This is a story of God’s faithfulness to me…
I have been blessed to have grown up in a Christian family with parents who constantly point me back to Jesus.
But where I’m going to start at today is when my siblings came home from the Philippines.
I’m going to be honest with y’all… adoption is hard. I mean hard. It’ll make you wanna scream and pull your hair out. And yet it’s a huge blessing at the same time.
I had these rose colored dreams of perfect siblings and perfect relationships and we’d all get along 100% of the time. FYI I was the youngest and had been basically an only child for a big chunk of my life. And I was spoiled.
Boy was my world rocked when reality hit!
I had NO clue what it meant to be a big sister. Everything was about me. I was selfish. I wanted them to like me no matter how I treated them. When I look back to those first years I just want to slap myself.
I was a jerk.
Ask any of them… no seriously.
I wish I could go back and redo those years…
They’ll tell you how mean and bitter I was. There was multiple times when I would yell at them and say I wish they’d never come. I was always tearing them down. I was full of myself and thought I was a perfect saint and had it all together.
That was about 10 billion miles away from the truth!
Adjusting to three younger siblings and having to share my parents attention wasn’t easy. I still have a letter I wrote to my mom asking her if she loved me. Those days were some of the hardest of my life. I can’t explain how alone and unloved I felt. I still remember there were nights when my mom or dad would forget to hug me goodnight and I would cry myself to sleep. It hurt me deeply. In the blink of an eye I went from having sleepovers with my mom and talking to her about everything, to sharing her with 3 other needy people. And trust me they needed her much, much more than I did.
God used all the hurt and hard times to draw me to Himself though.
When I felt hopelessly alone, I knew He was by my side.
The lonely days and nights made me run to the only One I knew was always constant.
That fall, when I was 12, on our way home from church I gave my life to Jesus. We were listening to the radio and a pastor was preaching. Tears rolled down my cheeks and I desperately tried to hide my face from my siblings. I can’t even tell you what the words were that he said, but I knew then that I needed to ask Jesus to be my Savoir. I prayed and something happened; I felt a huge rush of wind sweep over me, I knew I was one of God’s children, I knew the Holy Spirit lived inside of me.
I wish I could say from then on I was a completely different person. But that would be a complete lie. Actually a few months later I fell into deep sin.
I knew it was wrong. But I continued to yield to the temptation. I continued to fall into the same trap over and over again.
It was after a few months of this ongoing sin that one day I just literally sank down onto a chair under the weight of the guilt and the shame of what I was doing. I cried out to God and begged Him to wash away the dirt of my sins and forgive me.
When I did that, what felt like a heavy burden was lifted from my shoulders and I felt a peace inside. I knew that I was forgiven. I felt brand new. God freed me from that. And I am so thankful.
Satan loves to throw my past in my face. My mistakes. My sins. He loves telling me I’m not good enough. Loves reminding me of the jerk I was to my siblings.
But I know that my past does not define my future.
I’m no longer a slave to those things.
I have been set free.
I am still very much a work in progress. I know I’m not where I should be; but thank God I’m not where I was. I fail everyday. But God is teaching me, bending me. He’s not finished with me yet!
I can now look back on all the hurt of the past, the dark sleepless nights, all the tears, the days that felt like living nightmares, and say that I am SO SO very thankful for every bit of it. If it wasn’t for those dark times I do not believe I would be the person I am today.
Whenever I have come out of a storm in life I can always look back and see how God used it to bless me and make me a stronger person. When you’re in the middle of those dark times you often question why you have to go through them, it feels hopeless, it hurts.
But remember God has a reason for your pain [I know it sounds crazy : )]. I know from personal experience. There’s a reason that difficult person is in your life. There’s a reason you’re having to walk through that dark valley. Hang on to Jesus. He will get you through… humans will disappoint you, fail you; but God will NEVER leave your side.
He will remain faithful…