“I don’t have any parents.”
The words sounded cold and hard, like metal against bare skin on a winter day. I recognized the voice as my own, though it felt distant and strange.
I had responded to a simple question – “What about your parents?” – in the course of a conversation about my mother-in-law’s health. My answer was reflexive, like a sneeze in response to a whiff of pepper, and the force of it burned on the way out.
My hard answer was my easy answer. I didn’t want to talk about my mother’s suicide at the age of 49 and how that always left me feeling inadequate. And I certainly didn’t want to talk about my biological father, from whom I was alienated for 16 years of childhood, then reunited with him only to be alienated yet again.
Only in moments of weakness do I find myself taking blame for my messy family. In all fairness, I did – do – all I can to reflect the love of Christ into my family members’ hearts. My hands are clean, and they remain outreached.
Some people don’t understand how I persevere in the face of such rejection. A couple of years ago, my uncle said, “I don’t know how you keep going.” And what I told him I will now tell you.
For my father and my mother have forsaken me, but the Lord will take me in.
– Psalm 27:10
Father to the fatherless and protector of widows is God in His holy habitation.
– Psalm 68:5
Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; He will never leave or forsake you.
– Deuteronomy 31:6
I am not abandoned. I am not forsaken. I am loved with an everlasting love. In fact, I am treasured. And the love of God is unconditional and unchanging. I don’t have to earn it, and I don’t have to fear its loss.
Such perfect love is a far greater consolation than any earthly love. It girds me, it gives me purpose, it lights my path, it renews my strength. It is irrepressible power, inexpressible joy, immeasurable comfort, incomparable hope. What I have lost does not compare with what I have gained, though what I have lost may sometimes weigh me down like an anchor until the true Anchor of my soul reminds me that I am tethered not to my pain but to Him.
And you, my friends – those of you whose hope is in Him – are now my family.
“Who is My mother, and who are My brothers?” Pointing to His disciples, He said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is my brother and my sister and mother.”
– Matthew 12:48-50
He predestined us to be adopted as His sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with His pleasure and will – to the praise of His glorious grace, which He has freely given us in the One He loves.
– Ephesians 1:5-6
I’m not an orphan who needs to be pitied. I’ve been adopted, and I’m the apple of my Abba’s eye. Guess you can call me a Daddy’s girl.