemed at the time to be a cruel joke, my world began to shift and crack. Serious illness of extended family members...abandonment of friends...stripping away of life dreams...rejection at the most painful levels...innumerable tears. I felt gutted. Numb. Unable to breathe deeply.
I cried out many times: IT'S NOT FAIR!!! Here I was trying to learn the spiritual secret to resting in Him, and I found myself in the hardest, most unfair and painful situations. I figured that it was all in His plan to help me learn to rest...the way trials are blessings in disguise. But, I found myself unable to grasp it...it seemed more elusive than ever. I simply could not rise above the pain. And hope began to fade.
I was a pitiful heap of humanity, crying late into each night over my losses, over the unfair realities in life, and especially over the raw sting of rejection. I couldn't see past it. And when it was too much to bear, and I was begging Him to please show me how to do this, in my spirit, I heard the words:
"I sent you a teacher..."
Our youngest daughter is our "treasure of the nations," adopted from Taiwan in 2009. Her life story includes abandonment, rejection and pain that make my life's biggest trials look like trifles. And this 3-foot bundle of love came to me one day when the hurt was an immovable weight on my heart and spirit. I did not outwardly show my struggles in front of my children. I would usually make it fine through the days and save my tears for my alone moments. But, this little doll can sense things like no other. Maybe it's that extra chromosome that makes her extra sensitive to others...one of God's gifts wrapped in a package we least expect. Whatever the reason, she looked me deep in the eyes and said, "Sorry," and rubbed my face gently. I couldn't hold back my tears...rivers of silent tears. Having never had such a display of emotion in front of any of my children, I bent my head down to avoid her eyes. She took those little hands and rubbed them gently, soothingly on my back. I cannot explain it in mere human words, except to say that I met Jesus that day...I FELT his love tangible and fluid and fully present.
Though silent on the outside, inside I was screaming the questions: "HOW??? How can this little girl who has known abandonment and rejection in the deepest most painful way be okay? How can she give such undiluted love to others when she has been so hurt?" Because the truth was that I simply could not figure out how to love when I was feeling so rejected. I mean REALLY love...the kind of love that my daughter had. She had never read a book to show her how to love despite her losses. She had never taken sermon notes about how to genuinely forgive. She had never been taught about entering Christ's sufferings and choosing to love in the face of rejection. She had never been taught by Hudson Taylor how to exchange her life for Jesus's life. And yet she LIVES it. She is more like Jesus than any human being I've ever met.
God was right. She is my teacher...His messenger and representative. And so began my education sitting at the feet of the least.