Salvation Story of Daughter #3
As I was going through the thousands of pictures on my hard drive, I found this picture of my third daughter. So, it got me to thinking that I would share the Salvation Story of Daughter #3. First and foremost, here is a picture of my daughter. This was taken at the exact moment she expressed to me her desire to know and follow her Lord and Savior, Jesus. This was the moment I knew things were real.
You could sense and feel her emotions. I could see her wheels turning and putting things together. Such a beautiful moment.
On October 16, 2015
Was when this picture was taken. For some odd reason, no one was at home. I’m not sure where everyone was but they were all gone and this was before Hunter came to live with us.
G was 14 years old. When she was about 6, she was “saved” every year at every church or school they went too. We first thought it was real and then realized that it was more for the attention than the true meaning.
After about the 3rd or 4th time (I mean, she had been baptized at least 2 times before this picture was taken)…we just thought she was too young to truly understand the meaning. It would come, in time. In God’s time, not our time.
G had struggled since before she came to us at 6 years old. There were lots of things going on in her life, that were completely out of her control. She was too young to be heard and so she internalized, as most children do.
She did some very brave things that helped bring justice to some people. She also kept herself alive and fed while also keeping her younger brother alive, fed, and safe. There were other littles ones that she was responsible for, but that wasn’t around the clock like it was with her brother.
By the time she got to us, she had been through 2 other state homes and several non-state regulated homes. It is a lot for a 6 yr old. She knew how to work the system. She knew how to behave (according to her birth mom) and she stretched the limit quite a bit. The other placements just weren’t equipped to handle the things that she had to deal with, her diagnosis, and her behaviors.
I Guess We Though We Could
We were ready to bring her and her brother home and fight for them. Teach them about the love of Jesus. Give them consistency, love, grace, mercy, forgiveness, hot showers. age appropriate toys, teach them to use their imaginations, work on their nutrition and reverse anything we could. It was not easy.
G stayed in survival mode for a long time. We did all we knew how to do. We took PS-Mapp classes, Care Plus Classes, Sexual Abuse classes, had a great R & C worker, and the kids had a great social worker. They actively saw therapists and doctors. We did medications, detoxifications, food changes, allergy testing, allergy shots. We tried everything.
Things kept getting worse and worse.
Taking It Personally
I took her hate and disdain personally but it has been impressed on me that it wasn’t me that she hated. She “hated” her birthmom and that just happened to spill out on me. I absolutely did not encourage that at all. I let her express her emotions and then tried to help her understand.
She was angry, confused, hurt, sad, that her mom had made the choices that she did. It was hard for her to match up her words with her actions. Frankly, it was hard for me to explain to her. I never spoke ill of her birth mom. I have always told her that her mom loved her the way she knew how to love her. That she did the best she could with what she was taught by her parents.
I can’t fix that. I also can’t take her attacks against me personally. The girl could run her mouth, get all up in my stuff, try to be bigger than what she was and by those actions of blatant hate, disrespect, and harming others. Trauma. PTSD amongst other things.
Then One Day
She was mad about something. We were toe to toe in the dining room. My boy had gathered up the children into the back of the house because he was always afraid of what she would say or try to do and he wanted to protect his siblings from her. My goal was to protect her from herself.
She walked up, with her arms crossed, and said that she feels darkness surrounding her, starting at her feet. That the darkness was like a cloud and it was coming across her legs and that the more it moves up, the more power she has. That she likes the darkness and she likes the power that she has and she can do anything to me or anyone else when the power overtakes her.
Scary, I know.
I Distinctly Remember
I was as calm as calm could be. I just looked at her and said “satan, in the Name of Jesus, you have to leave. You have no power over my daughter or my home. Get thee behind me.” I prayed out loud, over her. I had my hands on her shoulders and I could feel the tension and the warmth of her shoulders. As I continued to pray, she began to physically lighten up and the tension was being released and a calmness took over her.
As I looked in her eyes, they returned to her normal color and her voice had audibly changed. I asked her what happens and she said that when she gets angry that the cloud swirls around her feet and she does like the power but it scares her. I explained that seemed like it was demonic and that once I claimed Jesus over her, it had to leave. It no longer had the power to invade her or my home.
We talked about the fruits of the spirit and that she said she didn’t have them and I agreed. That was a scary moment. I’m sure that is the moment that she, now, dwells on.
Yet, there was more to that time that I wish she would remember because I not only remember, I took a picture because it was such a spiritual moment for both of us. Sacred.
Fruits of the Spirit
22 But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!
These were the things we started talking about over the course of several days leading up to the picture above. We talked about what it “truly” meant to have Jesus live in your heart. That when He moves in, the Holy Spirit takes over and deposits all those fruits into a person’s lives. Now, granted they may be seeds or they could be full blown fruits, but we all have to start somewhere. We all have to heed that still small Voice of the One who sustains us.
Hard to Understand
That was a hard concept for her. So, at the time of the darkness, I asked her about each of those fruits and she vehemently denied having any of them. She hated everyone, herself, her bioparents choices, school, all the things.
It is a hard concept when you have lived a hard life in the beginning. Yet, a hard beginning does not dictate your middle or your end! These fruits may not be there now, but God is waiting to give them to you. Again, some will be planted seedlings, some will be tiny fruits, some so big they are falling off the trees, but you will have them. That is a guarantee.
Back to that Night
As we were alone, we decided to go and eat out someone. She wanted to go to Sirloin, which was about 30 minutes away. I agreed because I let her choose. That’s what a good mom does LOL. They let their daughter choose the place to eat.
We drove in silence. We ate in broken silence. We headed home in somewhat silence until we saw an accident that yielded in a person’s death. She had a hard time with that, as did I. The questions poured out of her. She asked why does God allow bad things to happen to good people? Why does He allow bad people to hurt kids? Why her dad didn’t come for her? Why her mom didn’t fight for her? Why? Why? Why?
We had a long discussion about Freewill.
That was the Night
That I shared ALL of her birth story with her. I have binders upon binders of information from every home, every person, every therapist, every diagnosis, every police report, everything. We poured over it. I showed her many pictures and told her that I had been trying to contact her dad and biological sister to establish a relationship with them because it would be important to G. I had also tried to locate her birthmom, but hadn’t had any luck.
I answered every question by looking through the paperwork and letting another person answer it. Whether it was a judge, guardian ad litem, her birth parents, birth grandparents, foster parents, therapists, etc. I didn’t just pick an answer out of the wind, I found it in black and white documentation and had her read it. I just helped her understand wording.
It was a Hard Night
Yet, it yielded something unexpected. Peace. She physically had peace. Her face softened up, her voice changed, she cried real tears, asked great questions about the goodness of God. I was able to lead her to Scripture and have God answer those questions. We researched, cried, and came to peace.
At that moment, she truly and completely asked the Lord to be her personal Savior. It was so innocent and beautiful. There were no accolades, no parties, no pats on the back, no baptisms, nothing like that. Just me and her, in our home, together where the Holy Spirit was present.
I told her to look down at her shirt because I had just read it. She put it on, originally, because she liked the color green. She didn’t even read what was on it. She looked down and the look of JOY, PEACE, KINDNESS, GOODNESS, SELF-CONTROL, LOVE, GENTLENESS, not so much patience yet, FAITHFULNESS were permeating through her smile.
Her shirt reads SURRENDER! She had just surrendered her life to Jesus and was bestowed the fruits of the spirit. Most were growing fruits, a couple of seedlings, some were so big they were falling off the trees. It was such a beautiful moment that was shared just between us. I’m so thankful I took that picture.
Where is She Now
Well, just because we love Jesus and have Him in our hearts doesn’t always mean we continue to make the right choices. We are still sinful people who are saved by grace (thank God). We still make mistakes, do the wrong things, say the wrong things, fall into sin patterns, listen to a little bit too much of satan’s lies, and try to fit in with society. That is a crutch we have all carried.
Does screwing up mean we have lost our salvation?
Oh heck no!
Does it mean we have lost the fruits of the spirit?
Nope, though they may need water to grow a bit more.
Once you truly ask Jesus into your heart, you are placed in the hands of Jesus THEN Jesus’ hands are placed in the hands of God. There is nothing getting you out of those grips. You are forever His.
Does it sadden Him? Of course it does. Yet it doesn’t stop Him from loving you. He just wants you to do the right thing. Be that city on a hill. Be a testimony for Him. Share your crappy beginnings and show people what the Lord has done for you.
I did question her salvation based on her actions and her fruits when she was saved every year from 6 to 14. It was literally a weekly or biweekly thing. BUT that night changed everything. I have NEVER questioned it since. Not even with all the things that continued to happen and the struggles we had. I never questioned it again. I know she is His. I know He lives in her.
I miss her.
I love her.
I believe in her.
She is enough.
She is brilliant.
She is beautiful.
She is capable.
She has been chosen by me to adopt her but more importantly by God through adoption by salvation.
She can do anything she sets her mind too.
Till I take my last breath, she will be my daughter.
My prayer is that she chooses to be a city on a hill and shines her light for the glory of God. I pray that she remembers this night and holds it close to her heart because I hold it close to mine.
They know 20% of our story and that is being generous. Maybe, I will clear up some other misconceptions over time. I don’t know. I wouldn’t do it without her permission.
For Now, we allow time to heal wounds. Pray for clarity, safety, wisdom, discernment, and forgiveness.
God is bigger.