The way you see yourself now, as a grown woman, was shaped early in your life, in the years when you were a little girl. Women learn from their mothers what it means to be a woman, and from their fathers the value that a woman has - the value they have as a woman. If a woman is comfortable with her own femininity, her beauty, her strength, then the chances are good that her daughter will be too.
From our mothers we receive many, many things but foremost above them all is mercy and tenderness. When my sons were young and got hurt, their dad would say something encouraging like "cool wound." I would cradle them in my arms and tend their injury. Our mothers show us the merciful face of God. We are nurtured at their breasts and cradled in their arms. They rock us to sleep and sing us lullabies. Our youngest years are lived within the proximity of their apron strings and they care for us in all the meanings of the word. When we get hurt, moms kiss us and make it better.
Little girls need the tender strength of their fathers. They need to know that their daddies are strong and will protect them; they need to know that their fathers are for them.
From them, we learn that we are delighted in, that we are special or that we are not. How a father relates to his daughter has an enormous effect on her soul - for good or for evil. (Captivating, 61-62)
So, what if we did not have a mother or father that was able to do this for us? Maybe, hopefully, you had an aunt and uncle or grandmother and grandfather who were able to help with this role, no? Some may have had school teachers, neighbors, church members to step in and fill the gap. Some, maybe not.
Sadly too many do not. I was one of those children. I tell you this because I have been struggling with my posts. Posts that I did not want to come across as me being proud of "adopting" and "advocating".
It took many years for my heavenly Father to work in my life the things He has done. The healing that I needed and continue to need. It will take many more years for Him to complete His work in me. It is only by the grace of God that I have the blessings of a husband and children who love me. Would I want to relive my childhood again?
However, I know my childhood has given the heart wrenching desire to make sure no child ever has to feel the feelings I have felt and still struggle with to some degree today.
I feel like I know the heart of the orphans and my heart breaks several times a day as I long to make a difference in their lives.
So, the next time you run across an opportunity to donate to a cause that supports orphans, would you please consider giving. Or the next time you run into a child or teenager that seems to have built a wall around themselves for protection, please take the time to let them know they matter.
Lord, please fulfill the longings of my heart so I may bring glory to Your Name and Your Name alone.
Your humble servant,