A Real Home

brown door There I stood at the old, brown apartment door, the social worker grasping my hand in one of hers and my screaming older sister’s in the other. I was only 3, but this would be our who-knows-how-many-eth home; I can’t remember. I didn’t say much, for I only knew four words. Having been left in a crib, and in and out of foster care; I had just passively existed; and I would just as passively accept whatever would be my lot here.

 The old house was sagging and worn, old house but in just a short time I knew it was not just another old building; it was home. This mommy cared for us, and my new daddy played and laughed with us. Right away Mom started teaching us the things we had missed. Daddy took us to church starting that first Sunday, and every night he read from an old red book He called the Bible. In only a few months I understood that Jesus had died for my sins so I could go to a heavenly home with streets of gold, not like the dismal places I had known. I may have been young, but I knew this was what I wanted, and I made my first real decision in life. Jesus got a new home that night.

          Then life changed again - in more than one way. Health problems appeared. I had come into this world 2 lbs., 13 oz. because of my birth mother’s use of drugs, alcohol, and cigarettes during pregnancy. I even stopped breathing 4 times in one week. The state didn’t have proper medical records, so it took 5 months before I could get help.  

 girl with suitcaseA few months later my birth father decided he wanted me back. One scary day a policeman came and snatched me away from my just-found home. (Mom told me later that I changed from Dr. Jekyll into Mr. Hyde when I got sick; but God, in His wonderful sovereignty, used even that.) You see, when my father got me I was sick - and terrible. In only three weeks he knew he didn’t want me and dumped me at the state office, banged, battered, abused and traumatized. abused smiley face My sister, who had been praying for me, had her prayers answered. Praise the Lord! I got to go home!

     

           For over 3 years there were the social workers, worldly psychologists, weekly visits to our dying mother, emotional turmoil, and long, drawn out court cases to endure. Many times we were told our mother was going to die in a few days. We kept praying for her salvation, but still feared that she would die and go to hell. Even a little kid could understand that.

 man paintingDuring this time we had moved to another old house. This one was ours, and Dad and Mom worked hard to fix it up.

          Almost two years later we were adopted, and at age 6 my name became V…(ah, this is going on the internet, so I’m keeping that to myself). I finally had a “real” home.

          I went to a Christian kindergarten and the year following to a Christian school. During that time hatred for the state and my birth father, fear of policemen, and even bitterness toward God began infecting my heart. I was jealous of my sister.homeschooling Every day my sister got to stay home with Mom to catch up in school, but every day I got sent out the door to go to school. I just knew my parents loved her more, and one day I told them so. From second grade to graduation I stayed home too. 

                                                                                                                      

          On Valentine’s Day, 6 weeks before my 8th birthday, my birth mother died. From the very first day that I had gotten saved, my sister and I had prayed daily for her to be saved.  About six months before she died, Dad had talked to her. She told him she had accepted Christ a few weeks before. She, too, finally had a “real” home. When she died, my sister and I were the only ones who even cared, and with Mom’s help, at ages 11 and 7, we planned our birth mother’s memorial service. funeral flowers In April my Sunday school teacher died. In June a close, eleven-year-old friend died of AIDS. My family and I were blessed to be with him, to pray with him, and to hold his hand until about an hour before God took him to his heavenly home. 3 deaths in 4 months! I was barely 8, but I knew each one of them had accepted Christ, and I that I would see them all again.

 puzzle piecesTwo years later all the forces of hell attacked and our home was broken into a thousand little pieces just like a jigsaw puzzle. My “Godly”, in full-time-Christian-service, father got in trouble. 2 days before my 10th birthday he left home for a year. We now had a single Mom who was coping with all her problems, as well as home schooling us two kids. Legal complications battered us as well. To add to it we were terrorized by a street gang who was actually repelling down our house wall for some kind of war games or something. They shone lights in our windows. They tried to break in. burglar They watched us all the time. Whenever my Mom went to visit my Dad so they could save their marriage, the gang attacked. They always knew when we were alone. They vandalized the neighborhood as well. I was so scared I slept on the sofa near Mom’s room. One night I woke up to see a man standing in the doorway with a gun. He told Mom not to make a sound and let him come in. I did what any 10 year old would do - I screamed. (It turned out to be a cop.) For that year fear flourished, and terror and trauma triumphed, but I learned that “Greater is He that is in you than He that is in the world”, including even our woods, our back yard, and on our roof. Incredibly, by the end of that horrible year, puzzle almost finishedGod had picked up every tiny piece of the whole jigsaw, and restored the puzzle when no one else could even see the picture.                                                                                                                                               

                              

policemanAbout this time a police chaplain came to AWANA. God used him that night and as he prayed with me, and I turned the questions, resentment, fear, anger, bitterness - everything over to God. He changed my heart. I actually wanted to be a cop and help other people. I wanted to serve God. My life had hit its turning point.

   smiley with feverFevers, three and a half years of daily fevers! You see, just before Dad came home, we got sick. Mom and my sister got better. I ended up with fevers every night for 3½ years. I passed out every week in church. I lived on a on a reclining lawn chair.  lounge chair I did 6th-9th grades with a 101 temp. Because of all the time enduring doctors, tests, and blood-drawing vampires, I felt like my home was in a medical facility. However, doing so much schoolwork in a doctor’s office gave me chances to explain home schooling, and more importantly to witness and tell of the Savior and my heavenly home.

           Finally, at 13 the answers to the medical problems slowly started to come. First, I was allergic to - ah, food - so the era of the weird diets began. I ate many strange things from South America, Ethiopia, or some other remote part of the world. Having eaten all those odd grains and green veggies, veggies I could have easily turned into a horse or a rabbit, but at least God had given me a home that provided all those things for me. After 4 years of treatment, I could eat almost anything again. Praise the Lord! Secondly, blood sugars had started rising, but diet kept it under control. Then there was the third one - the real winner - mercury poisoning. At 14, I was 1% away from being critically toxic, and was near death - with mercury in my brain. I had to be chelated -not cool. It’s kind of like chemotherapy, just not quite as bad.

boy with microscope My high school years consisted of Mom, (of course) - the relentless bulldozer of home schooling, satellite teachers, fragile lab equipment, bowling, exercise machines, piles of books, musical instruments, slippery heaps of music, and that ever-threatening-to-avalanche mountain of Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Algebra I & II, Geometry, Pre-calculus, and Spanish I & II video tapes. There was also the wonderful mountain of opportunities to explore: voice lessons, church choir, nursery, youth group, DVBS, AWANA, nursing and drama camps, a part-time job, running a flag business, American flag and going on a mission team to Mexico. There was one thing I never did learn at home, and maybe you could help me. What does the word “b-o-r-e-d” mean? However, there was also a serious car accident and physical abuse from…(I didn’t tell my parents that until that person was gone). With the mountain of opportunities came a blizzard of assignments and activities. At times they threatened to avalanche (and sometimes did), but God’s grace is sufficient.

graduation cap Now, here I stand, a graduate, Class of 2003. I’m 17 and about to stretch my wings, to begin to leave home. Oh, I’ve been away from home before, but it’s not quite the same. Now it is time for me to start choosing the path my life will head. I plan to work a year before going to college. I also hope to have time to pursue further training in music and drama that I might develop my abilities to serve the Lord. My goal, God willing, is to spend my life serving Him as a medical missionary in the “10-40 Window“. I want to tell others that Jesus has provided the way for them to have a heavenly home. As God‘s child, I have a heavenly Father; and just like I have always wanted to please my earthly father, I want to please my heavenly Father even more. I want to hear “Well, done,” when He welcomes me to my everlasting home.

                                                               

 His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. Matthew 15:21

 

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