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A Heart of Flesh: An Adoptive Mama's Heart

A Heart of Flesh: An Adoptive Mama's Heart

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“Adoption is the birthing of a child into a family from the heart instead of the womb…It is a journey with many trials and tribulations—a pilgrimage to healing the brokenhearted child. It’s a voyage through many rough waters and a calling to love what some would deem the unlovable.”
“Adoption is the birthing of a child into a family from the heart instead of the womb…It is a journey with many trials and tribulations—a pilgrimage to healing the brokenhearted child. It’s a voyage through many rough waters and a calling to love what some would deem the unlovable.”

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Published by: The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine on Jul 15, 2014
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A Heart of Flesh: An Adoptive Mama’s Heart
By Sonya Schweighardt
Adoption is the birthing of a child into a family from the heart instead of the womb. The
thoughts of “snips and snails and puppy dog tails” along with “sugar and spice and all things nice” will dance through parents’ heads prior to the child’s arrival. But so often parents aren’t properly trained and can go into an adoption with rose colored glasses. Please don’t
get me wrong; adoption is beautiful! Watching ashes turn to beauty is one of the most amazing journeys a parent could ever experience. However, it is a journey. It is a journey with many trials and tribulations
—a pilgrimage to healing the brokenhearted child. It’s a
voyage through many rough waters and a calling to love what some would deem the unlovable. We prepare our hearts for this calling for weeks, months, even years. We are filled with visions in our heads of this precious child running into our arms, ready to join a new family, a new culture, a new life, and we hope everything will be picture perfect. And then the bubble bursts and life happens. Our hearts cry out for our hurting children. We want to kiss every boo-boo. Wipe away every tear. Hug away all of the pain. But what happens when our child pushes us away? No one could ever prepare our hearts for that type of rejection. As a mother, you feel rejected turned down, and given the cold shoulder. It may seem like the word
veto
 has been stamped across your forehead in large letters. No matter what you do, your child ho
lds up two hands and yells “stranger danger” at the top of his lungs. Your mama’s heart plummets to your feet. You feel defeated, conquered and crushed. To protect
yourself you begin to build walls around your own heart. The heart that once loved has become hard like sun baked clay. If you held it in your hand, it would crumble into a million
pieces. You look at yourself in the mirror wondering as you cry out to God, “What has happened to me?” 
 If this is you, do not hang your head down in shame, dear mama!
Don’t lose hope! We so
often forget that when our brokenhearted children came home, they brought a backpack full of bricks
and not just any bricks. These are bricks that weigh the child down, bricks of
shame, anger, lies, mistrust, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, physical abuse, abandonment issues, communication problems
, and just plain
feeling unlovable
. My list could go on and on. And with all of this baggage, you may realize no one ever took the time to help the child through the grief process of losing his or her birth family. So often the past is just swept
under the rug. And the wall around the child’s heart becomes a mighty fortress. No one can
enter. And when this happens, what do we do as mamas? We might begin to build fortresses around our own hearts. I call this reverse RAD (reactive attachment disorder). So often, adopted children are diagnosed with RAD, and then the mother develops it too. I want to share a powerful Scripture with you. It is so powerful that I truly believe it sheds much light on the adoptive
mom’s heart.
“A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you; and I will take away the stony heart of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh” Ezekiel 36:26.
 
Our hearts can so easily be turned into this heart of stone. This not only affects our own ability to love and see clearly, but it affects our marriages, our relationships with our other children, and even our friendships because we have a tendency to isolate ourselves if we
believe “no one understands.” A heart of stone is a heart that is cold. It is also hard—
so
 
hard that nothing can cut through it. The heart of stone is dead. There is no feeling in it, no tears of sadness or pity; it does not bleed. The heart is lifeless; it has no softness to it. It is
incapable of sensing another’s feelings.
Charles Spurgeon describes the heart of flesh well:
 “It means a heart that can feel on account of sin—
a heart that can bleed when the arrows of God stick fast in it; it means a heart that can yield when the gospel makes its attacks
a heart that can be impressed when the seal of God's word comes upon it; it means a heart that is warm, for life is warm
a heart that can think, a heart that can aspire, a heart that can love
putting all in one
a heart of flesh means that new heart and right spirit which
God giveth to the regenerate.” 
1
 Our hearts have to be filled with a tenderness toward our child that only God can pour into us! We have to look at our brokenhearted child and realize that their acting out, their rejection, their pushing away of every attempt that we make to draw them near is
not 
 a personal attack against us! It is a deep pain that exists inside of them. Moms, please understand that you need to ask God for this heart of flesh. You need to feel the tenderness and love that God feels toward your child. Stop listening to the father of all lies. He wants to see you defeated and torn down. Satan wants to claim the orphaned children for himself. Many have had so much abuse that their hearts are wide open to the
father of lies. This is a spiritual battle for your child’s soul. Each day you must suit up with
the armor of God. (Ephesians 6:10-20) Become a mighty mama warrior for your child! Each stony layer of the heart must be removed one at a time. Hope must never be lost. Remember that love never fails (I Corinthians 13:8). A passage from Hebrews that I hold close to my heart says this:
“Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith. . .” Hebrews 12:2.
 
Another version of scripture calls Him “the perfecter of our faith.” Jesus is walking right with
us. He is guiding us. But look at what the beginning of this verse says,
“Looking unto  Jesus.” 
 We have to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus. I love the account of Peter walking on water. It was when he kept his eyes fixed on Jesus that he could walk on the water. It
wasn’t until he took his eyes off of Jesus that he began to sink. It was when he took his eyes away from Jesus’ eyes that he began to notice the chaos of 
 the storm and the waves that were being driven and tossed by the wind. He noticed life away from Jesus! How often do we do that? How often do we take our eyes off of Jesus and begin drowning in our situation with our broken child. The beauty of brokenness with Jesus is that it
can
 be fixed.
“He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds,” Psalm 147:3.
 
Isn’t that a beautiful picture? So not only will God heal your brokenhearted child and bind
up his wounds, He will also take you and your brokenness and bind it up! We can go from broken to beautiful through Jesus Christ. And we can take our children through this same  journey.
I don’t come to you giving you the quick fix. I am sorry to tell you that there is none. But I
can tell you as a mother of fifteen beautiful blessings, twelve of whom have been adopted, that I have seen the healing power of Jesus Christ. When you begin to see your child with a heart of flesh, the way God sees him, you will begin an entirely new journey. Armed with your shield of faith and the sword of the spirit, this battle can be won. Remember to take

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