October 1, 2012
So last night was I was on my way to a Women's Conference at my church...I was running late, it was kind of rainy, and I kept wondering if I should keep driving or just turn around and go home to help get my son in bed. You know those "not sure what I'm to do" feelings...
Anyway, I was driving by one of my best friend's neighborhood on the way and decided to go by and see if she was home and might want to go with me, or just hang out and talk, instead of go. Turns out no one answered the door ~ she wasn't home...I thought, well, maybe I'm supposed to go after all....
The meeting was powerful and refreshing....exactly what I needed. So.glad.I.went. It was all about unloading our "baggage" and letting God heal us. The key is to be real and vulnerable with God ~ even question Him. But so many times our hearts are too numb, shamed, and even traumatized by rejection ~ that we turn from Him, instead of run to Him. We don't trust him anymore than those in our lives who have abandoned us ~ and we suffer alone.
During prayer last night, we were asked to close our eyes and think about painful events in our lives ~ then to ask God where He was and what was He thinking during those moments. My mind went back to the day I was to leave the hospital as a newborn. All of a sudden I saw a picture in my mind of a Man (Jesus) walking through the door. He picked me up in His arms ~ looking down with a face full of love & security. He was doting over me, just like a proud Daddy. Gentle and warm. Complete.
Then, I noticed he had another babe in the crook of his other arm ~ a much smaller baby. It was my son. My beautiful one-pound miracle who spent the first 98 days of his life in the NICU, away from me. The two most painful times of my life were instantly transformed when Jesus walked in. His love was so real.
As I was pondering all this, I thought how thankful I was that my friend wasn't home. I know if she had answered the door, I would have skipped the meeting, and missed so much. Through all the pain of relinquishment, adoption, prematurity and utter aloneness ~ He has been here. His Word even says "If your mother and father forsake you, I will take you up." Oh, how He has. Oh, how I've failed to trust Him. Oh, how He loves me despite all this. Because of all this.
I remember my 18th birthday ~ I was in a singing group my senior year of high school and our group loaded on a big yellow school bus and drove to a music studio to record an album. We were all very excited to be involved with such an exciting project. I wore a white dress that day. No one knew it was my birthday. No one acknowledged it. And I was too shy and embarrassed to tell. Why would I, an adoptee, who struggled with feeling like I didn't have a right to exist, brag about my birthday? Yet, I was sad and felt forgotten.
On the way home that evening, it was very stormy. I remember looking out the window of the bus at the dark, fearsome clouds hanging so low they looked as if they would almost touch the ground. I prayed for safety and feared tornadoes the entire way. When I got home, my family wanted to take me out to eat for my birthday, but I felt so lonely and tired, I wouldn't go. I just wanted to go to my room and be alone. Maybe it was the realization that I was now an "adult". Yet not ready.
I never let myself think about adoption in those days. It was stuffed too far down. Although my mind couldn't understand those confusing feelings, my heart knew. All too well. It wasn't until four years later, upon graduating from college, that I allowed myself to begin my search. My healing.
I asked God tonight where He was that day ~ my 18th birthday. It felt as if my heart would break, as He reminded me of the clouds and the rain. He was there all along, hovering in the clouds above ~ crying too. My Daddy's heart was feeling my pain right along with me. Loving His little girl all dressed in white.
A few weeks ago, our Pastor came to each person standing for prayer, looked us personally in the eyes, and said, "God has not forgotten you." I found it very hard to make myself keep looking in his eyes. I wanted to look away. It was too close. And I felt ashamed. Yet, he was standing in as our earthly father who may not have shown us God's love. His eyes were real ~ like the eyes of a Savior who longs for connection and intimacy with each of us.
Thank you, Lord, for doors that are not always answered. And for breaking through doors of uncertainty and fear. Please teach us to trust you. To see ourselves reflected in Your eyes and embraced by your heart of extravagant Love. Help us answer your knock on our door.