Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Yes to God on Tuesdays

Thank you for dropping by and joining me with our host Lelia, who is leading us through an online bible study. The author Lisa Whittle wrote the book titled “Behind Those Eyes” so that we, as women would desire to go deeper in to our souls and not hide ‘behind those eyes.’

anything in purple is from Lisa's book
If I told you I’ve never felt loved, I would be lying. The truth is I have always felt loved (take note of the word felt)…from my parents, the world, and especially the men in my life. Knowing if God loved me never seemed to be issue but accepting it, now that's a whole different ballgame.

Lisa’s says “The reality is that many of us have known about God’s love for a long, long time. She then mentions the verse that most of us have learned from birth, John 3:16. She goes on to say…“the difference in the way we see that verse now is the difference between head knowledge and heart knowledge.”
What is the difference between head knowledge and heart knowledge? I would never say that I’m an expert on the love factor because as you ladies know, I’ve searched for love in all the wrong places. But I do know what it means to belong, to be accepted and adopted in to a family.

You see, my biological mom, found out she was pregnant at the age of 15 by a young man with empty promises. It was just two weeks before her 16th birthday when she gave birth to a baby girl…me. She tried her best to raise me and provide a good life, which most would say “we just existed.” It was about 2 years after my grand arrival, along with my baby sister; she did something that was inconceivable to most. She put our needs before her feelings and allowed a couple to adopt us.

At the time, this couple should’ve been considering how they were going to spend all their free time together. Their children were grown, the house was paid in full and they still had a lot of life to live, yet they choose us.

Even though we didn’t look like them, nor have the same blood type, they accepted us. My sister and I were always reminded on how much they loved us through their sacrifices. Belonging to this family was easy but being their children, to share in their lives and to be called daughter, was sometimes hard to comprehend.

There was a time in my life when knowing the love of my father became a permanent thumb print on my heart.

I had spent most of the day shopping with mom and her friend that summer afternoon, when I decided at the mature age of 11 it was time to have my first experience with cigarettes.

My mom’s friend made it very clear on the way home from our shopping spree; she was going to quit smoking. I watched as she twisted the half emptied pack of cigarettes between her two hands and placed them back into her purse. Within a few minutes we pulled into our driveway and with a determined look on her face, she handed me the pack of cigarettes and asked me to throw them away for her. So, with no hesitation and a smile on my face I said “Sure!”

I quickly ran into the house and carefully placed them in the garbage knowing in my heart that I would return at a later time. After a few hours, I made my way back to where I had placed the twisted cigarettes among the trash. Not wanting to touch anything that was lying around them, I cautiously picked them up and stuffed them in my pant’s pocket.

I proceeded to walk out the front door and went around to the back side of the old lilac tree. I thought, now this will be a good place to start my new adventure. The tree was fairly big and in full blossom. My hope was that the smell of the flowers would help disguise the smell of my actions. I must have lost track of time because the next thing I knew, I looked down and saw millions of cigarette butts lying on the grass. But still in a daze of pleasure, I continued on.

Then I heard his voice…“Tammy, where are you, it’s time for supper.”

I thought how was I going to explain this to my dad? My heart began to pound and I could feel a lump rising in my throat. I knew I was about to be a big disappointment and I just wanted to hide.

Thinking I could cover-up my secret, I began to scoop up, as fast as I could, the cigarettes butts that I so carelessly dropped on the ground. But within seconds my eyes were drawn to two large feet and there would be no denying it… those were the tips of my dad’s boots. I knew at that very moment I was caught. Tears started running down my cheeks as I slowly lifted my head upwards, within moments my eyes meet his and I could see the disappointment taking place his face.

I thought for sure he was going to punish me right then and there. But all he said was…“Why?” I was so ashamed. I told him I was sorry and that I would never do it, again. That is when he put out his hands and gently pulling me to his side. He said “I wished I had never started smoking.” “Tammy, it’s a very bad habit to get into and I don’t want you to make the same mistake I did.” “Let’s go in for supper, we’ll talk later.”

Then as we were walking towards the front door, he said “I want you to know, I love you no matter what.”

That day I knew I belonged, I was family.

It doesn’t matter where I have come from, what I have done or who I might have belonged to before I was chosen. But what does matter is I KNOW I’m completely loved and accepted completely by my Heavenly Father.

16 comments:

KMTM1970 said...

Tammy,

I am so thankful for your post. I have been blessed by two birth moms for I have 2 children who are adopted. The sacrificial love of a b-mom is selfless, and it comes second to God's love for us.

My friend Leebird has been going through a time of revelation about her adoption story and how God loves her. She also posts on "Yes to God on Tuesdays."

Thank you for sharing,

Kristy (KMTM)

Edie said...

What a thought provoking post! There are so many things to ponder on. I make it a point to always tell my grandaughters that I may not always like their behavior but I will always love them. That is so important.

Jennifer said...

Absolutely a beautiful story and testimony to God's love...if our earthly parents...biological or adoptive can love us like that...how much more does our Heavenly Father loves us. You have made me cry because I love my children the same way. It breaks my heart that one is not living for the Lord and the thought of spending eternity without him is so painful. But, is still bigger than his definance.

Congratutions on your straight A's...what an achievement!

Bonnie said...

What an amazing testimony of God's love! Thank you for sharing such intimate details from your life. I enjoy learning more about you.

Bonnie
extendedhope.com

Cindy said...

Tammy,

What a gift your father gave you that day.

This makes my heart rejoice for you.

Blessings, Cindy

Liz said...

What a beautiful post. My mother divorced my bio father and later remarried. That sweet man became my father through adoption and has loved me without condition for 45 years. What a blessing to be reminded of how his love and my heavenly father's love are similar.
Without condition.
Thank you for sharing your story.

Laura said...

Oh, Tammy. Your story about your dad brought tears to my eyes. Words such as the ones he spoke to you--well, just treasure them, friend. What a blessing to always know that you are loved! Isn't it amazing how we all have such different stories, and God is using this study to speak to us through one another?
You touched my heart tonight...

Leebird said...

Hi Tammy!

Thank you for sharing your heart about being adopted. God is working on my heart in that area....helping me see I was chosen not only by my adopted family, but also by my birth mother who chose to go through with the pregnancy....and I don't even have to mention God, right? His hand of favor is the best one!

nothingcanseparateme said...

Tammy,

I have tears in my eyes--what a blessing your earthly Father was that day!! My oldest son has started smoking and I always let him know when "he stinks" but I have tried (it is work) to keep telling him how much I love him anyway. His choices are between him and God. AND God loves him anyway too!!

great post!
Kim

Carol said...

Tammy,

What a beautiful story, thank you for sharing that. My husband adopted my daughter just this last April, 4 years after our marriage. The were close before but their bond is so much greater now. I love how he gave you grace and love when catching you with the cigarettes, not condemnation. What a great earthly picture of our Heavenly Father's Love.

Your posts always touch my heart, and I count you as one of my friends.

Love,
Carol

LAURIE said...

Tammy,
It is nice to meet you. Thank you for leaving a comment on my fun friday today so I could pop over and get to know you.

Jennifer is a good friend of mine (not just blogging - a real-life friend) - she and I go to church together. So I am glad that you found me thru her.

I read this post about your adoption and about your "Father" accepting you into his family. I also have a story of a father accepting me except mine brings me to the God, the Father accepting me in the absence of my earthly father. I shared my personal story on my blog back in June - I would love for you to read my story ....

http://womentakingastand.blogspot.com/2008/06/my-fathers-eyesmy-story.html

Thanks for sharing your story with us. -Blessings, Laurie

Paula (SweetPea) said...

This is a very touching post. What a wonderful example of love that your earthly father displayed to you. I can only imagine the love and warmth that swelled your heart that day.
Sweet blessings,
Paula

Marsha said...

Tammy,

What a beautiful testimony! It's a beautiful illustration of love. Thank you for sharing your adoption story with us, and your experience with your dad.

Have a blessed weekend.

Marsha

Marsha said...

Oh! And congratulations on winning one of Pat's DVD series! What a blessing. My daughter was one of the winners and she chose to ask Pat to send it to me to use in my ministry to women.

Lisa said...

Tammy,
This story is a beautiful picture of love and acceptance from an earthly father, and it reminds me of how much MORE our Heavenly dad loves us. Thank you for sharing this experience and illustrating so perfectly what this chapter is really all about. May you continue to walk in the truth about how much He loves you for the rest of your life!

Much love,
Lisa :)

Lelia Chealey said...

Oh my goodness...I think I cry everytime I come here. You can't join the next study. JUST KIDDING!! :)
I love your heart and what you share from it with us.
I've shared about your mom with my Mom and sister and we all were teary eyed. Especially when she had the brace on and was sad and said it was cuz she couldn't read her Bible. Oh, so heart touching.
Love ya,
Lelia