There was once a young girl who imagined she was adopted.
Though she looked like the parents and siblings who loved and cared for her, she couldn’t shake the sense that somewhere beyond her normal, practical existence, she possessed a heritage that far surpassed what she saw with her eyes or could understand with her mind. She pondered that possibility often.
Perhaps dark magic had stolen her away and erased the memory of her origins.
It could be that her real parents were royals who had purposely hidden her with another family to keep her safe from some sinister plot.
Maybe the realm she came from required that all children be brought up among mortals and forced to find their way back to their true form. A rite of passage or something of the like.
Whatever the cause of her exile, this girl knew her life contained extraordinary secrets yet to be revealed. She also knew that her true parentage remained aware of her every move and would someday, somehow, reclaim her.
That young girl was me.
Over time, those wild, fantastic thoughts about my true identity tamed considerably. They had to. Failed attempts to pin my little sister to the wall with a narrow-eyed stare verified my lack of super powers. The need for food and sleep (and the uncanny link between those things and my mood) testified to my mortality.
And, alas, the birth certificate revealing the date and time the McCauleys brought me into the world confirmed they were my real parents.
That dream of something greater seemed nothing more than childish imagination with a bent toward the supernatural.
Until I met YHWH, my true Father.
I had not been adopted by my mortal parents, but had been given “the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, ‘Abba, Father’” (Romans 8:15). God, through Jesus’s sacrifice, brought me into a royal lineage with an abundant heritage of eternal life, perfect love, mercy, forgiveness, faith, power, and victory.
It wasn’t long, however, before this revelation drew attack from dark sources not unlike those I posited about as a young girl. My faith met assault on every side. And each slash of the dagger, every fiery dart, vandalized my new identity in Christ until I began to believe that I wasn’t worth God’s love.
The girl who had lived with an expectancy of being reclaimed now lived with dread.
Dread that her Holy Father would tire of her mortal frailty fraught with confessions and failures; that He would take His blood-red cloak with the crest of the Cross off of her shoulders and cast her out.
I would have stayed in that dread—would have lived there until I died in it—had it not been for an invitation to be still before Him and ponder what that Cross on which Christ died truly meant.
None of the limited imaginings of my youth nor the fears provoked in my spiritual war could stand against the truth God revealed to me in that moment.
That His love for me—for all of His children—is such that He has been working on my behalf since before history was recorded. He sent His prophets, His disciples, His Word, His Spirit.
He sent His Son to die on a Cross.
God would have done none of these if He did not want me, if He was not for me, if He did not love me.
The Cross is God’s declaration of “His great love with which He loved us” (Ephesians 2:4), bestowing on us immeasurable worth and value, guaranteeing our seat in the heavenlies, and carving out our portion of the eternal inheritance God has in store for His children.
When I remember the young girl that I used to be, I marvel over how that sense of something greater was written on my heart by a Great Father who had chosen me for adoption before my lungs knew breath.
A Father who watched me grow. A Father who delighted in my discovery of Him and His extraordinary secrets concerning me.
And a Father who, through the Cross, reclaimed me.
Tanara McCauley is a writer of stories inspired by the adventure she lives in Christ. That adventure includes one husband, three children, and a fearful little dog named Charlie. And books. Lots and lots of books. Read and learn more at tanaramccauley.com.