When I was in 2nd grade, there was one other girl in my class at my small Christian school. Her name was Danielle. We became best friends that year and were inseparable. We played on the playground together, sat together at lunch, and probably had more than a few play dates (though it is hard to remember). The next year, however, our third grade class was combined with the 4th and 5th grade (very small school) and the 5th grade was encompassed by a girl named Autumn. Autumn decided that she wanted Danielle as HER best friend, and my best friend could not resist the status of this older woman. Unfortunately Danielle did not just forget about me. Instead, she and Autumn would spend the playground time that we used to have together whispering back and forth about me. I could never hear what they said, but I have a good enough imagination to make up many things that they might have. I clearly remember a good bit of my 3rd grade year spent in tears, at school and at home. A root of rejection was born in me, as I was orphaned by my first best friend.
It didn’t get much better as I grew up. I strived for popularity, but never could attain it. I was teased for my flaws…and they were many. I was privy to many conversations about events in which I was not invited to. In the midst of all of this, my parents divorced and my beloved father moved away. The root of rejection had grown in me and was spreading its tenacles around my heart. I was captive to it and the enemy laughed.
My daughter was born on December 2, 2009. On that same day, that same root of rejection took hold of her as her parents left her at the gate of a Chinese government building, right next to a State family planning office. She spent the first two and a half years of her life in a small metal crib with floor mats for a mattress. The very people to who she was given as a gift had abandoned and forsaken her. The root of rejection began to spread its tenacles, and the enemy was laughing.
“…BUT GOD, who is rich in mercy…” Into every single one of us is born a need for acceptance… for love… for praise… for belonging. None of us were created to be loners. Even God Himself is God, the Father; God, the Son; and God, the Holy Spirit. Our very being is created with a need for others. In this broken world, we are often orphaned by others. We are orphaned in a variety ways and by a variety of people. Some of us lose parents through no fault of their own… some of us live with parents that abandon and reject us every day with their words and actions… some of us have been betrayed by a spouse or a best friend… some of us may not have experienced harsh rejection from other, but still feel rejected for some reason. We are all in need of redemption.
“I will not leave you orphans, but I will come to you.” John 14:18. “For you have not received the spirit of bondage to fear, but you have received the spirit of adoption, whereby we cry ‘Abba, Father’.” Romans 8:15. We are all orphans until that moment that He comes for us…until that moment that He, not only, adopts us, but we believe and trust fully in that adoption. In that moment, friends, we are free from our captivity…from those roots that so easily entangle us. We belong to Him. The need has been met and we are redeemed.
Once we are redeemed, we may find ourselves in captivity at times once again. We may slide back into old ways…we may forget the things that He has said…we may ignore His voice and choose our own path, but this is what He calls to us “I see you in your captivity…you are MY children and I am coming for you.” We are not orphans. WE. ARE. NOT. ORPHANS. We have a Father and He is coming for us.
This is why Redeemer has become my favorite name for God. This is why the word “redemption” brings chills up my spine. This is why “redeemed” holds a special place in my heart. See, in the eyes of my sweet daughter, Katherine Hope, I see myself. I see how orphaned that I was, and I remember who came for me…who redeemed me. It wasn’t a best friend…it wasn’t a pastor…it wasn’t a parent…it wasn’t a counselor… It was HIM. “Even though my father and my mother forsake me, the LORD will receive me.” Psalm 27:10. I may have had parents to raise me, but the need in me was still as strong as it is in Kate, and every day I see pictures of myself in her as she immerses herself in our love.
We have a FATHER, ya’ll!!! And as my pastor says, “His victories are His redemptions”. YOU are fully available to be one of His victories! HIS PORTION! A people reserved for Himself that He can take pleasure in. That He can soak in, just as we soak in our Katherine. He loves us that much, that He would forsake everything else…even give His only Son…so that we can leave rejection to the distant memories and live in redemption.
“In Him, we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace…” Ephesians 1:7
My heart is bursting, Jesus! I wish I could put it on paper acceptably and accurately. I hope that I have done right by Your great Name! Redeemer, that’s who You are to me. Thank You.