She was seven when she left the north country and moved to Missouri with a new step-dad. Living with her grandparents for several years had been a refuge for three little kids and mom going through a divorce. Change again crept unnoticed into her horizon like a red-hued dawn.
Her step-dad, born and bred in Georgia, had a languid southern drawl and southern charms. He called her “sugar” and played baseball in the back yard. He was fascinating in an alien sort of way. Not the get close and check it out kind, but still, intriguing from a safe distance.
As she and her siblings jostled each other for space in back of the green Chrysler Imperial, she didn’t know the word “uproot.” All of life would change in the time it took to leave Minnesota and move into a brick duplex in small town Missouri. Her grandfather wasn’t there to make MaltoMeal on cold winter mornings. She missed the metallic taste of vitamins her grandmother doled out with hugs. No more afternoons at the kitchen table with cousins, eating cake donuts and drinking milk and no more dramatic productions of fairy tales in the basement as the adults talked upstairs.
Uprooted. How bad could it be? She was only seven and maybe the roots weren’t that deep anyway. It would be an adventure, a journey as a new family formed. Her adult self was grateful for the step-dad who not only adopted she and her siblings, but became an active dad. He played, disciplined, and loved.
Her childish heart, on the other hand, felt abandoned. In her eyes, she didn’t fit and didn’t belong. The orphan mentality, while not true, etched into her little girl’s perceptions as a stylus of circumstance seemed to confirm she was truly alone.
It wasn’t until years later she discovered the Spirit of Adonai, the Lord. He had come to bind up her broken heart and proclaim liberty to that small captive. But how?
He would open her eyes. Her life became a journey of freedom as she saw and received truth. The poverty and encased walls of the orphan spirit were dismantled in the generosity and open arms of her Creator whose resources and love were unlimited.
The orphan’s mindset was a dead-end road. It was self-adulation when she succeeded and self-flagellation when she failed. In the journey with Love, she discovered a secret. She had always had a good Abba. He had never left, failed or forsaken her. He just waited when the invitation of her heart opened her eyes.
Today, may the invitation of our hearts continue to open our eyes. We will see a multiplication of His goodness in our lives this year. Why? Because we are willing to learn what we don’t know and see what we haven’t seen – all in the light of His eyes that illumine the orphan’s heart and sets us free.