In Your Language

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

GUEST SERIES: Catt Peace 2 of 2

Graphic: According2Meredith.blogspot.com, words of Catt Peace

Continued from... "

You have to be a Christian to have 

your prayers answered. Right?

 

How Adoptees Find God

The following are her words with my editing, formatting, brackets and headers:



I Dream of...
Rationally thinking, all these conversations with the two of them must have been on my mind, as one night I had a dream. In my dream, I met the person: the person I had always been needing and looking for. I spent what felt like an eternity with him [feeling] so happy and peaceful. We talked, laughed, and joked.  At the end of my dream, I said "I don't know your name", and this vision of perfection smiled at me with the most beautiful smile and said "I know, I'm Jesus".  I woke up feeling amazing.

Magic of the Subjective Experience
[Although it] sounds corny and weird; it happened. When I told my colleagues, one was amazed and the other was jealous. It was still several months, maybe even a year, before I let this gnawing feeling on the inside get the better of me. I asked the Christian colleague ([that] I didn't get on so well with) when the next 'public' (less full on and less dramatic) service was as I felt I needed my 'yearly dose of religious.' Having grown up always attending Christmas and Easter services at the Catholic Church of England and Evangelical-type establishments, [I could at least do "that."]

Slaughter-er to slaughtered?
My colleague was a bit taken aback. My co-workers, [not unlike other believers,] spent so much time patiently inviting colleagues to church only to be scoffed at behind their backs.  Still, every Christian knows they are setting themselves up for slaughter whether publicly or privately with non-believers [when they broach the subject of religion]. 

Receiving blessing with moral support
I persuaded my best friend at the workplace to join me (strength in numbers) for a service my colleague had forgotten to invite me to. (He says he will never forget that, the one time he gave up asking was the one time I asked instead.) [At the part of the service] when a man was asking if anyone needed prayer, I nudged my diabetic atheist friend to go up. {Mental monologue as follows: I didn't need prayer. I had some form of belief in a higher power having studied various religions only to conclude that no-one had it quite right. "That would do me just fine. Thank you."} But my friend would only go if I did. [So I went because] I felt he needed it.

Challenging the Power of Laying Hands
[Now, we are both in front of the preacher.] In heels, I towered over the man who stood in front of me and asked what I wanted prayer for. I quite cheekily said, "Anything He wants to give me." As this preacher man put his hand on my head, it felt like a battle of wills as to who was going to win. It felt like he was pushing me over 'in the Spirit' (I had done this religious nonsense before) against my heels holding me upright. I won. Ha, take that you religious weirdo.




Church for a healthy social environment
In the time that followed, I started attending Church as something to do. I had made the decision that my long-term boyfriend (the angel who had set me straight again) and I needed to move forward in our relationship. We were living in a tiny dingy little annexe with mould growing on the walls and not enough sunlight.  [It was time for a relationship upgrade.]

I went to Church to meet people in the local area. I went to Church [only] for something to do on a Sunday. On a particular Sunday, I had already decided that I needed to find somewhere new to live and made a precise list of what I wanted in a home. After looking for a week or two all over the internet [of my own power] to no avail, I raised my thoughts heavenward. I said "It's me again. Help us out and I'll make this a regular thing, yeah?

Be careful what you pray for... It might come true
[Precisely] that afternoon, I found my dream home in a previously undiscovered corner of the internet. My list was ticked off. On my solo and very modest wages, I would be taking a massive financial risk. My parents promised me assistance and encouraged me. They, and many others by this point, weren't too fond of my long-term boyfriend anyway. [Furthermore, they thought this move would likely move him out of my life.]



Fast forward a few months, my boyfriend and I had none of the same interests and none of the same friends. I decided I needed to learn how to live my own life and make myself happy without him. [Eventually,] we spent a lot of time apart. You can only ever change you, not other people. 


Christian Camp Take Two
I was begrudgingly persuaded by some of my new 'friends' in the Church to attend a Christian camp. [It didn't take much effort as,] I had done it before. I could deal with a week of religious nutters as I needed a holiday, [I sounded off in my head]. They were planning on talking about what the Church was doing in society [and] mobilising 'God's Army.' I thought I'd go along to learn what I could about me. [I planned on] separating the message about God from the general theme of being a good person. "That’s basically what Christianity is, right?"

All Signs looking up
Just as we left the home of the now friends', previously [strange] colleagues, (all packed up [as if we are heading] to a week in the sun), I stopped my car.  I said, "Something special is going to happen. [I noticed all the signs that were jumping out at me.] It's exactly ten years since I last went to a camp just like this and ten years since my parents got our old dog." (My parents were getting a puppy that weekend.) [Those signs gave me] a weird feeling of anticipation.

I was and still am well aware of the politics within any organised group, including and especially churches, so I linked arms with a new friend. We distanced ourselves [physically] from the rest of the Church. Even to the point that on the first night, we sat seperate from each other, and seperate from anyone else we knew. 

Gripping the Heart of the Adopted 


 
Within a few hours of being at the camp, the talk was about adoption. (I will capitalise this so you understand just what it meant to me.) "Adoption is a legally binding contract. In the Bible, to be adopted means to be completely new, and completely permanent.  
WHEN YOU ARE ADOPTED INTO THE FAMILY OF GOD THAT IS MORE PERMANENT THAN ANYTHING THAT HAS GONE BEFORE. It is not taken lightly, HE WILL NEVER LEAVE YOU".

Visual Impact
At this point of the camp, [recalling] the more recent years previous, I had realised that throughout my life, my adoptive parents had suffered through my acting out of heartache. But, they never left me. They could have, but they didn't. {Echo of Emphasis: Adoption is a commitment, a marriage, a legally binding contract that is not to be taken lightly.} So the camp continued as I sat engrossed with a skit of the analogy of the freeing power of God. The part when the preacher literally lifted the ropes off a child (pulling the restraint away from him), [what God was offering me] hit me. 

The Prodigal aware of needing Perfect Love
They say in the Bible that when you are adopted by God, chosen, you are brand new: a new creation. Anything that has gone before doesn't matter. Like the story of the prodigal son that went out into the wilderness, shaming his family. But when he returned, [as if it never happened], the biggest [and unexpected, and unwarranted] party was thrown just because he was home safe. [The party symbolized that] he was loved. No matter what he had done to hurt his Father, he was loved unconditionally. I know that feeling.

Leap of Faith into a Puddle of Tears
So from that first night, when they asked if anyone wanted to dedicate, or rededicate their lives to being a follower of Jesus, I stood up. [I felt supernaturally] propelled, wearing sunglasses indoors, and cried my eyes out. I did not stop crying for a week it seemed, including the drive home. 




The Week After: Many things happened
That week, the theme was 'Turning the Tide.' The talks were based around how Christians can bring God's love to the darkest places of society and [choosing to] bring hope and encouragement rather than staying in 'holy huddles'. I realised that I, with all my stupid behaviour, heartache, and transgressions, was in a prime position to act powerfully



That week it [also] became clear that I needed to seperate from my long-term boyfriend. The notion petrified me. The only tangible thing between "me now" and me drinking, drugging, and behaving like a demon was him. But, I had faith. Some of my longer term friends were terrified that I would go straight off the wagon, unable to cope with being alone. One reason I had stayed in such an unpopular relationship for so many years is that I knew I had many buried issues, many buried demons to face full on. But, I had hoped that by erasing and burying my past, and focusing on a future with him, (no matter how wrong or unstable) I would be able to live the rest of my life never confronting my nightmares.

NEW PURPOSE
That week, I became more and more excited. [I was gripped with a] purpose in life. Even down to my genetics, and experiences, [all of that steered me] to help others in the same position to get out of that position. I didn't know what I was going to be working towards, but I knew I would need to be a face, a voice, a poster girl, for something I didn't actually want to confront. But that’s what faith is; that’s what conviction is; [and that's what] dedication is. That's why Christians spend their lives being turned down, laughed at, persecuted. In some parts of the world, [they are] murdered for what they believe in.  


I came home from that week, with so many around me confused as to what I was so excited about, but I got online and started focusing on hunting down later-life-adoptee support. There wasn't any. I [accidently] came across a common theme that sounded familiar, Reactive Attachment Disorder. [It is] often [un]diagnosed in traumatised children and the parents who had adopted them. 

Suddenly, the life I had worked so hard to erase became relevant. Because I had worked so hard at improving me, and removing myself from the pain of my past, I was successful [at driving my own healing]. I began speaking with parents and fellow 'survivors' across the world [daily]. I would work at my Horticultural day job, and then come home and spend hours with the support group. [My nights were dedicated to] pouring over parents asking for help, advice, and hope to see where I could provide assistance. 

My boss at the day job laughed at me and told me that of course my new found direction sounded like a great idea. But first, I needed to up my game in my current work. I worked so hard, with a new direction. The friends, who had been worried about my previous lack of stability, [finally] became more relaxed. My mission in life became to be a good example of what children like I had been could achieve. Even if I never slept [again] and was permanently exhausted, it didn't matter. I was determined to prove myself. And, I did.

I attended a chance interview at what would have been my perfect horticultural job. [The kind of job that would have kept me on the same career track.] It was the kind of horticultural job I had dreamed of since studying it. [ Fortunately and unfortunately], I was politely declined to a candidate that was perfect for the role. 


Keeping up my faith, although feeling discouraged, I said a little prayer. Actually, now [my prayers] had become more like conversations with the man upstairs. [I asked Him] why I had become so excited at the prospect of leaving my current employment. [It seem like it was my time to move on.] 

Low and Behold
I was working one day, and had heard a [job] advertisement on the radio for a large well-known company who ran a local school for troubled children. {Train of thought: Ok, so I had no qualifications and would be giving up on a career I had spent 7 years in total working at. It was the only real career I had known. And yet, it seemed like the right thing to do.} [New and uncertain things rarely attract the adoptee.]

Overcoming the doubt of others
My parents thought I was completely insane and my colleagues thought I was completely insane. [But what alarmed everyone the most was] that the line of work I had decided to enter seemed too close to home. They were worried for my emotional welfare. Still, I went for my interview and subsequently gained employment. [I was able to] leave my old line of work finally well-liked and respected. I said, "I not only want to see what I can get out of them (the young people), but what they can get out of me."



It has been just over 6 months in my new line of work. I love it. It fits me perfectly. I am pushing to progress and learn what I can. I can now encorporate the passion I have in my day-to-day work. My story is to be one of faith, of success, and hope.



Thank you for reading along with my very first guest authored post to go along with my Hope Forum. Were you inspired by her story? Did you like what I did with Catt's story: editing, formatting, embellishment, and bracket phrases? Are you interested in writing a guest post for me? Please include your impressions in the comment box, and send writing inquiries to merejasmin@gmail.com.

Blessings to you~



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