“I’m not sending you away,” said the new mother. She was now a newly adoptive mom, and she was talking to her newly adopted son Taylor.
As reported by CBS News, 50-year-old social worker Connie Going of St. Petersburg, Florida, had placed more than 1,000 Tampa Bay-area foster kids with adoptive parents before Taylor came along.
Taylor, along with his siblings, was thrown into the foster care system in 2003 because of neglect by his drug-addicted parents. Taylor and his siblings were adopted, but because of Taylor’s anger issues he was sent back (Steve Hartman, “Social Worker Finds Perfect Home for Troubled Foster Child,” Dec. 27, 2013).
After the second time of being sent back, 10-year-old Taylor broke his social worker Connie’s heart. “All I could think about was how he was feeling and how he was blaming himself again,” she said.
The next day after he was returned, she made arrangements to drop him as a client and take him on as a son. She had looked all over for someone to parent him. “And it was me,” she said.
That’s when Connie decided to become his mom instead of his social worker. He still has anger issues, but they have greatly improved after an emotional turning point. In an angry moment he said he was going to run away. As he was leaving Connie told him, “I’m not sending you away.”
Taylor took his backpack off and came back in. He realized he had found someone who would love him through the good times and bad would not send him packing to yet another temporary home. “And I’m like, ‘Yeah, this is where I belong,’ Taylor says. ‘She knows my worst side and she still cares about me and still loves me.’”
The story of Taylor was so opposite to a story I read in the local Cincinnati, Ohio, news a month earlier. Parents committed a crime in trying to return their 9-year-old adopted child to children’s services after having raised him from the time they adopted him as a newborn baby! They said he was displaying aggressive behavior and had earlier threatened the family with a knife. But rather than getting him needed help, they decided to dump him off. While I don’t know what actually happened, my heart ached for this boy. This family is all he knew from infancy, and now he was being given back.
Both situations made me cry, as I understand the emotions one can feel of being rejected. Growing up in eight foster homes and two children’s homes, I always felt it was my fault, that I was not loveable enough for a family to keep me. Like Taylor, if it got too hard, the foster family would send me packing, for I wasn’t really theirs. I felt very insecure.
The two stories and my own experience reminded me of our relationship with God. He has chosen us and will remain committed to us!
God wants to be your Father
For whatever reason we can also have insecurities in our relationship with God and in our Christian life.
How many times do we mess up, sin, and think God will never forgive us? We just know that if we mess up one more time God is done with us. That’s how Taylor felt with his foster family—and with good reason until Connie came along.
I can tell you from experience that God has always been my stabilizing factor. When everyone else was done with me, God was always there. It took a while for me to learn that God would always be there.
Despite your stumbles into sin on so many occasions, God will never give up on you as long as you can be led to repentance! Never! He is invested in you! He will keep His promises to you. “For He Himself has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you’” (Hebrews 13:5 Hebrews 13:5Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as you have: for he has said, I will never leave you, nor forsake you.
American King James Version×).
Remember two things: If you doubt your worth or feel you have fallen short, remember you are made in the image of God. And He loved you so much that He took the punishment for you so that you might live: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16 John 3:16For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
American King James Version×).
Now if God loved you so much that He even gave His Son to suffer and die in your place, then why would He turn His back on you in your lowest moment? God didn’t create us just to abandon us. He offers us forgiveness and life!
Your Father will stand by you through trials
Taylor was blessed to find an adoptive mom who will love him no matter what. We have also been blessed with a perfect Father who loves us no matter what as long as we keep trying to follow and please Him.
Just like Taylor who heard those words from His new mom, “I’m not sending you away,” God will never send us away into this darkened world to fend for ourselves. Nothing can keep us from our Father in heaven! As long as we have a repentant heart, God will pick us back up and care for us in our times of weakness and need.
There are times when we feel pretty much cut off from God, and that we are unworthy of love. Connie Goings went on to say about children, “When you feel you’re not loveable, and you’re up against someone loving you, that’s a pretty scary thing.”
Taylor could not wrap his mind around the fact that someone could love him despite his shortcomings. We can feel that way with God when we’re going through a trial or have messed up. We can feel unlovable and scared. At times you may even wonder how anyone could love you after what you have done.
God keeps His promises, and one is found in Romans 8:38-39 Romans 8:38-39 38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
American King James Version×: “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (New International Version).
And when you’re at your deepest low and feel that perhaps God has abandoned you—that your sin is too great to be forgiven—remember another promise found in Psalms 55:22 Psalms 55:22Cast your burden on the LORD, and he shall sustain you: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.
American King James Version×: “Cast your burden on the Lord, and he shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved.” Through repentance—asking for forgiveness and working to not repeat the sin—God lifts us up and sustains us through trials.
God offers encouragement in 2 Timothy 1:7 2 Timothy 1:7For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
American King James Version×: “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”
Build a relationship with your Father today
So if you fall, if you mess up, or you feel you are not worthy of love, get back up and know that God is there to give you comfort, to love you, to encourage you forward. You belong to Him. He knows everything about you. He understands you and is invested in you. He knows the good, the bad and the ugly, and He still loves you.
In adopting Taylor, Connie chose him as her son. Likewise, God chooses us! Paul expressed this idea to Christians in his day: “Even before the world was made, God had already chosen us to be his through our union with Christ, so that we would be holy and without fault before him. Because of his love God had already decided that through Jesus Christ he would make us his children—this was his pleasure and purpose” (Ephesians 1:5 Ephesians 1:5Having predestinated us to the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,
American King James Version×, Good News Translation, emphasis added).
Indeed, God desires that you be part of His family forever.
So be encouraged that God is not going to send you back when you make a mistake. For you are His son or His daughter! You are not His foster child. You are His own chosen child with whom He wants to spend eternity!