Fresh Popcorn, Old Pizza And A Tablecloth

Last week, I had the privilege of having my friend/ social worker over to the house. It was our first home-study meeting and my goal was to impress. But of course things didn’t work out as I planned.

Spaghetti sauce dripped and popped over the edge of the skillet and onto the floor. My three girls began a hair-pulling match. A toilet magically stopped itself up. The dog decided to yank left over pizza out of the garbage, which became a gassy gift that kept on giving. Suddenly, the question ringing through my mind wasn’t “How can I impress?” but “How can I survive?”  

With five minutes to spare, I frantically wiped down the squeaky ol’ kitchen table smudged with crayon and permanent marker. I tossed on a white table cloth, threw down a couple of candles, and we were ready for a meeting.

After I bribed the kids with popcorn and flipped on Barbie’s “The Diamond Castle,” we sat down at the table and began our meeting.  The social worker asked about our lives, families, jobs, and why we would be good adoptive parents.

I answered questions about my previous marriage and divorce. I described in detail the physical abuse I endured for years. It’s a topic I don’t like to discuss. However, as soon as the words and phrases rolled off my tongue, I realized God chiseled away those chains a long time ago.

I no longer felt shame.

I no longer cared what anyone thought.

I no longer felt judged by my peers.

I knew what Satan meant for evil, God intended for good, (see Genesis 50:20).

I knew I was lavishly loved by God. Period.

The words from Joel 2:25 quickly came to mind.

“The LORD says, I will give you back what you have lost.”

In that moment, God’s words of Truth came alive in a way they never had before. Yes, Lord you have restored me. Yes indeed, you have given me back what I lost.

I lost my significance but you reminded me it could only be found in you.

I lost my purpose but you created me to be your princess with more purpose than I could ever imagine for myself.

I lost my courage but you restored me to guardian girl status.

I lost divine intimacy but you showed me how to bathe myself in prayer and return to you.

I immediately felt like that old table lurking underneath the stark white tablecloth. I am just like that table stained with unwanted 3 year old murals and dried food that’s never coming off. I too may be a little creaky, extremely uneven, and slightly wobbly but the moment I said “yes,” my King covered me with his stark white rob of righteousness. But you know what the greatest news is? He not only covered up the stain of my sin, but he healed it too.

Dear Lord, thank you for restoring me. Even though I’m not the women I want to be, I’m better than the woman I used to be. Thank you for your love that endures forever. Amen.

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