Loving the Unloved and the Lessons Therein

When I first started to dream with God about my future… wait. What I mean is, when we were re-inventing my future together, because all of my plans had fallen apart and I had no idea what to dream next. The phrase that echoed in my heart was to love the unloved and unwanted.

At the time I had all kinds of grand dreams, big house, tons of kids, lots of chaos, but filled with love.

I had my heart set on the idea that I was going to have like 30 kids roaming in my house everyday, and I was going to be the cool Aunt Meg, who took it all in stride. In hindsight I wonder if I even knew myself. Because, I am NOT a laid back person.

Anyway, grand dreams, and ridiculous notions. All centered around being a mom. But especially to those who were unloved and unwanted.

I had altruistic plans, and no reality.

God was going to work everything out and I was just going to get all the glory… well, not quite, but looking back- it really is what I was working towards. Everyone was going to look at me and think how great I was, and isn’t God amazing for giving this woman so much ability!

HA!

Boy, when we need reality checks… sometimes it really sucks.

I remember this wonderful family. They were in the same ministry as I (orphan ministry) and they had such amazing hearts, testimony and love. They, from my perspective, were one of the few families that seemed to have everything of importance. The kids loved the parents, parents loved the kids. And they all loved Jesus, and served Him together.

They had already successfully adopted and were looking to see if they were going to adopt another. They took a little one in through foster care. All looked good… for a while.  Then it turned out that that child had some severe struggles… and for the good of the whole family, they sent him back. This took well over a year and I was dumbfounded.

How could they do that?! What about that little? Who’s going to take care of this child? WHY?! And HOW DARE YOU!! — those were my thoughts.  Full of judgement, criticism, anger and allowing no room for grace or God’s work. Because in my head- I knew it all.  Oh how much I suck!

During this time I had a foster son who, shall we say, was nothing less than a full time job- all by himself. He was 15 going on 4, and knew nothing about anything. Not how to use the bathroom, or brush his teeth, eat with a fork or even how to laugh.  He was kind, but I  was way in over my head.

I had help though. A fellow foster mom did all the hard stuff… reduced medication (through getting the right doctor), started the potty training, and food training. All I had to do was follow through.

By the time he went home, he knew all of those things he didn’t and more- he even made a joke or two at my expense- and it was funny stuff!

But I thought that meant I could handle any challenge. I could master anything. And for sure I could never be found in the situation of my friends. ..

Loving the unloved should have meant in my heart to love. Nothing more, or less. But to put my heart out there to love- everyone with the Love of Jesus and to judge not. But I thought it gave me a mission… to prove how much I could do.

Another problem with this train of thought? My foundation. On one hand I thought I could conquer the world, on the other hand I believed I was worthless and would never amount to anything. I believed that if I were to fail… it would prove to everyone that: 1. not only am I a failure, but 2. that God was stupid for even letting me try.

A house divided against itself will never stand.  Truth was not in me.

So, fast forward a few years. I’ve had these three children with me for sometime. I’ve proven just how NON-laid back I am. How many issues are in my heart. How many lies I believe as my foundational core. And how little to NO praise I deserve. In my mind I am a failure. Pure. and. simple.

Anders has left our home, and it’s so identical (even worse) than what I judged my friends for that I am humiliated. Humbled, but not by my choice.

Being humble is ideal. Being humbled is painful.

Now some months later- the adoption to my wonderful cousins is almost complete. I find myself in a whole new place. One of begging for truth, transformation and deliverance from foundational lies and problems.

Years (I mean like 13 years) ago I was doing a Bible study with friends that rocked my world, broke loose some major boulders in my heart and mind and set me on a way new path.  This time it was a retreat.

One that focused on the exact same things as that Bible study years ago. Freedom in Christ and the ability to see myself as He sees me.

As I looked through those lies that I believed, I saw how they not only affected me, but my children, my husband and my relationship to all of them. Because the lies dictated how I responded to all of them. And it wasn’t pretty.

These children were the unloved. And I wasn’t loving them.

During the course of this weekend away, I was shown how much I need to grow. And how much I fall short. Mostly, how much I need to lean sooo much more on Jesus. There is no way for me to truly love the unloved… without first believing God LOVES me (and doesn’t wait to slash me with lightning for being so far from perfect- yep, my mental picture for years) that He wants what is best for me and if I love HIM with all my heart- He will love the unloved through me. It’s not my job to provide the love. I just pour it out of abundance of HIS love.

Back when it all began, this journey of crazy love, He told me to be passionate about showing children that there is a reason for their lives- and that there is a purpose… To know God, His love for them, and to enjoy Him forever.  This should have been my parenting basis. I’m praying and trying to allow God to change my heart to let it be now.

No more striving for perfection. But striving for the Love of Jesus to permeate our home and be the way we love each other.

In other words, I’ve learned that loving the unloved means loving Jesus more, letting him love me more, and pouring all that love out of excess onto the precious ones around me.

I have much more to learn. Gone are the thoughts of knowing anything. I only know one thing. Jesus.