An Orphan Heart

Last night in my discipleship group, my two friends and I were discussing our adoption as children of God. We were looking at passages like Romans 8:14-17.

“For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons by whom we cry, ‘Abba! Father!’ The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs-heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.” Romans 8:14-17

What a beautiful reality that once Jesus has saved us, we are adopted into God’s family. We are His child. We are an heir with Christ. Don’t miss how striking it is that those in Christ have gone from being an enemy of God to a child of God. God is our Father. We have an intimacy and closeness with our Maker that none of us deserve, and through Christ we have more than we could ever deserve or earn.

But why do we not always live in light of that glorious reality? Why do we sometimes feel insecure, fearful, and all alone? We have the Creator of the universe as our Father, but we wrestle with insecurity in who He has made us to be, we are fearful of the known and the unknown, and we feel isolated and lonely at times. All of these things are evidence of having an orphan heart.

The first time I heard it said that way was at a women’s conference I attended recently. It gripped me when the speaker talked about ways we can tell if we’re struggling with having an orphan heart. I was brought to this place of intense prayer, praying that God would fix my heart. Then, fast forward a few weeks, I’m doing this study in my discipleship group, and the idea surfaced again. I realized that all my anxiety and fear I had been feeling was revealing that my heart was still not right. I was still struggling with an orphan heart.

An orphan has no father or mother. But I wasn’t an orphan. I had the most perfect, loving Father that no earthly father could ever fully measure up to. I am a child and an heir of the Most High God. Why was my heart wrestling with this so much? It’s because I’m prone to forgetting this amazing truth. How is that even possible?, I ask myself. But the daily moments, the big and the small times, the stresses of this life-they all too easily can take over and push out what I know to be true.

I need to remember. Not just once at a conference or once during a study. I need to remember every single day. To remember that I have been adopted brings me freedom, purpose, clarity, and trust in God. When I wrestle with all these red flags revealing that I’m forgetting whose I am, I have to go back to verses like these that remind me. We have been bought at a price and delivered from slavery. We should live in freedom in what the Lord has done for us. Here’s my prayer for me today, and if you identify with this heart struggle, let this be your prayer, too: “Lord, you have delivered me from certain death. You have made a way for me to have eternal life with You. You have given me a hope that I don’t deserve. You have declared me innocent before You. But more than all that, You have adopted me into your family. You have made me your child, and You are my Father. Father, help me when I forget this undeniable reality. Help me to live as Your child, and not just have head knowledge of this truth, but let it sink deep into my heart. I am never alone. I am Yours. I don’t have to fear. I don’t have to doubt. Help me to always remember when I slip back into destructive thoughts. Thank You for being my good, perfect, loving Father. It’s in Jesus’ Name I can pray these things, Amen.”

Pressing on in faith, Jennifer