August 31, 2009

Choosing the Good

A while back, I wrote about some upsetting news. On a whim, I decided to Google my birth dad's name, just to see what popped up. I didn't expect to find anything with his name, except for perhaps an obituary. No one has heard anything about him for a while, so I half expected him to be dead. I was greatly surprised when the first result for his name was the Florida list of sex offenders. I clicked on the link, which provided a picture, his date of birth, and his criminal record. After digging out my baby book and comparing the birth dates and the pictures that I have, I had no choice but to conclude that it was, indeed, my birth dad. Reading through his criminal record was a sad affair, full of substance abuse, repeated arrests, jail time, and two known victims of his abuse. Sexual abuse is part of my history as well, and I know how devastating it can be. When I realized that I shared DNA with someone who could do that, I didn't know what to think.
My personality is such that when I receive bad news, I retreat. I'm not the type to talk to a lot of people and seek people out. I prefer to be left alone. Nevertheless, I did talk to a couple of friends about what I was feeling. One friend in particular was helpful in her unexpected reaction to my news. While she was sympathetic to me, she also saw the good in the situation - this was my birth dad I was talking about, not my dad. God had removed me from that person's influence by arranging my adoption years ago. While I did experience sexual abuse, thankfully it was when I was older and it wasn't by a family member. I didn't have to deal with the double trauma of early abuse and incest.
When I left this friend's company, I was still sad over what I had learned, but I was also able to thank God for showing me so clearly how He had provided for me. My adoption has always been painful to me. I've struggled with feeling unwanted and abandoned for most of my life. I've asked "Why?" more times than I can count. I've known that my birth parents were deeply flawed. I've known that I was far better off with my adopted parents, and I'm grateful for them. But it wasn't until I learned just how flawed my birth dad is and then spoke to my friend that I was able to see God's providence.
How often does our perspective take our eyes off of our ability to see God's providence? What would happen if we purposefully chose to see the good in every situation?

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing so freely. You have a lot going on in your past, but keeping your eyes on Christ through the windshield is a much better option than trying to peer into the tiny space of the rear view mirror.

    What I find so encouraging with adoption stories is that you were lost on earth, and your adoptive family "saved" you by providing a better life.

    Similarly, but much more amazingly, you were still lost on earth, but Jesus saved you in the very real sense of the word and now you have eternal life.

    Praise Him!


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