Sermons

Summary: Unless you know how special you are to God, you may undervalue yourself. Many do. But let scripture teach you about who you are to God.

You are Not an Accident

Purpose Driven Life #2

Montreal/Cornwall

August 9, 2003

I was born illegitimate in Winnipeg and I stayed that way for 2 months, until I was adopted. The woman who gave me birth, in those days, had to stay with me until adoption and, had she wanted to, could likely have surreptitiously watched to see me taken away by my new- and real- parents. But, she didn’t- she had linked up with an army guy and I was the result.

When I was 8 or 9, I remember, in the Carroll School yard, where I attended school from Grades 1 to 8, one recess when on eof my cousins was upset at me for something, she said, “Oh, but you’re adopted.” That came as a dagger in the way she said it and it went to the heart of my soul- deep and it hurt. I went home with that, and my parents explained (as they said they’d done before, but it didn’t stick before) how they had ‘chosen’ me. They wanted children but Mom was not able to be pregnant, so they got to choose me and, later, my sister. To them, I was very much wanted and was not an accident. There was no lack of desire for me in their family, and that love is what was always there.

But where was God in all this? In my earliest times, where was God? I was an accident to Jackie and Gladys- I was not their desire that night in September 1951. They looked for other things, but not a pregnancy. Where was God in all this for 9 months when she carried me toward birth, alone, without Jackie’s support or knowledge? Where was God?

Historically, to be born illegitimate has not been great. Recently, I read “Trinity” by Leon Uris; this is a historical novel about life in Ireland between about 1820 and 1920. That was certainly, not a place to be illegitimate, because you and your mother were always second or third class, poor, and scrounging just to get by- and stigmatized. There was no significant amount of adoption, then, even, nor has there been in most times over the centuries.

Even today, being adopted does something to how a person sees him or herself. In 1994, in a Counseling course I was taking, I did a paper on the Impact of Searching for Birth Mother on Adult Adoptee Self-Esteem. There’s a growing body of literature on the subject discussing why someone would search, in the first place- there are reasons why growing up in a good family is not enough, for instance, and it’s quite normal and reasonable. There are self-esteem issues that are very real. Why wasn’t I wanted? What were the circumstances of my birth? Is my birth family rich? How big is my ‘other’ family? These are only some of the questions that those who grow up in their original families don’t have to ask because they know the answers. But an adoptee doesn’t know these answers and has to go looking; some do, and feel compelled to search, while others do not, but the questions remain, in either case, in most, from what the literature on the subject indicates. It’s like there are holes on a sheet of graph paper that have to be filled in, and some feel great compelling to do this.

However, ideally, children are not to grow up in adoptive families, but in their own with loving and caring parents. So, where was God, in my earliest months, and where is God in the lives of so many who seem to be chance happenings of times of passion and not the result desired by those involved at the time?

God’s Word brings God’s perspective to the subject and helps all children understand how important they are to God. Let’s look at some of those that have helped me to understand my earliest months.

Isa. 44.2- I was in God’s care from the earliest moments of my life. Jacob had a special place in God’s plan and, in reality, so does each individual- each person. But this leads us to wonder about the moments before we came to be. God does all things decently and in order. Is every child that is conceived, then, a surprise that He has to handle and deal with in some way? Or does He anticipate each child? Some believe the scriptures indicate that God plans each child, and I’m one, although I don’t begin to understand this matter of circumstances. God is not the author of sin, but God uses sin, sometimes, toward great good. God is able to take all the sinful situations in the lives of people- and his people- and bring good from it. So, I see that he did that, in my case. This leads me to understand that there are, really, no illegitimate children, in God’s sight. He doesn’t look at children in classes or rankings, at any rate. He, as with Jacob, is involved in our forming, and this is a wonderful place to begin in understanding our origins. With God, there are no accidents. God isn’t left wondering what to do. I don’t believe He looked down in September 1951, and, with a certain horror, declared, of me, ‘what am I going to do with that?’ Either before my conception, or immediately at my conception, He had a plan and purpose for me. And the same is true for each one of us. God was there at the beginning and was involved in the beginning, at the beginning!

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