I think anyone who has walked with God long enough has a testimony of His faithfulness. Time after time when He has shown up in our circumstances in a way that not only shapes who we are but drastically changes the trajectory of our life. As my son turned 16 on Saturday, I couldn’t help but feel OLD. I also couldn’t help but reflect on all the ways my life has been changed through being his mom.
We all know that we can trust God with our circumstances, but do we know that He will show up for us even when we don’t? We all know that things will work out when we are actively pursuing Christ, but do we know that they will even when we aren’t? Do we know that God’s faithfulness is not dependent on our own?
I was 18 years old when my son Adrian was born. I did not give birth to him but I jokingly say my sister was my surrogate because I always knew he was mine. I felt a connection with him long before he was born and I was smacked quite frequently for my relentless need to make him familiar with my voice from inside my sister’s stomach.
To keep a long story short, around the time Adrian was 4 months old, there were circumstances surrounding the theft of my car and my sister’s substance use that changed my life forever. I found myself in a parking lot in the middle of the night with a 4 month old baby in my arms and no car seat, no crib, no bottles, no formula, no diapers, NO NOTHING. I left my apartment that Friday night a 19 year old going out on the town and returned that Saturday morning before the sun came up a 19 year old mommy. Talk about not time to prepare!!
Fast forward version of the events that followed: I lost my job, rented a room from a friend of my best friend’s brother, I met and moved in with my now husband of 12 years (he went through the police academy with the husband of the couple I was renting a room from)…all in a matter of 5 months of getting Adrian. It took 2 years for the adoption to be final.
I had no intention of being a mom at the age of 19. To be honest, I had no business being a mom at that time in my life. When I took Adrian home that first night, I had every intention of turning him over to CPS that Monday morning, believing with everything in me that was in his best interest. I wanted him but I didn’t believe I was good for him. I couldn’t even take care of myself. It took one look in his eyes and he owned me. I was literally paralyzed to any idea other than being his mommy for the rest of my life. It made no sense. My family disowned me because they thought I was making the biggest mistake of my life. But I just knew deep down there was no other option.
I grew up knowing about God because of my love, my Nana. I asked Jesus into my heart at a young age and was baptized at the age of 13. I spent my teen years in youth group and had genuine encounters with God at various youth camps. HOWEVER, from the time I was kicked out of my aunt and uncle’s house at the age of 18 until, and even after, this incident in my life, I was not living for God. I hadn’t necessarily turned my back on Him but I was living very much contrary to His will for my life to put it nicely. I was not seeking His guidance, I was not in relationship with Him, and I definitely was not actively trusting or pursuing Him.
I would love to say God made it clear, that I trusted God with this life decision, that I knew everything would be ok because He held my future…not the case. God wasn’t even in the forefront of my mind. But that’s the greatest testament to His faithfulness. I know that, in spite of myself, God changed me from the inside, that He directed my path, that He knew what was best for me, and He showed up!!!! I thought I was changing Adrian’s life by offering him something better than the life he would have lived otherwise. What I didn’t consider, and what has been overwhelmingly evident ever since, was the ways Adrian would change my life. The ways that God would grow me through being Adrian’s mom. Here I thought I was saving Adrian but he was actually saving me.
Logistically, I would have never lost my job, never needed to rent the room from the couple who introduced me to my now husband, which would have consequently prevented the birth of my daughter. On a deeper level, I would have never known the sacrificial love of my Heavenly Father. I never received that kind of love from my own parents and I had no earthly idea of what that felt like until I felt that for someone else.
I have many stories of how God has shown up for me throughout my life but this by far is one of the most pivotal. Sometimes when we can’t find the words, we find a song that says it perfectly for us. Remembrance from Hillsong Worship says,
“[…] You’ve been so, so good to me
You’ve been so, so good to me
Oh to think where I would be
If not for You
If not for You […]
As far as heights reach from the depths
As far as east is from the west
So far Your grace has carried me
Until I see You face to face
Until at last I’ve won my race
Remind me You’re not finished yet
I’ll live in remembrance”