I spent a recent evening sharing part of my story with a group of women whose hearts keep a beat similar to my own. We were at an adoption conference, so I talked about each of my four children, some of whom sailed into our family from across oceans, some who skipped across the St. Joe River like a smooth stone made just for our hands.
But of course, nothing about the blending of families and cultures and forever can be described as sailing. And fractured beginnings don’t inspire anyone to skip.
For weeks I prayed about what these women (myself included) needed to hear from the Lord. Over and over, He spoke one word to me, “Chosen.”
I began to dig around and see what the word really meant, and I walked away grinning.
Merriam Webster, defines it as, “One who is the object of choice or of divine favor.” (emphasis mine)
Though God’s sovereignty undoubtedly led our decision to adopt each of our children, we did choose them. The sheer amount of paperwork, meetings, and even cash required ensures no one would ever accidentally “fall into” a mini van full of kids bearing their last name and someone else’s DNA.
What else does it mean to be chosen?
I kept digging.
A thesaurus said my children are “selected”, “marked for favor”, “hand picked.” I nodded along knowing if I could comb the world, I would never choose differently. Our kids are forever, indelibly marked for our favor.
Adopted, biological, or otherwise, I’m sure you would say the same. We all choose our kids. For life.
I thought of the times ours have disappointed us, made stunningly poor choices, intentionally tried to hurt our feelings. The details always pale in the light of our limitless love for them.
I glanced back at the dark nights, those long days wearing thick scars of loss. We’ve had therapists, interventions, sticker charts out the wazoo, tear-soaked pillows (ours and theirs). Still, I’m sure none of our efforts matter as much as choosing our children over and over again; day after day.
Being chosen changes things.
What on earth might it mean if we were chosen in the very same way, flaws, wounds and all?
What would life look like if we could walk daily in our chosen-ness? Would the ground feel more steady underfoot? Our pillow fluffier at the end of the day?
Would we stop trying so fervently, failing so hard? Would we simply rest in being hand-picked?
You and I, we’re rebels in the desert, stubborn and picky and wishing for an easier route. He waits for us.
We’re frustrated, slack-jawed fishermen with empty nets. He invites us to exchange them for hope and unending promise.
You are marked for God’s holy favor. Don’t bother trying to run Him off. He’s not leaving your side. Not for a second.
He’s running hard to you when you’re alone and scared; He’s plucking you up and pulling you near when you’ve worn your heartbreak like a weapon. He’s holding your face in His hands, looking you straight in the eye, and telling you again, “I love you. I won’t ever leave you. You will always be My chosen one.”
That’s what it means to be chosen, friends. That’s why it matters.
“For you are a holy people, who belong to the Lord your God.
Of all the people on earth, the Lord your God has chosen you
to be his own special treasure.”
– Deuteronomy 7:6