My heart is tender this week. Seasons are changing and I can’t help but acknowledge the array of feelings. Gratitude. Thankfulness. Tenderness. Sadness. Where do I begin?
Grace. Each feeling comes down to grace. As I’ve thought recently about the upcoming month, the holidays and the excitement that surrounds 3 little girls I am pointed back to God’s grace in my life. You see, when I consider God’s grace and faithfulness, I am filled with gratitude and thanksgiving. At the same time, I am tender and saddened for our girls’ birth mother. I’ve seen a lot of foster / adoptive moms write about birth mothers recognizing that in so many ways, “they’re just like me”. But this week I’ve realized in so many ways, we are just different.
Dear birth mother, I am in no way better than you, but in many ways different. In the beginning, I’ll be honest, I resented you. After all, this calling has been costly and many times I have resented that your choices have cost your children greatly. I resented that at times it feels like I am also paying for your mistakes. But I have asked God to help me see you through eyes of grace – and now my heart hurts for you.
Your sin is no greater than my own, in this way we are the same. The consequences may be different, but we are both sinners in need of grace. I have no idea what it is like to struggle with addiction – I can’t begin to relate – but I can imagine that it is painfully hard and often hopeless. I have to believe that your heart is broken by what this has cost you.
As I look forward to Christmas with three giggling girls, baby’s first birthday and her soon-to-be first steps there is this ever-present feeling that this isn’t my right. You are somewhere, wishing this were you. I feel the weight of that. I hurt for you. You carried these girls. You bore the pain of birth. They carry your image, your personality and a love for you I can never know.
I promise to honor you, even when it is hard. I promise to let your girls talk of you with their own fondness and memories. And I promise to always seek to offer grace.
I look back on my life and wonder what made me who I am today. It still comes down to grace. It’s by God’s grace that I have the family I have, the opportunities I had and the life that I enjoy. Her story could just as easily have been mine but I had parents that fought for me, loved me unconditionally, sacrificed for me and gave me every opportunity for success. I met my Savior at a young age. I can’t help but wonder if she ever had the same… what is her story? Has she seen God’s grace?
It is often tempting to judge in these situations and many like these. But friends, we cannot understand the struggle others face. I pray you are able to offer grace to those around you and never take for granted the grace that has been poured out on your own life. As we celebrate Thanksgiving and enter into the season of Christmas do not lose sight of the gift of grace, the sacrifice of love and the hope of glory.
Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound, the saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost but now am found, was blind but now I see.