Thursday, December 4, 2014

Soul Ties - A slow march to the end

While this post may not seem relevant to adoption/foster care I would say through my limited world view it has a lot to do with it. Soul ties are a huge part of unhealthy behavior amongst foster children because of their past, there was never a healthy example of valuing one's self and no picture of covenant.

For the brief time that I had been placed with my teen foster daughter I started to see something that I hadn't seen before. There was a deep tie she had with someone in her life who was not only unhealthy for her but in many ways toxic. Neither one of them are to blame for their toxic relationship because neither of them knew any better or any different. When you don't know there's another way you won't know there's a way out of what you're in. That's why abused women stay in abusive relationships.

This relationship in her life proved to me that her deep need for connection, protection, and family would be paid at whatever cost she could afford. She was never wanted, cared for, chosen, loved, or valued and with all that this person demonstrated those priceless desires in her heart so she would do whatever she could to connect and protect that connection. As I observed her deep soul tie to this person I was instantly taken back to my teen years. I was right there with her. I found someone who fulfilled all those needs except it was empty in the end. Though I can't say I came from any similar background as she did that same desire to be loved, valued, connected to, seen.... was very familiar to me.

No matter what I wanted to say to her about the futility of this soul connection I realized that this was her way of staying alive. Maybe more figuratively then physically but, maybe that too. She needed this unhealthy connection through it all because it was the only connection that she had that told her she was something.

As I was spending time with the Lord about her I felt the Lord say " Soul ties have an end date." He continued to show me that soul ties because they are forged out of a need to self serve would never last, but a covenant relationship was formed from the nature of God. With covenant commitments, because it is formed from the nature of God it has a lifespan of eternity as long as the boundaries and characteristics of covenant are adhered to by those joined in covenant.

In this moment I realized my goal to stay connected. Once my teen lost that soul tie she would need a fall back family. Her fierce independence was emboldened by the fact she was connected but if that connection's time ran out the reality of her loss would quickly turn into a spiral. While she was in my environment I demonstrated as much as I was able to her value and her worthiness of being chosen and being loved. Many times that demonstration threatened that deep soul tie connection she had but I kept my love aimed towards her no matter how much she ran, raged, or fought it because I wanted her to know she was worth it.

People often ask me about having a teen in my home and I have to admit that often times it felt like having a roommate. I will never be her mother but I can be family when she needs it. There were moments where I thought " I have no idea what I'm doing" but in reality I think about that with my 3 year old all the time. Love is the key, not preaching at them, controlling their behavior, or demanding them to fit into some box. To love the orphan is to lay down your agenda, to commit to a covenant. You see, in my covenant with God I pursue what I see in His heart. What's in God's heart? What is He passionate about? For you it might be different but I see the orphan and widow in His heart. Being in this covenant with God means I pursue the desires of His heart to serve and love what He loves.

Soul ties are the Ishmael's of covenant. In the presence of a covenant soul ties pale in comparison. My desire is that through being in covenant with God and with my adopted daughter my foster teen saw something different, something hopeful.

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