Phoebe’s birth mom is a hero. She demonstrates the strength of any woman who chooses life – when death appears so much simpler, more convenient, or saves face. Yet, upon seeing her cleft lip/palate daughter in a poverty stricken province, she took action to protect her daughter. She wrapped Phoebe in warm blankets and placed her in a box at the gate of an orphanage with a bag of formula and a bottle. Right before the guard would arrive, she left Phoebe and ran into the darkness. Based on Phoebe’s body warmth, the orphanage does not believe she stayed longer than an hour alone at the gate.
That heroic decision from her birth mom impacted Phoebe’s life profoundly. Yet, those minutes in the dark may be why Phoebe has yet to sleep through the night alone in the past 2 years since we became a Forever Family. Darkness is a vulnerable time for our little girl. So for 730 days since we became a Forever Family, she sleeps a portion of the night wrapped in our arms where she breathes in security, peace, and comfort. (While we remain a little squished…)
When I put Phoebe to bed at night, I whisper quietly, “You are chosen. You are wanted. You are accepted. You are loved. You have value. You have purpose. You are my forever daughter. I love you.” Often, in dim lighting from the nightlight, I peer into her dark, almond shaped eyes. Mere inches from one another, our hearts connect. She hears my whisper and smiles. She hears words of life.
Today, as I was doing my quiet time I thought of her since we celebrate our two years as a forever family today. I thought about my little ritual of speaking these phrases of life into her heart. When I whisper to Phoebe, my heart groans and longs for her to not only hear my words but to take them to heart – to believe them and live life by them.
Then, it struck me. God whispers those same statements to me. I am his adopted daughter. God too wants me to not only hear the words, but to take them to heart and live my life from this secure foundation. Wow.
Again, adoption of Phoebe causes me to ponder my relationship to God so much more deeply. God says these words to me and to you.
You are chosen. We have been chosen to be part of the forever family of God; God desires to choose every human created in His image to join this family (1 Peter 3:15). God wants us to know we belong. We have a place. We are secure in his scar-ridden hands.
You are wanted. God does not just tolerate us; He wants us. He wants to talk to us. He wants to be around us. He provided a way through His Holy Spirit to be within us, around us, beside us. God stops and listens to us when we speak to him (John 14:17-21).
You are accepted. Though broken and not perfect; we are fully accepted by the Creator, the Holy God. He accepts our brokenness and then in our repentance and surrender, God transforms us and shines His hope through our broken parts (Romans 15:7).
You are loved. We can’t cause God to love us more or love us less. Nothing can separate us from God’s love – nothing. We can break God’s heart, but we can’t break God’s love. As his adopted children, we are safe in his love (Ephesians 3:17-19).
You have value. At great cost, Jesus buys us at a great price. He sees us as treasures and gives his life, by taking on our sin, to bring us back into the kingdom (Matthew 13:44-46).
You have purpose. When I look at Phoebe, I wonder what her contribution will be to the world. You see, everyone has a gift to give the world. Through Phoebe’s birth mom’s heroic act of choosing adoption for her child, she released the opportunity for Phoebe to develop and grow and eventually live out a divine purpose on earth. God whispers to me and to you, “You have purpose.” Not only does God give us love and security, but he also fills us with the desire and the potential to live our lives with significance (Matthew 28:18-20).
You are my forever daughter. I love you. God adopted us into his forever family. We have a place at his table, on his lap, in his home forever (John 14:1-3).
For some reason, I find it easier to say these statements to my daughter than to really hear, believe, absorb, reflect, and live within these same statements in my personal life on a daily basis. But oh, how I want to! I want to know God’s deep, adoptive, unconditional, sacrificial love for me and operate within that love.
If today you feel down, discouraged, disillusioned, depressed, apathetic, energetic, or on top of this world, may these whispers from God encourage you. May you in faith take them as truth and choose to believe them!
As I whisper words of life into my daughter’s soul each evening, may you and I also know God speaks the same to us. From that place of hearing God’s whispers of love and hope; we can live, we can risk, and we can walk by faith in a broken and darkened world. To God be the Glory.
Which of these statements is the easiest for you to imagine God saying to you? Which is the hardest to imagine?