Dear Ms. Feverfew –
These last few weeks have been brutal on me, adoption wise. Sure, I hide it well and most people aren’t aware of the deep seated pain that encases my daily journeys through the Christmas season. I am the Queen of Carrying On in Spite Of. Through all of this, there has been a silent pleading in my heart,
“O God of my father Abraham, and God of my father Isaac, the Lord which saidst unto me, Return unto thy country, and to thy kindred, and I will deal well with thee: I am not worthy of the least of all the mercies and of all the truth, which thou hast shewed unto thy servant…” (Genesis 32:9-10; KJV)
Like Jacob, I felt inspired by the Lord to “return…unto thy kindred” – I felt led by His hand when I drafted and sent you the message on Facebook back in September. I felt the same promptings when I sent you the message last week. Like Jacob, I feel unworthy of all the of the mercies extended to me by the Lord and I fight against them from time to time, namely the peace that His gospel brings.
Like Jacob, I too have wrestled mightily with a messenger from the Lord, only to be left wounded as reminder of God’s power and divinity. For many years, I have begged God to remove this woundedness from me, to heal the gaping whole left when I relinquished you for adoption. I have longed for Him to make me whole and to remove the suffering from my heart. I keep waiting for the day when he “will deal well with” me and it has not yet arrived.
This morning, as I lay nursing little Penelope, I was reminded of Paul and his predicament.
“…there was given to me a thorn in the flesh….For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Cor 2:7-9; KJV)
And then it dawned on me.
If God were to entirely remove this thorn of adoption plunged into my heart, I would not care as deeply as I do about the plight of single expectant parents in the LDS church. I would not be moved to speak out on behalf of those who are ensnared in the unrighteous dominion exercised by many of its members in relation to adoption. I would lack the sufficient motivation to write, to speak, and to act with courage and conviction. I am reminded of this adoption-thorn with each rushing beat of my four-chambered mother’s heart and the burning reminds me to never give up, never give in.
So today I thank God for this thorn in my side, this woundedness in my soul. It keeps me human and humane. It increases my capacity to understand others suffering. It refines and clarifies my belief about the eternal nature of family and God’s intent to preserve every family whenever possible.
I will be the first to admit I am a slow learner. Thankfully, God is good and God is patient and God’s mercy and grace are truly sufficient, even when I don’t recognize it.