Eph. 1: 4-6 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.
Adopted by Christ
I was not physically adopted. I was actually born into a big enough family and being the baby, my brothers and sister set out to insult me and belittle me and make me feel as if I was an unwanted adopted child. I looked for someone to love me and value me as a child and I only found unconditional love from God. That really set me apart from the family because they all were set in their ways and had their own beliefs so when I was in ninth grade and became a born again Christian my family of (in name only) Catholics didn’t take to the announcement of my conversion too well.
They all deemed me brainwashed, that the school I was in was a sinister cult because they were teaching me about Jesus. They thought that the family of Christians in my school was teaching me of the dark places that I would be tempted to go when all they offered me was an outlet; the protection of a God who wanted nothing in return but me as His child. Wow, how sinister yes?
Adoption is a conscious choice to make someone a part of the family. I consciously was choosing God over my blood family. Did this decision keep me from going down a darkened path? No way, you have to remember I had a big family (aunts and uncles too) that were all alcoholics, it was the norm. No one stood outside the realm of the family circle to stand up and say ‘protect this child’ but I knew with every fiber of my being, that God was the one and only who was going to protect me.
I never realized the dark force had such an enormous pull on every being around me. When my old friend called last week and said, ‘you were never allowed to be a child.’ The flashbacks came flooding in like a dam bursting open unleashing the darkened waters that tried to drown me.
No one knew that I walked in fear for most of my life. They didn’t care to know, what they did want to know is what I could do for them on any given day. Whether it was babysitting, cleaning, or supplying them with what they needed. Yes, I was a Cinderella thrust into an entire family of ugly stepmothers.
People wonder how it is that I became so close to God and wanted to tell the world about Him. Well let me tell you, when you walk barefoot on coals of fire through the pits of hell and God is the only one that stretches out His hand and found you worthy of being saved, you’d want to tell the world too.
I’m sure you’ve read stories about people donating hearts to save a life and the recipient wants to meet the family in person to thank them? Or a rescuer who pulled you out of a car sinking in floodwaters, you need to see that person again face to face to shout out a thank you and hug them for their unconditional act of kindness. That’s what God has been to me, a life preserver, literally. My rescuer whom I HAVE to meet face to face but in the meantime, I’ll tell the world about Him.
“The highest reward for man’s toil is not what he gets for it, but what he becomes by it.”
~ John Ruskin
After the expanse of my rebellious childhood, if that’s what you want to call it, where alcohol was on hand by eight, marijuana by age ten then a host of other drugs were scattered in my path and I could have become like the addicts you see wandering the streets today. It wasn’t until I overdosed at twenty-one on whiskey, (yeah, death and the whole out of body experience) was I able to open my eyes to a brighter Light that saved me and I would tell the world of this Man that reached into the depths of death and pulled me out, saved me and shaped me into the woman you see (or read) before you today.
Some people had parents that guided them to the straight and narrow; some had mentors that piloted their route but me? I had an all-loving God who saw in me something I could not see myself. God made me feel chosen, accepted, valued and loved whereas my biological family made me feel – just here.
Sometimes life is like that, you are placed in a loving, caring, nurturing family while others get placed in the center of a tornado and made to fend for themselves. But I’ve found through very many of the years of my life that it was only through the storms that I was being groomed by an ever-loving God who turned this mess into able-bodied lover of Christ WILLING to spread a message of LOVE across the many channels within my grasp. He has never given up on me and I will NEVER give up on Him. I just gently await the day I get meet this Savior, face to face. I day I was adopted by Christ was the best day of my entire life.
Deuteronomy 26:18 "The LORD has today declared you to be His people, a treasured possession, as He promised you, and that you should keep all His commandments;”
My life was never perfect
Nor did I claim it be
Maybe people will love me
When they read my history.
~ Joni ~