I was recently talking with someone about my desire to adopt. My heart has always ached for the underdog, the outcast, the lonely, the hurting, the oppressed, the one who acts out for obvious reasons. Perhaps that is why the Rocky series is one of my favorite movies of all times. I can watch them or The Lord of the Rings over and over and over. And perhaps that is also why my heart bleeds for Africa and all of the hurting orphans that I have once met there. I know that is why I also love YL. So many hurting kids searching for some answers...the Answer. I wasn't an orphan nor was I adopted. My biological family and my new little family of 3 loves me. However, for far too personal reasons to place publicly on a blog, deep down I can find myself feeling like a hurt little girl who was supposed to be loved but was rather passed around from one bad foster home to the next. But then I finally got placed in a good, adoptive home and they kept telling me that they loved me but I had heard that before...with no good actions to follow...only hurtful ones. Now I had to see it. So I sat back and watched to see if they really loved me and if I could trust them. I appeared strong but deep down I was weak. All I wanted was to see if this time, they really loved me. But that's when HE came. Jesus. He went to great links to show me that He loved me. He died a horrible death on the cross for me. He created me out of nothing, breathed new life into me, invited me into His play ground, covered over my sin with His blood, and accepted me just as I am...yet loved me too much to let me stay that way. So that's the key. His love was enough to satisfy my deepest needs. He was trustworthy and would never let me go. However, He had to teach me. For He knew from the beginning that even though He had created everything and said it was good, there was one thing that I couldn't have yet always longed for. I kept reaching for my "apple." It's the same apple that we all reach for...sin...although the fruit looks different to each of us. But the root is the same...the need to feel loved. And if we don't look to the Lover of our souls for that, we will constantly look elsewhere. For me, I wanted the people around me to validate me and tell me my worth. And that worked for me in some cases. Lots of people really did/do love me. But it was the few that didn't like me and let it be known. Their voice ruled over all and sent me into a foster home of despair. But then HE came...Jesus walked into my pitiful surroundings, dusted me off, and picked me. He adopted me and said, "You are MINE." He loved me with an unfailing love. And I trusted Him. But He knew that I wasn't complete, not this side of heaven. So the lessons began, as is with any child that you are raising. He had to take my apples from me and teach me my worth. It wasn't in the places I thought it was. He was/is my worth! He had to teach me love. For that is why He came. But first I had to learn His love. Next, He had to teach me how to love. So where did He start, with the ones who are the hardest to love of course. And it ripped me, this girl who just wanted to be validated, to my core. But He was determined to give me a new heart. A heart of flesh, no longer a heart of stone. And now He is teaching me my worth and how to love. By this, I know that my God is for me. I now know that we are all foster kids looking for love and we will act out until we let our Abba adopt us. However, He doesn't just want to adopt us so we can later walk into His new heavenly Kingdom. Rather, He wants to adopt us so we will walk in His new Kingdom now...on this side of Heaven. May we live like the children of God that we are, release our "apples," and enjoy all that His playground has to offer. Maybe then I won't have to love so many unlovely people...hahaha.