Just when I’m writing about it being my turn…
Over the last three days I have had the privilege of hearing three birthmother’s stories. It rocked me to my core.
Let me start at the beginning.
Thursday night I was in the post-placement support group that I facilitate for birthmothers. It’s called Imprint. An imprint is a lasting mark made by pressure. It is something that happens to a whole—meaning, it is not the whole. I think this describes a birthmother perfectly, no matter what her individual adoption experience is/was/will be.
Anyway, I’m sitting there and we are talking about annoying/hard questions/comments we encounter. Here were some of them:
Didn’t you love your baby?
Aren’t you undermining the parents’ authority by being in relationship with/seeing the kid you gave up?
Just say you don’t have a baby because you don’t have a baby.
Can you get him back?
Where is your baby?
Why can’t you just move on and forget about it?
You’re going to hell.
You will lose all of your blessings and never get blessed again.
How many children do you have?
But there are others. We started with the negative ones, but there are others.
You’re my hero.
You did the best thing for him.
You are so courageous.
I’m so proud of you!
You’re story is amazing.
He is so lucky.
All of this reminded me of my post the other day about not condemning nor clothing a woman caught in adultery. I said to the group, “I feel like half of the people are dragging us through the town and into the Temple naked and the other half are trying to clothe us or politely ignore that we are naked.” Everyone in the room could relate to that, each of them experiencing both sides of this story portrayed for us in John 8.
And I feel like there was a time when I stood before Him with disbelief. What could He possibly offer me that is any different?
He is the One who does not condemn you, nor does He clothe you, but He frees you so that you stand in His presence (and in the Temple), as you are—exposed—with your head lifted to Him. The nakedness doesn’t shame you anymore, it just bears witness to the saving power of Christ, who saves us in ways that we need most.
I wonder if there were others near that woman. I wonder if any other adulterers understood that day that Jesus loves and forgives and frees them too. I wonder if they revealed themselves to God and found that they are loved, accepted, worthy, and secure in His love.
I want to believe that when we are naked in the Temple and the streets and in prayer and in relationship, when we bear witness to Jesus through our story, others are able to understand Him better, encounter Him and receive freedom. I believe that is the power of story. I think Hebrews 11 agrees with me.
I went home thinking about that. How these women reveal themselves to each other in our group in a real and surprisingly inviting way. All are welcome. None are judged. And in that, the healing, miraculous and minute, happens.
So, here I am talking about being so sad I can barely stand it because of the digression and coming death of my mom…Here I am wondering if Jesus is with me even here in this dark hour, and Friday morning at work we have scheduled a videographer to come and help us tell the “birthmother story” through three different women. Being the Pregnancy Counselor, I am to be with them. They are to tell their story to me.
I sat in three different rooms with three different women, and friends, I wept. These stories revealed Jesus—Jesus in hurt, in healing, in joy, in pain, in uncertainty, and in me. These stories were a reflection of the Cross and the Resurrection. I drew closer to Him after witnessing these women naked before me and hearing of their encounter with Jesus.
“Yes, even here.”
I have big love for you, friends. Big love. And I am praying that you are naked and unashamed to tell your story, to live your story out loud. Whatever that looks like in your life, it is a witness to who God is and how He loves us, all of us, no matter where we are physically, emotionally, and/or spiritually.
Even if your story is unresolved, especially if it is unresolved—and all of our physical and emotional stories are unresolved this side of Heaven—I hope you are sharing it. God loves process. He is in it. Even here.