As a culture a vast majority of us crave identity. In our quest for identity we can accomplish great tasks in our life but those accomplishments still don’t truly satisfy the deep longings in our soul. It is great to be known by relation to who our family is, a new last name, a college degree, the ministry we head or business we own. Yet our true identity is not in what we belong to but to “who” we belong to. As a child, I can distinctly remember reminding myself that I did not belong to anyone, because I am a modern day Orphan.
The definition of an Orphan is a child whose mother and father have died or permanently abandoned them. Well I fit those qualifications, as my mother died when I was six years old and my father permanently abandoned me before I was even born. In my early childhood my mother remarried and welcomed my two younger sisters in to the world. She started taking us to a home church where the bible was taught, worship music sung and home- cooked meals where set out on tables for potlucks after the service. It was in the small children’s ministry at this home church, where the Spirit of the Sovereign Lord began to sing the sweet song of Salvation to me.
Surrounded by crayons and gospel coloring pages, I remember hearing the name of Jesus for the first time. The gospel I heard produced what the bible calls a child like faith. I really liked this Jesus we were learning about. He came to comfort my heart soon after while we sang “Amazing Grace ” and ” I have decided to follow Jesus” at my mother’s funeral service. There I sat in someone’s lap, struggling to understand her death. The images of my mother in a coma and saying goodbye to her in the hospital bed, where permanently burned into my mind.
After my mother’s death, I grew up with the lie planted in my heart that I had no identity. Whispers in from inside said that I had no full blood relative, no proper place in the adoptive family I was being raised in and no true home of my own. I felt like the little identity I had was buried with my mother. In my teen years I would struggle with depressive thoughts and longing for love and acceptance. Half my heart was in heaven with my mom and the other half of my aching heart here on earth. The rejection of knowing my father had never wanted anything to do with me often felt like someone was slowly slicing through my heart with a knife. The Lord knew what I was going through and he intervened. I attended a bible teaching private school during my freshman year of high school. It was there that the Lord met me the broken girl I was. He reignited the flame he placed in my heart as a child in that home church. I continued to learn the truth about gospel and God began to heal me slowly on the inside.
I learned that I did have a blood relative his name is Jesus, he shed his blood for the covering of my sins.
Matthew 26:28: “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.”
I did have a place in the family of God according to Romans 8:15 ” We have received God’s spirit when he adopted us as his own children.
I did have a place- for Psalm 23:6 says “I will live in the House of the Lord Forever!”
His words of freedom where so soothing and healing, like a cup of hot tea on a cold winters day. I realized I needed a relationship with the Living God more then I needed a relationship with my biological father. I had the chance to met my Father once while in high school and though it was an emotional experience it was also a closure for me. I saw that he was a broken man not the possible perfect daddy I longed for and he too was in need of a savior.
Fourteen years have passed since the day I last saw my father. Very recently God began to speak to me on forgiveness. I had this small wall up in my heart where his Spirit wouldn’t go in uninvited. The Lord gently reminded me that I needed to forgive my father. He has showed me the root rot in my heart of the unforgiveness and feelings of rejection I thought I had let go years ago. I could not move forward in my true identity as a freed, forgiven woman of God without releasing those feelings. So one day I humbly got before the Lord and let them go… every one of the lies and the anger, frustration, feelings of abandonment and rejection. I handed them over in prayer to Christ. Like a master gardener he got right to work. He started at the roots of my heart pulling out the weeds of the lies that where choking the truth of who I was. Slowly the truth began to grow internally, and like a nurtured plant, my frame became stronger and the colors bloomed in me again. He revealed himself in a special way, showing me that He indeed is my heavenly Father, and I am his blood bought daughter. I didn’t have to work to be worthy of his love… for he reconciled me to himself the day he went to the cross on my behalf.
Will you let the Lord’s words wash over you today:
My heart has heard you say, ” Come and talk with me”
and my heart responds, ” Lord, I am coming.”
Don’t leave me now, do not abandon me,
O God of my salvation!
Even if my father and mother abandon me,
the LORD will hold me close.