One morning, I watched the first episode of Anne with an E on Netflix. The first twenty minutes had me sobbing. It was unreal and very unexpected. Orphan stories always get me. Like deep in the gut, the soul starts to hurt, get me. I didn’t grow up an orphan, but I often felt like one. I’m not going to launch into a melodrama of my childhood, don’t worry, but there is something to be said about a child feeling unloved and unwanted. In retrospect, I know my parents loved me, but they didn’t show it well. Through my broken heart, I didn’t receive it well, either, which resulted in me often feeling alone and forgotten.
As I watched Anne be jerked back and forth from hope to despair, thinking she had found a forever home where she was wanted and then sinking to the dirt, realizing she was in fact not wanted at all, I sympathized with her so deeply. This didn’t happen just once, but several times over the course of the first episode (spoiler, sorry). It got me thinking about how much and how thoroughly God welcomes us into His family.
I had a conversation a few months ago with a cousin of mine. We come from an earthly lineage of addicts and freeloaders, emotionally handicapped people who chose over and over again to fill their lives with junk and escape their sorrow in the next glass of whiskey, the next hook up, the next thing that made them forget about the consequences of the last thing they tried. She and I have been fighting our entire lives to step out of that pattern, to become lives of hope instead of tragedy.
We got to talking about blood and how Jesus gives us a new bloodline. Because of our conversation, I started to realize that bloodlines are extremely powerful. The second cousin twice removed in a royal family in Europe in the Middle Ages could have found himself King if the crown had passed all the way to him. He did nothing to deserve it or prove he was worthy. Just by being in the lineage, he was qualified. Favor rested on him. Earthly families understand the power that comes with blood, but we seem to misunderstand it when it comes to Jesus. The moment we said yes to Him, we were grafted into His family tree. We are heirs to His inheritance. We were taken from a lineage of hopelessness into an inheritance of abundance. I had heard that teaching before, but I suppose talking about it with someone who shared my earthly blood made me really stop and think about how powerful it is.
I began to realize that I don’t need to be afraid of ending up like my family. I don’t need to strive so hard to make sure I don’t become an addict. I don’t need to focus so much attention on transformation. The transformation has been settled. The adoption is complete. I have to learn how to live in my new family, in my new identity. It reminded me of a song: No Longer Slaves by Jonathan David and Melissa Helser. If you’ve never heard it, please listen. The lines that the Spirit brought to mind were:
From my mother’s womb
You have chosen me.
Love has called my name.
I’ve been born again
Into a family.
Your blood flows through my veins.
Words can be so powerful if you let them. When you let them sink deep, deep down and take root, they have the power to change your world. After all, our Father used them to make all of creation. As I thought about the lyrics to the song, I let the words sink way down into me, and they began to remake me. I let them transform my blood from a tether connecting me to an earthly people that brought death into a pulsing force connecting me to my savior. A force that meant I was new, I was wanted, I was destined for a life of inheritance. If it truly was His blood in my veins, then I had absolutely nothing to fear. Nothing ever again. Did I believe it? Could I believe it? Could it be that simple?
Anne was full of anguish as she thought she was once again cast out, hopeless, and lost. She thought she had no home and no one would love her. I understand that fear, but if I could, I would tell her to rise. Rise up and remember who bought you. Remember what price He had to pay for you, and know in the depths of your heart that you are in a family. You are in the best family. You are in the Father’s family, and everyone in that family gets to have a home, and have belonging, and have direct access to a legacy that has the power to change everything. When you’re in His family, you are home. He is your home.
Featured Image By Kyle Ellefson
InText Image by Mauricio Artieda