Tuesday, September 17, 2013


I remember sitting on her lap like a 6 year old girl. Up to that point this would have been an awkward gesture for the both of us. But we had struggled through enough in that past year to feel anything slightly awkward or uncomfortable. I was 16 years old, I think, and had been crying out every ounce of salt water my eyes could possibly conjure up. I had been up in my room thinking...memories of my past were flooding my mind vividly. To the point that I wasn't able to hold in my emotions any longer. And I just needed arms to hold me.

And she held me like I was her own.

(This was written before they had taken me in.
Please excuse my 8th grade grammar. It's terrible, I know.)

After months of struggling to find my place and how I fit into this new family, we were finally sweeping up the egg shells that we had been walking on. It took a huge blow-out fight. I tested their love for me and said every ugly thing my mind and heart had ever felt to adults as a whole who hadn't loved me like they should have. It was painful. My words were harsh and directed at the woman who had taken me into her home and out of my abuse drenched life. It seemed that everyone who had ever claimed to love me, left me. Cold. Mean. Hurt. Broken. This new family said that they had loved me. But I was convinced that they hadn't seen the real me, and that if they did, they would also leave me.

But she held me like I was her own.

That embrace brought healing. It was a battle through 16 years that left me with a distorted view of love.

But that embrace is only a glimpse into the way Jesus wraps His love around me.

I remember one afternoon that was particularly difficult. I was once again replaying the past and feeling quite defeated. I was laying down with my baby brother for his afternoon nap. He was about 2 at the time. I couldn't stop thinking and my head was flooded with emotions. I prayed and cried, telling God that I felt so alone and hurt. I just wanted to be in His arms in perfection, not having to worry about any of this brokenness. I just wanted to be close to Him.

In that exact moment my baby brother rolled over and got as close to me as he possibly could. He lifted my shirt and put as much of his warm belly on my cold skin and threw his arms around me. He tucked his head into my chest and just held onto me.

And somehow, in that moment, God held the two of us like we were His own.

People say adoption changes lives. I can testify to that.

Unconditional love, when rooted and established in it, allows people to flourish. The heart of adoption is unconditional love. And the Father of unconditional love is God. 

This is a prayer that Paul wrote to the church in Ephesus, to the Gentiles, those who had been adopted into God's family. 

For this reason I kneel in prayer before the Father, in whom every family on heaven and earth derives its name. I pray that out of His glorious riches He would strengthen you by the power of the Holy Spirit - yes the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead - so that He may dwell, live, and make His home in your heart. I pray that you would be deeply rooted and established in God's love so you can better understand and continually grasp the height, depth, width, and length of His love in all of it's perfection. All so that you can be filled to the absolute fullness of God! This love surpasses all knowledge.

And God, the Father of this love, can do immeasurably and abundantly more than we could ever ask or even dream of, according to His power that works in us. To HIM be the glory forever, and ever, and ever, amen. Ephesians 3:14 - 21 (my paraphrase).

You are adopted and chosen by God, before the foundations of the world. Not just because it was His will, but because it is His absolute joy and pleasure. Ephesians 1:4 - 5 (my paraphrase).

I promise you, He holds you because you are His own.

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