The adopted child’s heart is pieced together, bandaged, covered in patches, and re-covered with new patches until it looks so worn out that you begin to wonder if it can ever love again. But then I am reminded of God’s Word…the Truth…
If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing. Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part; but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away. When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known. But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love. (1 Corinthians 13:1-13 NASB)
I am also reminded that before I knew God and was made new that I was an orphan and my heart looked the same. I am glad that God never gave up on me and that He will never give up on my children!
I know the heart pain is real for each of them. The past hurts. The people they are most angry at are no longer a part of their lives. How many families did they live with before they finally arrived “home”? Each new placement added more heart pain…more bandages to cover the heart wounds. A voice that doesn’t know how to speak the pain. A heart that is barely being held together. A heart that only knows how to fight back with the lies that the enemy has whispered in her ear.
You see this is not a battle against the child…
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. (Ephesians 6:12 NASB)
This is why it is so important for us to suit up each day and to put on the armor of God!
Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth , and having put on the breastplate of righteousness , and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace ; in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation , and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. (Ephesians 6:13-17 NASB)
God will equip us. But we must hold onto hope as Paul held onto hope!
For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it. (Romans 8:24, 25 NASB)
Pursuing the heart of a broken child must be done with perseverance. We hope for what we do not see in our child! What we long for our child to feel. Love. Trust. We persevere despite the throw downs. Slowly…the heart begins to mend. Each stitch that we sew in our child’s heart is a stitch of love…a stitch of trust…a stitch of forgiveness…And some how, at the end of each day, no matter how long and hard it has been, I can still look in my child’s eyes and say,”I still love you!”