A fellow blogger (and a woman I respect and admire) uses the term "big feelings" in relation to her children's emotional regulation and I'd like to borrow the term...because today....today was FULL of big feelings.
As I work and redirect and draw close and pour into...as I love and teach and comfort and discipline...and as I pray over, strategically praise, and guide...I grow attached. I liken it to farming tiny gardens. Till the rocky soil, remove the stones that hamper progress, feed and nourish...and water. There is no promise of fruits for my labor and yet, the hope alone of life springing forth is worth the risk it takes to keep on, keepin' on. And then that day...when I see even a hint of new life...the risk becomes worth it.
In 3 months I've seen the most incredible life spring forth. And yet, I'm just the gardener. I'm not the keeper or sustainer of life. I should re-read that a million times.
*K*... he's moving. Poverty equates to instability. When he told Ms. E early today, his typically stoic little body folded into hers and he clung tightly to her as she held him close - because the feelings...they were BIG.
And when she told me... my own feelings became BIG as well...I almost couldn't hold back the tears. All the tilling, and picking away small stones...all the feeding and the nourishing...and life giving water....and like a giant wave the realization that I am just the gardener.
The big feelings took over both *K* and I all day...and when it came time for writing I almost couldn't breath. I gave him a note to take to his parents, a note which praised his growth and was full of admonitions to let him continue in the greenhouse of love and trust and expectations our entire team has built for him.
I gave him the note and started to teach, and as I looked over I saw his head on his folder as he sobbed uncontrollably....because the big feelings, like an incredible wave - were too overwhelming. The feelings of loss, of insecurity, of regression, of uncertainty....and I held him close as I choked back my own tears and I affirmed that his big feelings were valid because I was feeling them too.
I am reminded yet again...this thing I'm doing...it's messy and painful.
At the end of the day, as we waited with *K* under the awning, he held both Mrs. E and I tight. Though the weeds have often drowned out the beautiful...the signs of life are much too prominent now. I'm trying to remind myself that it's worth the risk...it's always worth the risk.
Tonight I'm fighting my own big feelings....and clinging to promise that He goes before and stands behind - that He will fight for me, that He has equipped me for such a time as this...that He will sustain me...