As I ponder God’s everlasting love, I try to apply it to my life. After being rejected by my adoptive parents who CHOSE me to be their daughter. I was once asked if I ever saw any good in my parents. I replied that I did, but the good isn’t the point. I wasn’t hurt by the good times. Mostly I just pity them because they are living a lie and that must be a hard mask to maintain.
In this next section, I don’t mean to sound ungrateful because my parents did do so much for me. When I was eight, I was put in foster care along with my 4 younger siblings. We were in need of a home and they opened their home to 5 young kids. This sacrifice allowed us to stay together. I was a child in a strange land, lost and confused and believed in a promise of security and family.
Many times in my young life my parents would ask us, “If we didn’t take you in what do you think we would be doing now?” We would shrug looking confused. We never ASKED them to take us in. We were just kids. “I think we would have taken a cruise. We would probably have more money. We wouldn’t have to deal with arguing kids.” The lists seem endless. To my young ears, it sounded like they had just taken us in to seem like very good Christians. I heard them say so many times, “These are our foster kids. HAHA. Yes, we took in ALL five. Yes, they are from the same family. Well, we just felt lead to do this.” Instead of using it as a ministry to help kids in need, I felt like they did it for a status boost.
Before the adoption, I was 10 and in trouble for back talking. My parents called me, “Mouthy” or “Argumentative”, in my opinion, I wasn’t going to let them beat my will out of me. So, I was grounded and my punishment was not being able to read. That was the most ridiculous punishment ever. My mom said she was using what ever she could to get my attention because yelling and beating me didn’t work. So, she took away my addiction. Well, I figured out a way around this punishment. They weren’t really my parents, so I didn’t think it mattered. I waited up until everyone had went to bed. I used the bathroom light as a reading light and turned back to my chapter while laying in my bedroom doorway. I was so wrapped up in my book I didn’t hear my mom making her nightly rounds to make sure we were asleep. She started yelling at me and I blocked out what she was saying and went to bed.
(For those who are curious, I was reading a book about a beagle who was suppose to be a hunting dog, but instead a boy worked all summer for the owner so he could take the puppy home.)
The next day, I was told to pack what I came there with because my social worker was coming to get me. They said that they didn’t want me because I wouldn’t listen and obey. I was that my social worker was about 10 minutes away and I had a decision to make. “You have a choice. You can do what you are told or leave. If you leave you will never see your brothers and sisters again.” My mother said while holding the screen door open for me as my siblings were sobbing, begging me to stay. That day I made the worst decision of my life. As hard as it is, I can’t blame myself. I didn’t know any better .
As the years went by, I was periodically reminded of that day. My parents were partial to tell the story at gatherings with other adults. Then everyone would look at me and expect me to say that I was glad I stayed. Over time, as a self preservation method, you learn to say what keeps you from getting in trouble. So, it was a lie because the only good thing was being with my siblings. I would have never have left them.
After my family turned their backs on me and I married the most wonderful man in the world, I began to have the scales of deception peeled from my eyes. Through true love and kindness, my husband and his family showed me what the true character of God is like. Every day, I am learning to lean on the strength of God. Everyday is a struggle. Just like the choir song that says, “It’s a struggle for survival/ I daily meet the foe/ out there on the battlefield/ sometimes we stand alone.” However, God gives us strength to make it through every day.
Today during my meditation, I prayed for a release of the stress that speaking out is causing me. As I relaxed and focused on hearing God’s voice, I envisioned a closed fist. As the stress washed over me, I saw the fist tighten so much that there were fingernail marks on the palm. I thought to myself that holding on the negative only allowed for hurting myself even more than I had been. So, I opened the fist, finger by finger. Inside I saw a feather. To me it represented every foul, ugly feeling I had held on to. I looked at it and thought of the years I had hoarded this tiny feather of resentment and bitterness. It had became my ‘normal’. Just the thought of letting go of my status quo was frightening, but I was tired of the control it had on my life. So, like ripping off a band aid from a cut, I brought my open hand to my mouth and blew the feather away. As I watched it float away, all the stress was carried away with it. Now my hand is open and ready to accept the peace and joy that my God can give.