One afternoon when I was thirteen years old I was cleaning the rec room in our basement. Through the vents I could hear my parents arguing in their room so I did what most kids in my position would do...I climbed up on the couch and stuck my head right under the vent so I could hear better.
My parents hardly ever argued (or discussed, as mom called it) so when they did it was a major event in my life. My dad was upset. He wanted my mom to talk to me about something, to tell me something before someone else did. My mom didn’t think I was ready. My dad said I was thirteen and needed to know. They went back and forth for a while in hushed urgent tones until it dawned on me. I knew what they were talking about.
I slumped down on the couch and giggled. They were freaked out about when they were going to give me ‘The Talk’. I was a normal teenage girl who was friends with other normal teenage girls and we had already pooled our limited knowledge and come up with a basic idea of all things The Talk would cover.
Later that evening my dad took my sister out for a while and my mom called me upstairs to chat with her. I was grinning when I entered the living room because I could see that she was uncomfortable. I almost started to laugh when I scanned the room and saw that she had her Bible and a notepad on the coffee table. Oh Lord, please tell me she is not going to draw pictures!
I sat down and mom picked up the Bible and read from Psalm 139. “You formed my inward parts...they were written, the days fashioned for me...how precious are Your thoughts of me.” Then she told me something that I’d never heard but somehow already knew. She was my birth mother but my dad was not my birth father.
She explained that when she was 17 years old she made a bad decision that lead to her getting pregnant with me. She made a mistake but I was not a mistake. Even though she didn’t plan for me, God had a plan for me. She went on to tell me that the man I knew as my dad chose me; he wanted to be my dad and that this information didn’t change a thing about who I was or what our family was. She did well to reassure me but the news still shook me up and made me question if God really meant for me to be here. So I did some research.
Even at 13 years old I loved to do research so I took my Bible and started to search for exceptions to Psalm 139. Not only did I not find one single place where God disqualified someone because of the circumstances of their birth, I found dozens of examples of God using people just like me...and worse. He chose people to be His own not because of their past but in spite of it.
In the years to come I had a youth pastor who was passionate about teaching youth the truth about who they are in Christ. Every Friday night for four years I heard that God knew me, chose me and destined me for greatness in Him. That I was worthy not because of who I was but because of who Christ is in me. I heard it and week after week it became a part of who I was.
At a time in my life when I could have easily become disconnected and separated from God I was turned toward Him and became confident in His love for me and the plan He had for me before the beginning of time. The truth I read in the Bible became the truth I knew about myself. To this day there is a lot I don’t know but this one thing I do know...Jesus loves me and God has a plan for me.
It is my hope that you will find that same confidence as I share with you this thing that I know over the next few weeks...that you will experience the truth and depth of God’s love for you and open your heart to all the possibilities His plan has for you.