Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Identity - Who do You say that I am ?

How many times have you heard the word ‘identity’, or listened to a sermon on your identity,or listened to someone talk to you about your identity? How many times have you listened and then walked away, feeling more confused, guilty, angry and condemned?

Personally, I have spent many years wrestling with my own identity issues. As an adopted child growing up in a large family, I didn't know how to deal with the turmoil I felt inside,so I went on with my life trying to blend in with others.

I grew up knowing all the verses about God’s perfect will and love, all the ones on adoption, and all the ones about having a new identity in Christ. When my adoption story came up in the presence of guests, I knew how to push down the memories and put on a show. I learned how to smile when people told me how lucky I was to be adopted into this new family and new country. Yet at the end of the day I would curl up in bed and as the darkness invaded my room, I would cry. I felt so desperate for the peace and joy those verses promised, but I never felt. I put a band-aid on a gaping wound and smiled big, so everybody would see that I was happy.

Being honest with myself and God was way too painful and scary,so I avoided my reality as long as possible. I would cover my questions with all the nice verses I knew, but deep in my heart did not believe.

This past year, God brought me back to address this deep rooted issue I had left to fester over the years. I fought, I kicked, I cried,and I ignored Him for a while, until my solutions left me broken and deeply hurt. I ran down as many side trails I could find, but they all left me empty ,confused and desperate. I came back to God scared of what He was going to do to me, but He simply started again in the same place where I had quit.

I really really wanted to know who I was, because I no longer knew and I was scared of the person I saw myself becoming. My pride had vanished and in its place stood a girl who was out of excuses. I was willing to listen for the first time in my life and God told me who I was in His eyes.

All beautiful you are,my darling,there is NO flaw in you…”
(Song of songs 4:7)

“ Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you!!! See I have engraved you in the palms of My Hands; you are ever before me…” ( Isaiah 49:15,16)

“God chose the foolish things of the world,to shame the wise,God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things-and the things that are not to nullify the things that are…”
( 1Corinthians 1:27-28)

“For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord plans to prosper you and not harm you,plans to give you hope and a future……”
(Jeremiah 29:11-14)

These are real words from God, but for many of us these are painful to read. They may bring up memories, stir up questions, anger, or re-awaken a longing inside, that once upon a time was there. For some, the reality of being fully known, loved and wanted is an oxymoron and the first thing we ask ourselves when we read these words is, ‘What does He want?’ There must be a catch somewhere in this pretty picture.

What makes God so amazing is that He is who He says He is and it will never change with the time or circumstance. He does not manipulate or play games with the children He loves.

God says simply to you today….”My Son, My daughter, I chose you before you knew your name…or your country…I chose you to stand before me, I chose you to pour out my love on…… I see no blemish, no ugly past, no baggage, no mistake….I am God and I have set my seal of Love on your life, I signed the adoption papers before you ever knew you were an orphan.”

God leaves us with a choice, to accept the adoption, choose the identity or to walk away.

When you and I run to Him,there in His arms, we will know who we are. In the light of His Love our identity is going to be clear, because we were made in His image, to bear His likeness.

Though my mother and father forsake me, The Lord will receive me .” ( Psalm 27:10)

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Welcome to my new blog! I want to take a moment to introduce myself and the purpose for this blog.

My name is Marina,I am twenty years old and I am an adopted child. I was born in a little village down in the southwestern part of Russia. My story is very similar to many kids who have been adopted out of Russia. Alcohol,abuse,hunger and neglect was very common in my early life. I was placed in an orphanage at age five with my older sister and by age seven I was adopted. Like every adopted child,I had to lose something in order to be given a new family. I lost my siblings,my birth mother, my language and heritage.

With that being said,this blog isn't about feeling sorry for ourselves,or complaining that we had it tougher then other kids. I want to encourage and lift up my fellow adoptees. I want us to be honest about our joys and sorrows. I want to create a place where you can voice your thoughts and struggles, where you can say..wait you too,I never knew others felt like this!

Throughout every blog you will notice that I talk about God's presence in my story and my life. I could not have come this far in my journey to healing and wholeness if God had not carried me almost every step of the way.

As an adopted child, I know that we come with many wounds,questions and a level of pain that sometimes we cant even express. I want to tell you that honestly I believe that if you want to truly begin the journey to wholeness,that God will have to be part of the process. We carry wounds that only the hands of a loving God can heal and restore. It will take time,because God doesn't push us further then we are willing to go with Him. He loves us as we are right now,but loves us too much to leave us that way.
That is what encourages me every day,because I know whatever issues I am struggling with still today, it is because God is in the process of restoring,redeeming and refining. Is it painful...yes..Do I want to quit..yes...Do I have pity parties still..yes...Do I still ask God why me...yes...Do I still fall apart and cry...yes.

But at the end of the day I have to remind myself that God loves me as I am in that moment,He will love me tomorrow and the next day. He will still listen when I am complaining about how hard it is,He will understand better then any counselor or friend.

So I invite you on this journey with me,I think of it as a journey to the heart of God.
I want us to have fun together,to be honest and real with one another,so that at the end of the day we are one step closer.