October 14, 2013

Why I'm Still Here

Acts chapter 2 of the Bible says that in the last days, the young will have visions and the old  will dream dreams. I do both…what does that make me? Mixed up, Deanna. Mixed up. 

No seriously…      

Photo Credit: Patty Koplitz, Flickr
I still consider myself young so having visions makes perfect sense to me, though my kids think I’m ancient and probably believe it's time for me to cross over to dreams.

This will be a totally foreign concept to some of you who read here, maybe half if not more of you. I am cognizant of the fact that many who read here don’t believe in God.  You are going to wonder if next I will tell you I saw Elvis at a Denny's in Knoxville.   It's a total honor to me that you read here, and that we can have such respectful dialogue.

"Hello Deanna, my name is Jesus..."
For all the crazy things that have made up my life story, I was introduced to Jesus at an early age. And as I've written about before here and many other places, this affected everything for me and still does. A lot of adoptees have kissed God and the church goodbye. I chose not to do that and shared why, in this post.

The other day I was spending time in God's presence -- and He began to show me things, and gave me a vision. 

This vision was of a tornado.

Photo Credit: Walt Hubis, Flickr
I’ve seen a tornado once personally up close…albeit a small one. We were on the porch at my paternal adoptive grandparents house in Alabama when a small tornado whipped up and started coming through the garden. There it was, a small funnel to the sky. I remember going to the storm pit that was also at their home, where there were kerosene lamps and canned food and other things to survive a storm, underground.    
In this vision, the tornado was not a small one like the one that whipped through the garden, but a huge one that wiped out everything in the path of those living in one area. 

There were some who didn’t have a storm pit – a shelter, nor anything to stay anchored. Some ran to the shelter. Another person in the vision had strapped themselves down to a cemented pole. 

Anyone who wasn’t in the shelter or strapped on to this cemented pole, whipped through the air and was sucked away by the tornado, off to only God knows where. Without a foundation they were helpless and hopeless.

As I envisioned this scene, I suddenly realized all who were in the path of this tornado were adoptees.

God spoke this word to my spirit. He said, “Every adoptee who has ever lived had the tornado of relinquishment and adoption come and strip everything away.  Before they could speak for themselves, they  lost everything right down to their very name. The storm was no respecter of persons, and mowed down everything in it’s path. But some ran to the shelter, or tied themselves to the foundation and were able to survive the storm and rebuild…and others didn't survive it..."

In this vision, God spoke to me, "Tell them to get to the shelter..."

I am a refugee

I write this not from a high and mighty place, but as a fellow refugee who ran to the shelter. 

Once the storm had cleared everything in it’s path, and I was left standing there surveying the damage, I had a choice to give up or rebuild.

Keep in mind, what often makes this storm much more traumatic for adoptees is that you are surrounded by people who tell you that you never went through a storm. Meanwhile you are surrounded by emotional debris. 

Spending time in the presence of God is the only thing that makes sense out of the senseless. When I look at the circumstances of my life story,  in the natural, there aren’t any answers as to why. But when I get in God’s presence, it’s the place I get answers, to what would otherwise just be a mess.

Maybe you’re an adoptee who has been whipped around by the wind of things not of your own making, things out of your control. Nothing makes sense and you are left to wonder.

The unanswered questions (what we adoptees call living in the “ghost kingdom”) would have driven me crazy were it not for the HOLY GHOST!  If I didn’t have the presence of God, my refuge, I would not still be here to write this.

An Invitation 

My purpose today is not to judge those who aren’t holding tightly to God in the storm, but to simply invite you to think about it.

What do you have to lose? Listen, the truth is – you have nothing more to lose, my adoptee friend. What does a person who has already lost everything have left to lose?   

Holding on to God as my foundation and getting my answers in the presence of God wasn't just for the beginning of life adopted, but all throughout.

Making decisions about life adopted sort of never ends, as most who are adopted know. You make decisions about whether to search, not to search. And then if you find, you have a lot of decisions to make about living life post-reunion.  

When I Don't Know What To Do

Lately I’ve been at a crossroads concerning the search for my natural father. There’s a lot of advice out there and much of it from people who care desperately for me. At the end of the day, I have to get in the presence of God and find out what He wants me to do. Remember, He spoke very clearly to me about finding my natural mother, and even gave me the tangible steps to do so.

He has been speaking to me about what I should do regarding my natural father, as I wait in His presence.

I’ll write more about this in the days to come, as far as the who, what, when, where and why of my course of action. But for now, I will just say that for me, the refuge of the presence of God is why I’m still here. And, it's what gives me direction when I don’t know what to do.

The Only Thing Constant

The truth is also that whether adopted or not, everything in life changes. 
Nothing stays exactly the same.

God is an unchanging rock in an ever changing world.

This week one song has spoken to me so deeply and I’ve had it on repeat and just listened over and over as I’ve given Him room to speak to me. Maybe it will speak to you from that same place. It’s called, “God I Look to You” by Jenn Johnson & Bethel Church.

To hear from God it helps to set the atmosphere. For me, certain songs or total silence both take me there. I invite you to make a playlist (you can do it on Spotify for free) and just sit in the quiet and listen. You’ll hear more than the  music. Recently a friend who is a Christian yet not a Pentecostal said to me, “God doesn’t speak to me, Deanna. I’m not a Pentecostal.” (I had to giggle.) Truth is, God doesn’t just speak to Pentecostals. He speaks to whoever opens their heart to have a conversation with Him.

Suggestions to Get in the Zone 

Maybe you don’t even know what songs to listen to, to set the atmosphere for you to hear. It’s different for everyone, but just to give a few suggestions that might help, these are ones that really speak to me:

Waiting Here for You - Christy Nockels
I Have to Believe – Rita Springer
You Are For Me – Kari Jobe
Lord, I Need You – Matt Maher
Glorious Ruins – Hillsong Live
Oceans (Where Feet May Fail) – Hillsong United

In the refuge of His presence, sense will be made of the senseless.

I promise.