Thursday, January 26, 2012

The Orphan Inside: Preparing for an Adoption

It's offendable to our senses that God would use liars, thieves, and adulterers. But He does. We wrestle with understanding how a murderer could be loved as much as a hero. But they are. We long for that deep forgiveness of Christ that can look our torturer in their face, say I forgive you, and mean it. Alone, we are incapable.
Earlier today I posted that the first step to preparing our hearts and home for adoption is tending to the orphan inside of ourselves. That's me too. Tina. A sinner. A weak and broken little girl once a heap on the floor curled in a ball and crying out to be more than a breath. I had a mother and father but I was still an orphan. I learned through woundings that independence was the only thing trustworthy. Oh how wrong I was but I held this belief for a very long time. Independence. The word feels strong to say. Independence Day and Freedom, they go together don't they? And yet my independence isolated me in mind and spirit so that I would not receive a hurt nor a healing. It would depend on me and I could live quietly in my judgments that were obviously right in my independent state. It was a false safety that I would call my friend. And this is the plan of our enemy to make us feel comfortable enough to stay in our orphan spirit. It never seemed imaginable that I could be unlovely and yet so loved. I never imagined I could be so broken and accepted at the same time. It wrecks our senses, His love; this grace that takes what the world would dispose of and call it gold.
I was an odd little girl. Now, I find her endearing but back then even I thought myself a bit different. I used to walk by this one particular tree everyday in elementary school. I don't know why but if no one was with me I would stop and stare at it for a while. I used to think things like, "Do you know you are important? Do you feel lonely?" So each day I felt it necessary to speak to the tree. Quietly enough so no one would hear but the tree. I smiled and said, "You look pretty today." Each time it was something different, but something precious, something life giving and looking back, probably something my 8 year old self was longing to hear. I didn't know then, but I was trying to tend to my own broken heart and orphan inside.
Over the years I transferred these feelings to whoever I saw who was weak. Lela Nispel was 94 when I met her at the age of 11. Twice a week I would go to the nursing home and put nail polish on her frail fingers as she told me the same stories time and again. I loved weak people. And as long as I was tending to other weak people, I didn't have to address those very weak places hidden in me. I wasn't afraid of the dying, or the outcast. I felt attracted. It seemed familiar.
When I met Jesus in a very real way, I could hardly believe the freedom that washed off the chains that had bound me. I felt like I went back over my entire life with Christ leading me on this tour, pointing to what was true and what was not. What did I take that was never mine to carry? What was stolen that was mine to have?
I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. John 14:18 And this is the place, the starting point to preparing our heart. We cannot begin to love very broken and hurt orphans until we have received the truth of who we are. Orphans do not have identity. And when we are without our heavenly Father we lack identity too. You might find it elementary to be sharing about identity but there are many beautiful brothers and sisters who have received Christ but have not yet realized that they are a daughter and son of a King. There is a blockage in place still that keeps many living as though they are on their own, striving, or independent like I was. And some of us who are well versed in God's grace still return to old ways when under pressure and stress.
But now that you know God—or rather are known by God—how is it that you are turning back to those weak and miserable forces ? Do you wish to be enslaved by them all over again? Galatians 4:9 It's all Him. Every last bit. He is the answer to every adoption. He was the answer to yours and He will be the answer to your child. He took a nail for you. At that moment, fully aware of who you are, He sent His son to die for you because He longs for intimate relationship with you. This is the truth that releases all the power you need to minister to the hurt in your child.
When we have placed our heavenly Father in right position in our hearts and life, we are enabled to do all that He has called us to do because He now leads. And we return to place we were always meant to be- leaning.