“Daughters of the Most High King” by Donna Miller, Sept 25, 2017
My husband and I are huge fans of the television show “This Is Us” and are so excited for Season Two to begin tomorrow night.
The show’s first season did a decent job of portraying the many ups and downs that families experience and the love that holds us together.
Following one character in particular, Randall, really got to my heart.
His story begins in Season One as an abandoned infant on the front steps of a Fire Station.
He searches and eventually, at 36 years of age, finds his real father and then discovers that his adoptive mother had kept his biological father from him his entire life.
Forgive me if you haven’t seen Season One yet and I’m sharing too much.
In the episode where Randall and his 2 step-siblings meet at the family cabin after Thanksgiving, Randall accidentally drinks a smoothie that was spiked with ‘super top shelf mushrooms’ (whatever those are) and has visions of his dead adoptive father, Jack, talking to him.
Jack was my favorite character, by the way.
In this emotional scene, he tells his father what mom has done and then cries out, “I spent my LIFE striving for perfection because I live in FEAR that if I let up for one moment, I will remember that I am UNWANTED. And then what will happen to me?”
Hit pause … I need tissue.
The show does a decent job of bringing forgiveness, closure and redemption to Randall’s life.
But that one tender scene sticks with me.
While I was never left on the Fire House steps and raised by adoptive parents, I cried because I know exactly what he was feeling!
We live in a fallen world.
Though we don’t always realize that.
If we are not careful, we can turn inwards and brutally punish our souls for the circumstances we find ourselves in.
Granted sometimes, we can get ourselves into our own pickles.
But other times, we absolutely had nothing to do with the choices that other people made.
What scenarios have left you feeling completely and utterly unwanted, my friend?
In childhood, did you watch a parent pack their suitcase and literally walk right out of your life?
Or maybe, the pages of your story never mention any parents and you wonder where you came from?
Perhaps you had parents that did stick around physically, but mentally and emotionally they were not there for you.
Nothing you did was good enough. Ever.
As a teenager were you ever bullied at school?
Or worse, maybe you had a rough time at school and an even rougher time at home and felt suicide was the only way you could escape?
With wounded souls, we enter adulthood and strive to prove to ourselves and others that we have something that we actually don’t.
Our souls are overdrawn and our hearts are empty.
When a broken person marries another broken person, they spend years trying to take what they need from the other person.
We can’t give or withdraw from an empty bank account. Two broken halves don’t equal a healthy whole.
And the whole cycle begins all over again when we have our own children.
We may feel like we could never be perfect parents. My friend, who does?
Or we determine to out-parent our parents and swear up and down that we will never let our kids feel what we felt and not realize that we are swinging in the completely opposite unhealthy direction and creating new problems and unhealthy patterns that will affect them later.
When does it end?
Not asking Jesus to help me process different events, I carried the anxiety and subsequent depression well into my thirties.
In my own strength, I spent years trying to squash the pain by staying super busy.
Staying busy and distracted helped this deep thinker to not have too much time to think.
Because in the quiet, the enemy would remind me of my worthlessness.
He would remind me that I was not wanted and would never amount to anything.
The busier I stayed, the better off I thought I was.
I over cleaned, over worked, over shopped, over exercised, over smoked, over drank, over tried, over shot at everything!
To feel like I had some sense of control, I would go through periods of anorexia where I wouldn’t eat anything for days.
If I was in a situation where I had to just sit still, like at a stop light, my brain would start counting to keep from thinking.
I know this sounds crazy but I would literally count everything in multiples of threes or sevens … numbers, cars, people, patterns, tiles, or even the minutes or seconds that it took for the light to turn green.
I beat my soul up.
Children beat their souls up when they blame themselves for an absent parent.
Teenagers beat themselves up (or sometimes think of taking their own lives) because they feel they are unwanted or will never amount to anything.
Husbands and wives may blame themselves for their marriages failing and spouses walking out the door when sometimes it was completely out of their control.
Trying to measure up or follow the proverbial dangling carrot is brutal.
Believe me, I know!
Striving for perfection was never God’s plan.
Because its unattainable!
We can’t force others to love us.
We go through life longing to be loved and treasured.
Feeling unwanted can pierce our hearts with real pain.
Sometimes it’s the other person, but sometimes we allow it to happen.
Our longing to be loved can cause us to ignore warning signs.
For instance, I tried to fill my emptiness with friends that were not good for me.
You know how that goes.
When I look back now, I am floored by the depth of the dis-respect I must have had for myself to keep some of the friends that I did.
About a year ago, I was reading Valerie Burton’s awesome book “Get Unstuck, Be Unstoppable: Step Into the Amazing Life God Imagined For You” and she said, quote “There’s no such thing as a friend you can’t trust. If you can’t trust her, she’s not your friend. So stop calling her that. Come up with another name. Associate. Acquaintance. Someone you know. But not friend.”
God meant for me to read that at that moment!
Jesus showed me that I was using the word friend too casually.
He wants us to be kind to everyone. But not everyone is your friend.
And not every friend is meant to be in your inner circle.
I was struggling with letting go of certain friends, *ahem* acquaintances.
Valerie’s words completely broke through.
In His mercy, God Himself moved some manipulative acquaintances out of my life because I was stubborn and wouldn’t let them go.
I have since released them and God has brought me the friends that He wants in “My Story”.
God appointed friends are the best!
When I hang on to something, my hands are tightly clenched closed and God can’t put anything new into them.
The same with clinging to someone in my heart and mind.
If I don’t let them go, I have no room to let God in.
And if we don’t let people that have hurt us off the hook, all our strength is spent keeping the imaginary rope pulled tight around their necks.
When you release a helium balloon, it floats upwards into the sky.
In the same way, we need to release the people who hurt us, either intentionally or unintentionally.
These people may or may not have known better.
It doesn’t matter.
Release them up into Heaven’s custody so you can find peace in your soul and begin the process of healing.
You want to know how kind Jesus was?
I always had a sense that He was there.
Many times, He shined His light through the darkness to let me know that He was there and I didn’t need to be afraid of anything.
But I didn’t understand Him.
I sure couldn’t process that He loved me.
And I could NEVER have imagined that He would want me.
But time and again I would accidentally come across Scriptures (yeah, completely random right?) but I couldn’t see how they applied to me.
My need for control to keep the pain out was keeping me from surrendering to the only One Who could completely heal the pain.
But just like keeping my hands clenched tight prevented God from filling them, closing my soul off to God pushed Him away and kept me trapped right where the enemy wanted me.
In my soul, it was like I was running running running.
I let fear chase me and it just about swallowed me whole!
Then one August evening in 2001, my spirit was so tired of fighting and I stopped running.
I was brushing my hair in front of the mirror when I heard the Lord drop in my spirit, clear as day, “You don’t trust Me because you compare me to your dad, your earthly father.”
And right there in front of that mirror, I wrestled back and forth with God.
I was uncomfortable with seeing God as a father figure because father figures hurt.
But God made it clear that day that He could never be compared to any human on earth.
I started opening my Bible and the Lord was taking me right to the Scriptures that my soul desperately needed.
I saw in Psalm 27:10 that “Even though my father and mother forsake me, the LORD will receive me.”
Romans 8:35-39 promised me that nothing, absolutely nothing and no person (including myself) could ever separate me from the love of God.
A few weeks later, I surrendered my heart to Jesus.
And through the years He has quieted the storm within me just like He calmed the fierce storm on the lake that night in Mark 4:35-41.
The Holy Spirit helped me to let the people who hurt me off the hook and in the process, He set me free.
Their actions don’t define me.
Somebody had hurt them at some point in their life and they desperately need Jesus too.
Most of all, I learned that I was wanted and unconditionally loved by my Heavenly Father.
In fact, God not only loves me, He IS love!
Love is a person. His Name is Jesus. And 1 John 4:18 says that perfect Love (Jesus) casts out fear!
I was blessed to be able to watch Beth Moore’s entire “Audacious” Live Simulcast from my favorite spot on our sofa a few years back, and my greatest takeaway was when she said that the opposite of fear is not faith.
The opposite of fear is adoption.
That has seriously stuck with me.
That is one thought that I am thankful to rehash over and over in my mind.
Our standing as adopted Daughters of God … that’s what threatens the kingdom of darkness.
The enemy can try to convince us that our faith is not strong enough.
But he will NEVER be able to contend with Jesus over our position as the very loved Daughters of the most High King!
Jesus is our advocate.
When we truly repent and receive the Holy Spirit of God, in that moment our names are written in Heaven’s Book of Life.
Like a lawyer speaks for the defendant before the judge, Jesus’ blood covers us and the enemy is rendered powerless in the courts of Heaven.
Scripture tells us, “For you have not received a spirit of bondage again to fear, but you have received the Spirit of divine adoption as sons (and daughters), by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” Romans 8:15 (Emphasis in parenthesis mine)
The dictionary defines ‘adoption’ as “Legally taking another’s child and bringing it up as one’s own. Choosing someone to receive special recognition. Formally approve or accept.”
Some synonyms of the verb “adopt” are: Accept. Approve. Embrace. Endorse. Select. Support. Affirm.
I don’t know your personal story.
But are you in that place where you feel alone and unwanted?
Like you will never measure up no matter how hard you try?
Are you ‘running, running, running’ away in your soul because the emptiness and quiet is just too much to bear?
Believe me, I can promise you that I know in my heart just how awful that feeling is.
The Lord wants you to stop running.
You may be afraid to open your heart to other people at the moment but don’t be frightened to surrender it to your Creator.
The One Who loves your soul!
You were not created to walk this earth alone.
You were created to be loved!
You are not fatherless.
Deuteronomy 31:6 says: “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6
Did you hear that?
He will NEVER leave you or forsake you.
What does forsake mean? I’m glad you asked! It means God will never abandon you. He will never turn His back on you or shut you out. He will never give up on you or cast you aside.
God is not a human being that He would or could lie.
You know how sometimes people can be married but still feel disconnected and lonely?
Their spouse is right there with them, but their hearts are far from them.
Well, Jesus will never turn His heart away from you like that.
He will never forsake you.
You are not invisible.
You are wanted.
He calls you as His own.
Jesus is shining His light through the darkness right now.
He did His part.
But you have to respond.
No matter how alone you have been in the past, the future does not have to be the same.
There is hope.
I can promise you that you won’t lose control if you let Jesus in.
In fact, He will turn your entire world right side up!
One small little step at a time in the right direction.
That’s what He has done for me, my friend!
I smile now because the silence has become my friend.
My soul stopped running.
I am not fatherless!
It is peaceful in His quiet.
It is in His quiet where I enjoy the presence of my Savior and He fills my soul to overflowing.
And you can have this too!
What is your story?
We all have one.
Don’t let the enemy keep you hidden with him in the dark.
Life is too short and I pray that the remaining pages of your story will be one of redemption and restoration.
Please contact any one of us girls here on our Blog if you need a friend to pray with you!
- What is your story?
- When you read my story, could you relate to any part of it?
- Are you struggling to believe that Jesus loves you?
- Would you be willing to take courage and surrender to Him today?
Link to Kari Jobe’s Video: Kari Jobe “I am not alone”
When I’m standing in the fire
I will not be overcome
Through the valley of the shadow
I will not fear
I am not alone
You will go before me
You will never leave me
The dark of night will not overtake me I am pressing into You
Lord, You fight my every battle
And I will not fear
You amaze me
You’re my defender
You’re my refuge in the storm
Through these trials
You’ve always been faithful
You bring healing to my soul