When Someone Comes Home

Hi friends,

I am hosting Gabriel Jones from DecentChristianTalk.com. He is an amazing musician, expert on Christian music, a historian and a educated voice on the web.  Make sure you check out his website!

 

Two-thirty in the morning. It wasn’t the first time I had been up this late. And to be honest it wouldn’t be the last. Through the fog of my intoxication, I caught a glimpse of myself in the bathroom mirror. The person staring back at me was a stranger. My grey eyes told the story: I was dead inside.
I crawled into my bed. As usual, I had forgotten my limits and was sick. I closed my eyes hoping that the room would stop spinning. I put on a pair of headphones to listen to music hoping that it would help. The first song that came on (for whatever reason) was “Leaving 99” by Audio Adrenaline.
I’m lost and broken, all alone on this road
The wheels keep turnin’, but the feelin’ is gone
When I fear I’m on my own
You remind me I am not alone
 
The song immediately had my attention. I had probably heard the tune but it had never captured my attention like this before…
 
I’d leave ninety-nine
Leave them all behind
To find you
For you alone
 
I was immediately taken back to Sunday school where I had learned many of the parables that Jesus taught. This particular one referenced a story where the Shepherd leaves his flock of 99 to find his lost sheep. And on this late night, I felt more than lost. I felt dead. I wanted life.
 
It’s dark and lonely and the path is unclear
Can’t move my feet because I’m frozen in fear
Then you say, “My child, my child –
I am always here, I’m by your side”
 
Tyler Burkum’s (the song’s vocalist) voice has been described as amazing. But on this night I didn’t hear Tyler. I heard the voice of Jesus. I heard him tell me that I’m not alone. But, “my child”? That was a loaded phrase to me because I constantly felt like I had been letting down my earthly parents. During that time period, I never had thoughts of suicide. But I had definitely lost my desire to live.
 
You’re never too far down
I promise you’ll be found
I’ll reach into the mud and mirely clay
Pursue you to the end
Like a faithful friend
Nothing in this world can keep me away
 
I did not deserve this ‘pursuit’ that this song spoke of. But at that very moment, I accepted it. I accepted this undeserved pursuit that led me to being rescued from the ‘mud and mirely clay’. I’ve always heard the verse in the Bible that talks about ‘heaven rejoicing over one sinner who repents’ (Luke 15:7).
I heard a teacher describe this as the ‘Great Homecoming’. I have been in those airports when parents bring their newly adopted children home. The family gathers inside the terminal and when the child first appears, there is a huge celebration. All the time and money invested in adopting a child culminates in that moment. I always imagined that’s what heaven is like when someone comes ‘home’.
And on this particular night, heaven rejoiced.

Rafal’s identity book

I accidentally erased my last post on Helping a Child With Identity Crisis! Ania and I were playing around with posting Rafal’s Identity book and I got carried away with the delete button. I may try to rewrite it, but not today.

Below are some photos from Rafal’s Identity book. I made it for him about almost two years ago when he was struggling with HIS story and asking me the same questions multiple times a day. I know the photos are hard to see that is why I added the text. The point is simple. The book is rudimentary. You don’t have to be an artist to make your child one. The TRUTH IS IMPORTANT. The WORD is KEY.

Once upon a time there was a tiny baby being knit together in his birth mother’s belly.
For you did form my inward parts; You did knit me together in my mother’s womb. Psalm 139: 13

The baby’s birth mother drank alcohol. This hurt the tiny baby’s body. But, God the Father was there.

Your eyes saw my unformed substance, and in Your book all the days [of my life] were written before they took shape, when as yet there was none of them. Psalm 139:16

While this baby was still in his mother’s womb, his siblings- Damian, Gregory and Ania became very ill. Damian was five. Gregory was four. Ania was two.

Though I walk in the midst of trouble, You will revive me; You will stretch forth Your hand against the wrath of my enemies, and Your right hand will save me. Psalm 138:7

The police came and took Damian, Gregory and Ania because they were not being cared for. The baby’s siblings stayed in the hospital for three months. When they recovered, they were put in an orphanage.

He executes justice for the fatherless and the widow, and loves the stranger or temporary resident and gives him food and clothing. Deut. 10:18

More of Rafal’s Identity book coming soon!

Identity Crisis

EVERYONE at some point has an identity crisis.

I’m different.

Something is wrong with me.

No one understands me.

Who are these people in my family? I am nothing like them.

Identity crisis is not a new concept. It is as old as time. The early church struggled with identity just as much as we do today.

Suddenly the gates of the Gospel were open to all- Jews, Greeks, slaves, freemen, Romans. People groups across the settled globe, thanks to the missionary journeys of Paul, were embracing the message of the Gospel.

Pagan cultures and Jews alike accepted the free gift of salvation and were adopted into the family of Christ. Did they feel love and accepted? Did they fit in? Shouldn’t they have?

“As pig-eating Gentile believers-formerly goddess worshipers and Caesar magnifiers and all the rest began confessing Jesus as the Messiah, some Jewish Christians demanded to know, “Are they circumcised?” This meant of course, “Are they really our brothers?”- Russell Moore, Adopted for Life

Arguments about what to eat and if they should be circumcised erupt. Paul corrects the identity crisis-thinking in Romans, Galatians and Ephesians.

Where do these suppositions originate?

Adopted children (especially teens) are told that a deep longing will rise up in them to find out who they are. EVERYONE feels this. Every person of the face of the planet has a deep innate longing to know who they are, how they fit in-everyone desires to belong, yet they doubt their right to exist.

Everyone at some point, feels rejection, abandonment, at some level, loss, tragedy. Why is it that we purposely quantify it in terms of the adopted population, but not qualify it in the rest of the population?

Everyone qualifies for rejection. Not one person is immune to it. It the early church Paul assured the new converts.

“There is [now no distinction] neither Jew or Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is not male and female; for you are all one in Christ.” Galatians 3:27

“Therefore you are no longer outsiders (exiles, migrants, and aliens, excluded from the rights of citizens) but you now share citizenship with saints (God’s own people, consecrated and set apart for Himself) and you belong to God’s [own] household. Ephesians 2:19

You do belong. You fit in God’s family. The conflict of identity is solved in Christ.