MANY PEOPLE COME from homes where they were not welcome, and where their presence was a constant irritant to one or both parents. Knowing that my parents never wanted me, I had to develop a fresh starting point on which to anchor my sense of identity, my right to life. For me, that new foundation came when I discovered the wonderful reality that, although my parents did not want me, God did – and I have his word to prove it. The following verses will be enriching to all who struggle with knowing who they are, and who may question whether they have a right to life.
One of the first verses that resonated deep in me is from the Psalms. These words demonstrate that God understands that human parents can, and do, reject their children, but that he will never let us go:
Although my father and my mother have forsaken me, yet the Lord will take me up [adopt me as His child] (Psalm 27:10, Amplified Bible).
I had known for many years that, from the time she knew she was pregnant with me; my mother had not wanted me. I found this very difficult to process. How could a mother despise her child, even before it was born? Regrettably, many circumstances lead to such behaviour. Although human parents may fail to accept their coming child, God does not – again, words from the Psalms declare that he has been with us from conception, while we were still in the womb:
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful.
My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be (Psalm 139:13-16).
We often read of God being with us before conception and at conception, assuring us of his love, care and protection. The prophet Jeremiah understood this:
The word of the LORD came to me, saying: “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart… (Jeremiah 1:4, 5).
Isaiah reiterates this understanding of God’s continual presence:
But now, this is what the LORD says – he who created you… he who formed you; “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine” (Isaiah 43:1).
As I worked through the stages of my conception and birth, I was so thankful that God was with me right back then. I wondered about when I was born, knowing that I was not wanted. Again, God’s Word spoke to me:
Yet you brought me out of the womb; you made me trust in you even at my mother’s breast. From birth I was cast upon you; from my mother’s womb you have been my God (Psalm 22:9, 10).
And again, from the Amplified Bible:
Yet You are He Who took me out of the womb; You made me hope and trust when I was on my mother’s breasts. I was cast upon You from my very birth; from my mother’s womb You are my God (Psalm 22:9, 10).
I found it difficult to accept my mother’s rejection of me, particularly when I was younger, and especially when people in the church could not comprehend that a mother would do that to a child. I struggled with an irrational belief that somehow I deserved what my mother had done to me. How could I, as a newborn baby, have caused my mother to reject me? What did God say about that? The words of Isaiah became precious to me:
But Zion said, “The LORD has forsaken me, the Lord has forgotten me.”
“Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you!
See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me” (Isaiah 49:14-16).
With such reassurances, I was able to reconstruct the core of my identity, the foundation upon which I could base my life. I was not an unwelcome child, a waif that nobody wanted. I was a child of God, loved by my Heavenly Father who was with me from the point of conception, throughout my gestation in the womb, and from birth. Nevertheless, I wanted another reassurance from my Lord.
The Bible often refers to Christians as being the sons of God, and as such we all have a special inheritance from him. I understood that. However, I also knew that had I been a boy, my chances of being accepted would have been higher. Now I wanted to be accepted by God as a girl, as his daughter, not just as his son. How precious is my Lord – in the New Testament I found a verse that satisfied even that longing:
“I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty” (2 Corinthians: 6:18).
How I love my Lord and my God, my Heavenly Father. Knowing that not only has he been with me throughout my life, he chose me and set me apart to be his unique person, with a definite plan for me to follow. He has done this for all of us – not just for me, but for all who struggle with a sense of belonging and of being accepted into a human family.
Abba Father, I will never cease to love and praise you!
Irene Frances is the author of Peace and Freedom Are My Names: an autobiography – available in hard copy or as an eBook.