“Before I formed you in the womb, I knew and approved of you, and before you were born I separated and set you apart, consecrating you…” Jeremiah 1:5
It begins. With us. The moment before our own birth into the world. The person God set us out to be.
I tried to calm myself by justifying my decision. I told myself a thousand times that regardless of the pain, the choice I made was right. In the face of others I denied the torturous guilt and alluded to the fact that my child was happy and healthy and that’s what mattered most, although I never really knew for sure if that were true.
Tied to a hundred ropes pulled in a hundred different directions, struggling to hold on. Which way to go, which way to believe, and who to follow through this? I ached for some direction, for anything and anyone to have enough confidence to pull me out. To help me on. To give me the fight and the will to start again.
The agency would have me believe that my child was wonderfully peaceful and joyous and that I could do nothing greater than move on. My family, those around me who loved me, knew nothing of my struggle or, in fact, how it had and would continue to affect them as well. Friends were long gone in the shadows of my past, those days of careless idolatry and popularity wilted away before my very eyes.
And I felt broken in a world that could not help me repair myself. No one could or would help. There seemed to be no answer.
“Now you, too, have proved to be of no help.” Job 6:21
That’s where it takes us, seeking help and aid from others. To a place where our friends are ultimately insufficient to heal our wounds. It’s because we must seek help and aid from our own spirits, not from our own One True Guide. (Don’t get me wrong, we DO need these things from others, but we must first seek validation from ourselves.)
In this very midst of brokenness and helplessness, although I cannot trace it back to a perfect moment, there came upon me a desire to make a choice. To choose what would become of me.
I laid down the sword of validation and shushed my cries for help. In a moment of realization, and quite possibly understanding, that others could never do for me what I could very well do for myself, I reared up and stood strong and faced the ultimate challenge of all: to be unbroken.
Many Christians believe that the only true form of healing can come in the form of “brokenness,” not “Un-” brokenness. But in my own journey, I believe what saved me was my will to NOT have a broken spirit. I would remain steadfast in the one thing that no one else could take from me. My will to believe.
Where no one else could help me– just as in Job, “Now you, too, have proved to be of no help”– I would make the choice to call on God. Through Him, I would take my Unbroken Spirit and be Broken before God. Make sense? Look at it another way:
I always knew what I was running from, even when I was being unfairly chased. I always was aware of choices that could be made … even when I felt like a victim to the demand and desires of others. If I looked hard enough … they were there. The choices that would make me … me. Deep down it came down to my will. My spirit.
I could not fight for change in the lives of others who were unwilling to rear up and face the issues head-on with me. I had to let them go. I had to let them fall away. I could only do what was required of me … to save myself from being broken. To keep my spirit strong.
Adoptees, if you are struggling to make sense or make peace in your relinquishment, if you are in the midst of what seems to be an endless search for birth family … know this one thing: You have the power to be unbroken, regardless of what is missing at the present time. Seek it deep within you … the voice that may be that of your mother’s, the touch you felt through the years but could never explain. The laughter that signifies your presence– it ripples the tides of your mother’s joy. Seek it deep within you … pull it up and take strength from it. It is not missing … it is there. For you exist, and in you, does she. Seek that. Seek the unbroken spirit within you until you find it and hold it long enough … until you are made strong in it. So that no matter what happens, whether you find yourself in her arms again or not … you chose to be unbroken from her … as I believe in my heart, she so did on the day she last saw you. And as God chose the day that He formed you in your birth mother’s womb … He set you apart and consecrated you for His purpose. Nothing, with God, is in vain.
Birth mothers, if you are struggling to make sense or make peace in your relinquishment, if you are in the midst of what seems to be an endless search for healing, or recovery … know this one thing: You have the power to be unbroken, regardless of what is missing at the present moment. If you hold on to what matters most, if you take it in your heart and guard it, live it, and honor it … you never really lose it. It becomes a part of you … the strongest part of all … your will to survive. Your will to be better. Hold on to that … if nothing else. Hold on to that unbroken part of you that no one else on earth can tame or break … and claim it as your own.
In those moments in which I laid down my need for others to make the pain go away, or even my desire to have them acknowledge it … I realized that ultimately no one else could do for me the one thing that I had to do for myself.
And that was to be strong enough to be unbroken.
Don’t let others tame who you are. Don’t let them break your spirit. Call upon yourself the greatest strength of all … exist with the will to stop running from or towards others and start standing strong in who you are.
It’s God’s gift to those who believe. The strength to be unbroken. When everything else comes up against us … we have the ultimate power to choose what it then makes of us.