Polka-Dot Love

15 08 2015

As a parent, I came to appreciate the uniqueness of each of my seven children. Their little personalities were varied, their needs different from child to child.

I could not offer a one-size-fits-all kind of love or attention to them. Each one responded to different styles or interactions..the Five Love Languages, and all that. Part of my role as their mother was to figure out what each one needed, then supply that need.

As adults each of us have ways by which we best feel love. We have a heavenly Father who knows how to best meet that need, and He does so. His ways of communicating with us are as varied as the number of people in existence.

He’s a good Father.

When children are adopted, they come with ‘baggage’ from their family of origin. The challenge for the adoptive parents is to overcome what the child ‘knows’ about a father and/or a mother, for his or her concept is often skewed. When the new parents are patient, gentle, and persistent, the child comes to accept that they are loved, and slowly replace what they thought they knew about what a mom or dad is, with the new reality.

This can be a lengthy process, one that tears at the hearts of their new parents until breakthroughs begin to occur.

Right after my second birthday, I was adopted by my new step-dad. Unfortunately, he wasn’t interested in winning my heart – only in winning the imagined competition against my father. Sadly, he didn’t want the ‘trophy’ (me), that came with ‘victory’.

Kids aren’t equipped with the mental ability to understand that a parent is broken, and unable to love…so they call what they receive “love” and believe their experience to be the true definition. The rest of their life most will continue to define love by what they learned from their father.

As most are wont to do, I superimposed the treatment I received from my ‘dads’ over what I expected from God. I wrote about my experiences her: Unlock Your Shackles

When God adopted me, He ‘had His work cut out for Him’, as they say. It’s been a lengthy, slow process, but His love never fails and His patience is enduring.

At first I trusted Him not at all. He persisted, though, and has used methods that are unique to me in order to win my heart. This blog is filled with such stories: pink shoes, heart-shaped rocks, a gold lambskin jacket, provision when we had no food (for six months!), heart-shaped potatoes, and so forth.

While this looks like He panders to my materialism, that couldn’t be further from the truth.

My love language is not shopping!

Being Spirit in nature, He cannot wrap me in His arms, stroke my hair, or hold my hand. (However He did dance with me one day! See: Shall We Dance?) Consequently, He’s been creative in the ways He communicates His love to me. Each of the things listed came with a special lesson for me to learn about what a good Father is like.

Severely put off by what I believed about fathers, this unlearn/re-learn process has taken decades. Because He loves me and wants me to be secure in Him, He’s gone out of His way to demonstrate His goodness.

When others’ experiences with Father differ from ours, we must guard against undoing His work. What offends our senses may be merely because the experience was not meant for us. Unless their ‘take-away’ twists God into a heinous creature, we do well to rejoice with them in their breakthrough.

God knows how to best reach every one of us. He relentlessly pursues us and teaches us just how good He is.

As a kid, I was fond of polka-dots.

As an adult, I am fond of His polka-dot love for me…specially and deliberately designed to melt my heart.

He’s a good Father!

*Oh, the three verses I promised to share will be in my next post. 😉

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5 responses

15 08 2015
Heidi Viars

The “broken parent” part spoke to me. We are in the process of adopting three. Oh, how right you are… how grateful I am that the Lord is unlike any other (and not like us) … He indeed knows how to speak love into our lives and bind us all together in it!!! THANKS Tami!

15 08 2015
lessonsbyheart

I’m so thankful for those kids. We’ve got friends who’ve adopted boys who were each six at the time of their adoption. One had no idea what silverware was – or that meals were eaten at specific times. The other didn’t know what a blanket or even a bed were. He’d slept his entire life curled up in a ball in the corner of his room.

The couple who’ve added them to their family are wonderful, godly people. Those boys are well loved today – and know it!

Blessings to you, your husband, and your new kids!
\o/

15 08 2015
Mel Wild

You give a perfect picture of our adoption in Christ and how He has to sift through all our orphan baggage to transform us into who we aleady are in Him as His fully affirmed and beloved sons and daughters. Awesome insights, Tami. Blessings.

15 08 2015
lessonsbyheart

I’m thankful He was willing to do so. 😊 I couldn’t have survived otherwise.

15 08 2015
lessonsbyheart

At the top of the screen, click on “Reader” – Click on Following – then the gear in the right corner of the box. This should bring up a list of the blogs to which you’ve subscribed. Locate Lessons by Heart, and you should be able to unsubscribe there.

Sorry for the inconvenience. I had to look around to find the list, too.

God bless,
\o/

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