August 23, 2013

An Adoptee Living Through Not-Okay-Ness

"I'm for truth, no matter who tells it. I'm for justice no matter who it's for or against."  ~ Malcomn X

“Who is God?”

The question was on a church sign I saw yesterday, announcing a new sermon series, in the town where I’m staying right now. 

I’ve been on a leave of absence to get my bearings, following my first mother’s passing, and will be for a while. 

Photo Credit: HaarFager, Flickr

I had been crying as I drove along yesterday, the last two days being very hard ones.  I had nightmares both nights and woke up crying both days. 

When I saw the sign, it infused me with a shot of hope. Because I know who God is. And the question on the sign served as a reminder to me to think about that.

Since my first mom passed, I knew I wasn't in the right frame of mind right now to lead anybody but me. Leading myself takes every ounce of energy that I have at the moment. So I'm on a self imposed time out, for the sake of myself and others.

I have to motivate myself to get out of bed,  brush my teeth, and stuff like that. 

Photo Credit: Lars P., Flickr

I still go to church because I know it’s important to be fed spiritually. That's always important, but especially during this time, it's critical. This is my time to take in, not give out. 

So I go to this large church, sit in the back and hope no one asks who I am or why I’m there. My husband is actually friends with the pastor but I gave him strict orders not to tell him I'm here. I just want to sit there and receive and don't want to talk. Most people just give a handshake or hug, welcome me and let it go at that.

The songs and the messages speak right to me, where I'm at right now. It's like they tailored their sermon series just for me, which is on restoring hope and rebuilding.

I am sustained on reading the Word, rest, and the love of those who care for me. I’ve answered the mail of many who have written me but usually with one or two lines, max. Or sometimes just a heart graphic.  I simply don’t have emotional energy right now for more as far as correspondence. Writing out my feelings otherwise, like here on the blog, is very helpful though.

I’m receiving a lot of grace but am out of any extra to give right now. 

The mixed emotions are all over the place.

The hurts experienced while she was alive.
Watching her die a very painful death.
Mourning her loss.
Facing the secrets she left behind.
Grieving reality. 

I realize  my first mom's life long choices about my origin and some ways she treated me came from an unhealed heart. Hurting people hurt people, I know this. But I struggle with the fact that she never pursued healing. Being set free would have not just affected me -- it would have affected  everyone in her life. I am not the only one impacted by her choice.

My therapist, Melissa, said she would be there to pick up the pieces when I came back after interrupting my recovery process to have contact with my first mom again in her time of need.

Pieces describes it well. 

Pieces of grief.
Pieces of the unknown.  
Pieces scattered over the ghost kingdom.

I am a believer. Which means I'm a forgiver. 
And that's a process.
It's not overnight.
I was on that journey before Judy ever got sick, and it was interrupted.
Now I'm back on the road to the "state of forgiveness".
I love my first mom, no matter what happened.
I don't want revenge, just relief.
Part of that is going through the stages of grief.
No, I didn't rhyme on purpose.  Spirit of Dr.Suess, be gone...

Anger is one of the stages.

It's Not Okay

"It will be okay," I hear.

"Okay" sounds more like surviving, not thriving.

Either way, driving down the road yesterday, I was NOT OKAY.

I was mad and sobbing, listening to Matt Maher sing, "Lord, I Need You" for the thousandth time and I said:

God, just to let you know, this is not okay.

It’s not okay that my first mom is gone.
Especially at such a young age.

It’s not okay that she felt a pain in her side, went to the doctors and nine weeks later was dead.

It’s not okay that she took my first father’s name to the grave.

It’s not okay that my origin -- what is rightfully mine as a human being, was withheld from me by her -- to the very end of her life.

It's not okay that I still have to live with secrets and lies, about me. 
It’s not okay that I lovingly tried until the end and did everything as far as it depended on me, and now this. 

She knew how bad the last conversation was, on her part.  The last week of July she said to my sister, “I was shocked to get a birthday present and a note from Deanna. After the last conversation, I thought we'd never speak again…” 

But I did.
I did speak to her again. 
Made the first move just like I always have.

Even though I heard things a daughter should never have to hear from a mother.

I sent a birthday gift. 
I called yet again after that horrible conversation, trying to reach out to her. My sister tells me that when she said, "Mom, it's Deanna on the phone," she melted and sighed -- cradling the phone to her ear as my sister placed it there. Acting as if she was never so glad to hear from me in her life.

 When my sister relayed this to me, it brought me to grateful tears to my eyes, but the fact remains that I never got to hear anything from her own mouth to that degree.

It’s not okay that I had to uncover glimpses of how she loved me after the fact, instead of her sharing it with me while she was still here.

It’s not okay that I’m still doing DNA testing and searching and grappling with varying stories that I've been told by several people, but none confirmed as truth.

It’s not okay that she was fine with my children never knowing the truth of their heritage or medical history.

It’s not okay that although some amazing people are working very hard on my DNA and search, my grandchildren and generations to come may not know their truth because of one woman's choice. 

How can anyone believe it is morally, ethically or spiritually right to bring children into the world and then deny them the basic information of themselves and their origin? 

This chapter of the story didn't end well, God.

It’s just NOT OKAY.

And then...

I saw that church sign…”Who is God?” 

And He spoke to me. 

“Deanna, whatever gave you the idea that I’m okay with it?”  

Strength goes through my fingers and into my soul.


A holy "a-ha moment"...
Sometimes we become grieved over things and we forget, God gets grieved too!  
Jesus gets angry. 

He’s not the nice little pale cleaned up feminine looking guy with a loincloth, hanging on a cross with a few drops of blood on his feet and palms that you may have seen on a picture or a stained glass window in a church!! 

This is not an accurate picture of Jesus, at all. They might as well put a sweater vest on him, slick up his hair and add some attitude glasses.

We can grieve Jesus and God and we can also grieve the Holy Spirit. Ephesians 4 specifically instructs us not to!

Photo Credit: Mike Cogh, Flickr
Is Your View of God Balanced?

Where do we get this idea that God, Jesus or the Spirit are happy clappy all the time? Sometimes they are downright grieved!

And they are not grieved by inanimate objects. 
They are grieved by what humans do.

The fact is, God gave people a free will, they use it, and He’s not always pleased with the way they choose to. 

Back when I was in Bible College I took a class on the attributes of God. One thing the professor said was that our class would never fully cover the material that semester, nor would we really be able to finish it in our lifetimes because the attributes of God are endless.

He is love.
And He is just as much justice as He is love.
Just as much grace.
And holiness.
And peace.
And righteousness.
And faithfulness.
And the list goes on and on.

A loving God, a benevolent God? Yes. Also a just one.

Do you think God is okay with everything in this world?

Is He okay with the Sandy Hook shootings?
Is He okay with 9/11?
Is He okay with the Holocaust?


Is He the all-knowing God who is aware of everything?

Certainly is. Doesn't mean He's happy about everything He's aware of or has allowed.

He's also not okay with human beings treated inhumanely by lies and secrets kept about their history.

Because God is truth, through and through. 
He stands for truth, always.

Photo Credit: irunandshoot, Flickr

God is not okay with everything that has happened to me.  

So yesterday He says to me, ”You’re right Deanna, IT’S NOT OKAY!!! And, I will act. You may not always be aware nor understand how I respond, but be assured that I do!! Trust me. I am with you when it’s not okay. I have sent other people as my representatives, to hold you.  And through the not-okay-ness Yep, I realize not-okay-ness is not a word but God can use whatever word he wants to speak to me or anybody I’m shaping you and writing an even more incredible story. I am working on your behalf even when you can't see it. So with and through this stuff that is clearly NOT OKAY, watch what I can do with it as you give it to me…”