March 21, 2014 by Renee Griffin
The sun kept on coming up every day after my birth mother and I stopped talking. Broken hearts don’t stop life. The sun will rise and set each day regardless of the condition of your heart. You can be filled with so much pain and hurt that the world seems dark and still the light of the sun breaking over the horizon will blind you.
Pain and sadness filled my heart as I faced the days with no communication.
My heart was broken, but it needed to break.
Beth Moore said, “sometimes God has to break you so He can remake you.” I was so moved when I read her words that I wrote them in my Bible. There was major heart repair needing to take place in my life.
In my brokenness, God showed me a painful truth.
I had set up an idol.
Scriptures say “Have no other gods before Me.”, but just because I haven’t seen any Baal-type temples lately doesn’t mean I don’t have idols. Idols come in all forms and can disguise themselves in ways that make it hard to see them for what they really are. Idols in Old Testament days were sometimes made out of bright and shiny metals, but the glistening only hid the darkness inside.
Idols have no light of their own.
They only call to us with false promises based on lies and distract us with the shimmer.
Yet, God knows how drawn we are to shiny things.
I had built a sparkling dream of what this reunion would be like and set my birthmother up on a high place that was never meant for her. The only high place in the life of a Christ follower is a Throne and that seat is already taken.
When you are adopted and your birthfamily’s identity is unknown, you can mentally give them a false identity based on needs within your own life. We all have areas of our childhood that could have turned out better. We can take these perceived missing parts, whether very real or imagined, and project these qualities onto an unknown identity. And there you build an idol. The idols of the OT were designed by men to meet a need among the people whereas by their own evaluation life was lacking. I had done this very thing. In my mind, this reunion and relationship was shining like a new dime, but before a Holy God it was sin.
When my dream seemed to have shattered, God took a piece and held it up against the Truth of His Word. In the Light of scriptures, what He revealed was revolting.
I had set up my birth mother as an idol in my life.
I had placed my hope, in a relationship with her and not in God.
In the midst of shattered dreams, God took me on a new search and rescue mission. This one led me along a path of Truth about myself. I know, because the Word tells me so, Psalm 56:8, that He gathered every single tear I cried. I believe that His heart was aching as He watched me splinter apart, but He didn’t stop it. He could have. He is God. He didn’t stop my pain because He knew it was best that I break. He didn’t leave me there. He never leaves us there alone.
So…where did that leave me now that my birthmother and I weren’t on good terms?
Empty places are beautiful places when God does the filling.
My friend Laura, the one who helped me in the final leg of my search, took it upon herself to make a phone call that would start a new chapter in my story. She wanted so much to help me that she decided she would investigate my birthfather.
So, she called him.
I didn’t know she was going to do it. I certainly wasn’t ready for it, or so I thought. I think she just wanted to see this story she’d been such a big part of have a happy ending. She didn’t even realize how God was using her.
When she called me to tell all about this man she talked to on the phone, I was floored.
While I cried over the empty place in my life, there was a man whose life was really empty. And he was my birth father.
All alone, my birthfather was living in his parent’s house. His father had long since passed away and his mother was in a nursing home. He had been married once, but had been divorced for years. There were no children in his marriage.
His life had not been an easy one. He had faced many struggles, some of his own making, and his health bore the battle scars. A rare illness had affected his sight in his thirties, and he was legally blind.
When Laura called, she wanted to be sure he was the right person so she asked him many questions. He didn’t shy away from answering them. Of course, he was sitting all alone in the house he grew up in almost completely in the dark. He didn’t have anything else to do. So a phone call from a total stranger was interesting until she got to the baby part. Then he almost had a heart attack himself. It was not at all what he expected.
He told Laura his version of the story. He said he knew about the pregnancy, but he never knew what happened. They had not ended on good terms when she told him she was pregnant, and they never spoke again. Bottom line, he went back to his life.
When Laura called me to give me the run down of her conversation with him, I went into shock myself. Yes I knew I had to have a birthfather. Biologically it was certain, but I had put him into a box in my heart and tucked it away for another day. As she gave me the news of her calling him, I remember shaking my head, probably rolling my eyes…yeah eye rolling happened…and thinking…what in the world am I supposed to do about him? I am destroyed here!!! I have lost my dream! I am a hot, stinking mess of raw, bleeding emotions. I can’t do this!!!
He is NOT in MY plan!
Oh, the Grace and Mercy of Jesus…
While I bled, He began to heal me.
It wasn’t getting to know my birthfather that healed me. Make no mistake there. My healing process began in brokenness and was completed in Jesus alone. God led my birthfather right to my doorstep showing me first hand, close up, make no mistake about it, little girl this story is NOT about you.
As Laura talked and I made notes, which I always do… I really began to listen from my heart. He was so open and transparent with her about his life. He was telling her things about his past, his mistakes, his regrets. The honesty of his words registered in me. He was holding nothing back. As I write this, the notes from their conversation sit here beside me. The notes tell of a man who had so little in his current life, but was willing to share the details of his life with a complete stranger.
I still marvel at how much information folks gave us over the phone.
So, Laura gave me several pages of information, and then she gave me his number.
Just like that…
Here is his number. He wants to talk to you.
It was a Saturday afternoon when I dialed his number. True to form, I didn’t wait. I just called. I don’t know what I expected from the call, but I guess when you have no expectations, it can be a good thing.
When my first born son began to talk as a baby, his voice didn’t come out like your average child. The voice coming from this beautiful curly brown headed baby boy with huge, beautiful eyes was not what we expected. Instead we heard a deep, raspy sound that we thought sounded a lot like Arnold Schwarzenegger or Sean Connery. I loved hearing him talk. I still do.
When my birthfather said hello to me that Saturday afternoon, the sound I heard over the line was the same deep, raspy sound I knew from my boy. Just the sound of his voice, just hello, sent waves of something new rushing over me. He wasn’t in my plan. I didn’t even know if I would ever talk to him. I can’t explain why he hadn’t really mattered to me.
Oh, sweet Jesus he mattered to God.
Our first phone call was filled with factual, medical, & historical information. He told me about his life. He didn’t tell me a drama filled tale of woe. His story wasn’t one looking for attention although he may have been that way at one time.
He wasn’t the same man that he was when I was born.
His life had begun with all kinds of privileges and opportunities, but he went down roads and made choices that he wished he could take back.
At this point in his life, with no siblings of his own, no spouse, he was empty of family and limited with friends.
His mother’s health prevented her from leaving the nursing home. His blindness prevented him from visiting without help, so their relationship comprised of a few phone calls.
He told me about a rare genetic illness he had as a boy. My son had battled this same issue. He gave me the full medical profile, and sure enough we both shared many things.
As I listened to him, the connection that I had turned away from and put far back in my mind, began to make contact. This lonely, empty, funny, raspy old man was my birthfather. Now, before you go thinking I am being disrespectful please know that “old man” is what he told me to call him. He knew he hadn’t earned to right to have any title of affection, but over the next months as we talked, he decided that “old man” was appropriate.
We talked for a long time. Like me, he wasn’t short on words. He had lots to say, and I sat stunned after we ended the phone call.
God had closed one door and opened another.
I couldn’t begin to fathom what The Lord would do in my life over the next year. When I thought the journey had finally ended, it had only just started. When I thought I’d lost everything, God gave me something I didn’t even ask for.
In John chapter 8, Jesus was speaking and said, “I am the Light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the Light of Life.” verse 12
Jesus never promised us we wouldn’t go through dark times. He did promise us that we would walk through them with His Light.
The sun kept on rising while I broke over losing contact with my birthmother, God allowed it so He could reveal a dark place and heal me with His Light, and He walked me through it all right to the doorstep of a man who sat each day in the darkness of blind eyes.
Only God could orchestrate a story like this, but it shouldn’t come as any surprise.
He IS the Light of Life.
Are you going through dark times?
Know this.. If Jesus Christ is your Savior, He is right there with you. When times get tough and you can’t see which way to go, look to Jesus. When you feel like the broken pieces will never go back together right, look to Jesus. When your dreams shatter, look to Jesus. He is the Light of Life and the only One who can SEE in the dark.
I didn’t know what to say or think about all this that was going on in my life. So I did what I do, and I sent in the hubs.
My husband, the protector, went knocking on the door of my birthfather the next week to see this man for himself.
And there he sat…in the dark…just like he’d said.