last night, my husband spent the night at our church with some homeless guys. as i was getting Mikisa ready for bed, she kept asking about her daddy…she loves their evening ritual together, where they play, read books, sing songs and pray before bed. she thrives on routine and i’m so thankful that her daddy is part of that. so not having him around can rock the boat a little [which is why i will need extra prayer next week as he travels to Uganda for 10 days!]
i told Mikisa, “daddy is staying at church with some people who are homeless, so they won’t be cold tonight.” she replied with a question, never satisfied with simple answers. “what does homeless mean?” i started to explain, “it means when someone doesn’t have a home. they live on the street and don’t have a bed to sleep in…” and then my words caught in my throat. i realized that i was trying to explain homelessness to my child, who had been homeless for over 3 years. the thought hit me from a different angle this time. she was homeless. my child was homeless…she couldn’t walk or talk or defend herself. and she was so alone. how do you talk about something that is so unfair to a child who has lived through the horror of it? how can i protect her from the pain of this world when she has experienced some of the worst pain imaginable? how will she heal from this when she doesn’t even understand what ‘homeless’ means? my mind snapped back to her questioning eyes. sometimes i am thankful that she is not able to fully comprehend things. but then again, i don’t know how much of her past she remembers. i want to wipe it all from her memory. i want to put something over the gaping hole. so that she can live freely, without these haunting memories.
i have to remind myself on a daily basis that Mikisa’s behaviors, the defiance, raging, manipulation, shame, insecurity, and lack of trust come from this place of fear. she lived through a nightmare. and she is an overcomer. so, last night gave me new determination to commit myself fully to her complete healing. to be in the trenches with her as she struggles to let go of what once defined her and embrace the story that God has written for her. she is loved! she is beautiful! she is a daughter and a sister and a friend. she has so many people who care about her. she has a home and a warm bed and a favorite blankie and a baby doll and a princess dress and a hula hoop. she is full of zest for life and she is brave. we are so thankful for how far she has come, and we have so much hope for her future!