Receiving my adoption has been a long process for me; something that has finally solidified over the past two years as God has shown himself eager to honor and safeguard my heart.
My family blew up by the time I was two and a half, maybe, three. I was raised by my aunt and uncle, and fortunately for me two sisters from one family married a pair of brothers from the family up the road. So, I was raised by people who had always been there. I am built like my aunt and have my uncle’s hair coloring. Their last name is the same that mine was. They told all the same family stories. I was able to retain my roots.
The downside to my childhood situation is that who I am and how I function were never fully received by my family. As a kid, I struggled a bit with language and tracking conversations. I was always more sensitive, emotional, and expressive than the rest of my family. My aunt and uncle love me, but Steffyann is daft, an odd duck, a space cadet, an airhead… They didn’t know what to make of me; they don’t know how to celebrate and honor me. Because of that, I was always quite lonely. I felt like an outsider even in my own family.
And because I learned at a very early age that the big people in my life could not be depended upon, I had to figure out how to meet my needs for love, protection, and recognition myself. Due to tv and spiritual influences, I started developing an adult imagination at roughly 6 years of age. Growing up, I spent Alot of time in my own fantasy world. It was a comfortable place for me; there was a warm pleasant presence there that I could access anytime I wanted.
I met Jesus at 19; was married at 21, and in that time frame figured out how to control my thought life. (For the most part.)
In my early thirties, I hit a wall. Everything in my life was hard. My health. My relationships with my kids and my husband. …I felt like I was in jail. In desperation, I set up some counseling sessions with my pastor. I did multiple sozos… for a solid year or more I pursued inner healing with single minded focus. Near the end of that season, I felt the Lord directing me to Psalm 45:10-17:
Hear, O daughter, and consider, and incline your ear:
forget your people and your father’s house,
and the king will desire your beauty.
Since he is your lord, bow to him.
The people of Tyre will seek your favor with gifts,
the richest of the people.
All glorious is the princess in her chamber, with robes interwoven with gold. In many-colored robes she is led to the king,
with her virgin companions following behind her.
With joy and gladness they are led along
as they enter the palace of the king.
In place of your fathers shall be your sons;
you will make them princes in all the earth.
If the time spent doing the work of forgiveness and repentance was akin to preparing a building site, then spending months meditating on this scripture was like pouring the footers for a new building. I started to get glimpses of my true identity.
Two years ago, my husband and I both agreed that God wanted us to change churches and we felt led here. On one of those early Sundays, I was getting prayer for healing and the gal praying for me saw a picture of me with the word “victory” displayed over my head. She told me, “God is spelling it out because he knows that sometimes you need things spelled out for you. He wants to honor that need in you. He knows that when you get a hold of a concept, you own it and you run with it.” That word blew me away! In my weakness, God honored me And gave me what I needed. No teasing. No shame. That was a big deal to me!
Then in May of last year I woke up from a romantically themed dream and I was stuck in fantasy land for the next six months. None of the strategies that worked in the past worked. Most of the time, I didn’t feel like coming to church. But every time I came, somebody would give me the most encouraging, life giving word. The one that struck me the most came in at around month three of my mess. In Pre-Service, my prayer buddy saw a picture of Jesus standing by a well that was stopped up with filth. He had come prepared with gloves, masks, boots, shovels–everything necessary to clear out the well. He was asking: if I was ready; if I wanted to help; if I wanted him to do the whole project; and if the answer was no, could we at least cap off the well so the mess wasn’t getting tracked all over my living room. That word was the harshest word I received that entire 6 months and it left me feeling empowered. I was given the choice. Jesus wasn’t interested in brow beating me into anything. That was Sooo unlike alot of my childhood experience.
Near the same time as this word about the well, we were attending home group. Joel was leading the one night, and he asked everyone in the group to share on a scripture that had made an impact on them, so I shared on the Psalm 45 verses. It had been a long time since I had given them much thought and as I shared I felt God saying that it was time to attend to them some more. So, at Pre-Service prayer whenever Andrew had us face off and tell the other person who we are, “I am the Royal Daughter” became my go to. And when you spend every week for months declaring and agreeing with what God says about you, it starts to make a difference. I was standing taller and feeling better about myself.
Finally, during ministry time on a Sunday morning in November, I had the revelation that disappearing into a fantasy world was a tool I developed as a child to meet my unmet needs. God used that long six month stretch to prove to me that he is safe. He will not tease me for needing love, protection, and recognition.
I’ve enjoyed incredible quietness in my mind up until a month ago. All of the sudden, something, like a building, would catch my eye and I would have random flashes of “what if…” and that urge to build a storyline. Fortunately, it was always manageable. Ignore. Pray in tongues. Ask God to meet the need… And at the same time, I was asking God about my adoption. I felt good about my relationship with Him, but the question lingered — had my identity as the Royal Daughter been fully established?
Two weeks ago, I had another romantically themed dream — the kind that normally derails me for at least an hour, if not days. 1800s. The ballroom! The dress! The hero gazed longingly at his beloved as he reached to caress a lock off hair from her cheek… And I woke up swinging! I could feel THAT presence (the one I had spent so much time with in my childhood) and I could feel it invading my body — oozing from my head down. I commanded it to go to the feet of Jesus and severed the soul tie. Immediately the presence was gone. Then, even though I was lying in bed, I felt my spirit stand up as I shouted: I am the Royal Daughter! And I Am Fierce!
I think my adoption took.
~ Stephanie Krager