When you’re going though adolescence, you tend to focus on the flaws in your parents more than the things you clung to when you were little. A kid at that age separates him or herself from the things a child would do. Like, be silly with your mom in public, or want her to tuck you in at night. There was a time you used to beg her to stay. Then she suddenly embarrassed you and you wanted her to drop you off down the street. Most of us don’t appreciate our moms until we become moms.
I was adopted when I was 10, so I was never a little kid with my mom. She started out with me feeling embarrassed.
Their religion bothered me the most. It was the source of every “no” and every time I got in trouble. It embarrassed me, so I fought to let everyone know that I wasn’t like them.
I moved out and grew up a little bit, but my life was a car with no wheels. I reached out for God and ultimately caused me to reach out to her. I was 19, unmarried and pregnant. I became a Christian and that made me feel devastated about my obvious damage. The sin was too fresh and it kept bleeding through the bandages.
As religious as my mom was, she had the best understanding of grace and God’s sovereignty of anyone I knew. However, I did not see that at the time.
She would tell me that “it was God’s plan to bring my child here. God did not make a mistake when He made me a mom. He did it on purpose.”
I would dismiss her as “just being a mom.” Of course she’s going to say that.
“You can’t turn everything around so that it benefits me.” I’d argue.
I grew up a bit more and developed my own relationship with God. I moved further and further away from not feeling pure and eventually my sin scabbed over. I made sure that everyone knew that I was not who I was. I did not believe my mom’s version of grace because it was too easy. There wasn’t a cubby for it in my religion. You had to do it the hard way.
Then I found myself so far off track that I knew I could never make it back to where I was. I turned my life upside down in a ditch that fell through.
I didn’t know where I was. I reached out to my mom because I couldn’t bear to not hear love in my Father’s voice.
She would tell me that God never asked me to punish myself. That I am allowed to look forward with hope and trust in God’s forgiveness. She told me that she believes things happen for a reason and that God has a plan.
I was angry at her. I thought she didn’t get it. That was until I remembered a different time she stood by God’s sovereignty.
Before I was adopted, my parents tried to have their own children. They wanted six kids and a farm. That’s it. My mom was 19 when she had her little girl. She named her Kassandra (Sandy) and fell deeply in love with her and deeper with her husband. Around the time they were pregnant with their little boy, Jeremiah (Jeremy), they found out that something was wrong with Sandy. She wasn’t developing properly. A few years later, they found out that something was wrong with Jeremy, too. And his was a little bit worse. Their kids had an unexplainable disease. When they were trying to figure this out, they got pregnant with their third. My mom had two kids in wheelchairs and innumerable questions. The third baby died in her third trimester. Then my mom had a hysterectomy. A few years later, Sandy died. She was eight-years-old.
This was all before she was 30. This was all my parents’ marriage knew.
When Sandy died, Jeremy started to die.
My parents have always wanted six kids. So, they registered to adopt. Not long before that, my own mother gave me up for adoption. I was nine-years-old when I watched her sign the papers. I had a little sister and two little brothers beside me.
When my parents got the first phone call from the adoption agency, they jumped at it. They didn’t care that it was a group of four siblings. Upon meeting us, it wasn’t even a question of “Do you want them?” Why do you think they drove 4 hours?
I’ll never understand what they were thinking. My two little brothers were farting and fighting like feral children, my love-starved sister would not get off their laps, and I would not let go of my foster mom.
When we moved in, their son, Jeremy, started coming back to life. He loved my little brothers’ antics and my sister doted on him like he was hers.
He was seven when we joined his family. He was sicker than Sandy, but he outlived her by six years My mom swears it’s because of us. Not long after Jeremy died, my parents adopted a one-year-old and his infant brother.
Six kids in all.
One afternoon, my mom was telling me about the pain she went through when she lost her babies. I remember asking her how it was that she could trust God even though He took her babies from her. I couldn’t understand how she could believe it was God’s plan.
She answered my questions by saying, “God knew you needed a mommy.”
She wasn’t a one-sided grace server or biased in her faith. She trusted God’s grace and sovereignty even when it meant that she had to be ripped to pieces.
God always has reason. Remember that when it looks like the end. One day you’ll look back and shake your head in amazement because you’ll really get it.
Stories of grace always leave a hole somewhere that only Jesus can explain. If you just focus on the negative, it’s hard to see that the God we all know as good to allow something that goes against what we would call perfect and good. My parents didn’t know what God had planned for them. I think that if God showed us what it would take to get us to where we want to be, we’d have a hard time following Him through it. God gave my parents their dream of six kids and a farm. He just didn’t tell them how hard it would be to get there.
In my own life, it’s my worst experiences that have brought about the things I thank God for the most. Your faith has to be challenged before it can grow. Having your faith challenged is gut wrenching.
The following picture doesn’t have much to do with my message, but it made me laugh. 🙂