by Maggie Paulus
When I was just a little girl, like a wee little thing, I had a different mom and dad. And they were kind to me, but they had hurts and they had addictions and they didn't know how to take care of themselves, much less a wee girl and her little brother.
I mean, they tried. They hung on to us for several years, but things kept slipping and they kept falling and failing and they mustered up what strength they could, but they just couldn't make it work and they couldn't make it right. And so the policemen came over and over again, and took us away and my mama cried in the back of that police car, hands cuffed, and she told me that she loved me. And I knew in my little heart, as I looked up at her, tears streaming and mascara running, I knew that she really did love me. She just couldn't make it work.
And I still remember my daddy's face, another time, when the police finally caught up with him, and took his drugs and took his booze and took us kids. And even though I was just a little thing, legs not even long enough to dangle from the seat, I knew deep inside that he was in trouble and that he couldn't make it right.
And I cried for them because every little girl wants her mommy and needs her daddy, but they were gone, again, and I felt lost. And the social workers took us to some foster homes, lots of times they took us, but we were never safe. (Did you know bad guys can live in foster homes?) I lay in bed at night wishing they would go away. And I was just a little thing.
But, one day something beautiful happened. Something strange. The social workers came and got us and put our stuff in a brown paper bag and we met a different mom and dad. And they said they wanted us. Like, forever. And we could live with them and never go away. And I really liked the idea, but I didn't know what it really meant to trust, so deep inside I didn't believe them. Not yet.
So, we came to our new home, and I had a big brother and a big sister and from the get-go they loved us and they never made us feel afraid. And my mom and dad told me how they had prayed for us, because God had put it on their heart to, and so they asked Him to show them where we were and what to do. And one day my mama walked into that government office, saw our picture and knew right away. And she told that social worker that we were her kids. And the lady disagreed and tried to protest and said it wasn't possible, but my mama knew about the God of all the impossibles, and so it wasn't long before we came home. For good. And time passed and no one ever took us away, so I believed.
And as days have turned to months which have turned to years, I still believe. I believe in that God of all the impossibles. And I've come to find that He's the One who rescues and He redeems, but He uses our hands and our feet. And He whispers His rescue plan into our hearts and hopes that we'll obey.
And this same God has healed those wounds from a mama and a daddy who just couldn't make it work and couldn't make it right. Because He gave me another mama and daddy who didn't have it altogether, but who depended on the only One who does. And people say that time heals all wounds, but I think it's love.
And every day I'm thankful that I've been rescued and that my life has been redeemed by the God who can make beauty from a mess. And I'm thankful for a family who became His hands and feet to reach out with a love that heals—reached out to the likes of me. When I was just a little thing.
(Thank you, Ma and Pa—a million times, and with tears, thank you.)
And thank You, Jesus, for always coming for me, for scooping me up and bringing me home. And thank You for how you take the bad and the ugly and the messed up in this world and You make it beautiful. You are good. You are so good. Amen.