The hardest thing about being back is not necessarily how much I miss my kids (which is hard enough) but the worst part is not being able to BE there for them. I totally understand how you mothers feel (and now I totally get how hard it was for my own mother to see me off to Swazi). Props to you mothers out there. You amaze me. Because I am struggling…hardcore. I just want to be there, I want to see their smiles, I want to hear them talk about school, I want to hug them when they’re hurting.
I thank God for creating the person who created skype! 🙂 I have been able to sms or call Ayanda a couple times now. I sent her a text earlier this morning saying hello to all the kids and telling her to keep the phone on because I was calling later today. Then I called her and the first thing I heard was, “Hello Momma!” 😀
She told me that school was going well and they are starting to write some exams in a few weeks. She also told me that she showed Johannes the message and he said, “We don’t need a sms, we need HER here.”
Then as we were talking she was walking to find Tenele. So I briefly talked to Tenele and greeted her before she quickly handed the phone back to Ayanda. I could sense something was wrong, but didn’t think much of it. When I asked to talk to Tenele again, Tenele refused. I told Ayanda to put the phone up to her ear anyway so she could hear me as I talked about clinic visits, etc. When she put the phone up to Tenele all I could hear was her crying. I didn’t know what to say so I just told her I loved her and that everything would be okay. Ayanda grabbed the phone back and said, “Mary-Kate, she’s crying…she can’t even talk.”
“I know, Sweetheart,” I said rather calmly. “Why is she crying?”
“Cedric kicked her out.”
“I don’t know…”
Tenele couldn’t even answer Ayanda because she was crying. And when Tenele cries everyone can feel the pain. It is not safe for Tenele to stay in Mangwaneni if she’s not living with Cedric because he “protects” her. But maybe this is the perfect opportunity to get Tenele OUT of Mangwaneni for good. I gave the girls a number of a Swazi friend they could call. And I told her everything would be okay. But that’s all I can do from here. And THAT is the hardest part. I can’t BE there to help. I can only offer suggestions. I can only pray. I can only trust God that he is working and that she really WILL be okay.
As I am sitting here wondering what is going on, wishing I could be there, I am realizing what an awesome opportunity this is for me to learn to let go and trust God. This is not about Tenele and me anyway, this is about God and Tenele. And as much as I hate it, I love that I cannot have anything to do with helping her right now…because that puts it 100% into God’s hands, which is where it should always be. Because that’s when miracles happens. That’s when healing happens. That’s when growth happens. That’s when I get to sit back and soak in the verse: “What is impossible for man, is impossible for God.” The task of helping Tenele has indeed been daunting and many have told me impossible to change this girl’s life. I disagreed. But now I agree. It is impossible for ME to change her. But NOTHING is impossible for God.
So while I have a wounded heart of my own, I will rest in knowing God is holding my Tenele-Bell just as he is holding me.