Juda Myers 3.17.2014
It’s St. Patrick’s Day today and everyone pretends they’re Irish right? But for over 40 years I did think I was Irish. That’s what I was told. So I took pride in everything Irish because my adopted parents were Irish and had told me I was too. My coloring seemed to fit with auburn hair, bright blue eyes and pale skin. Who would have questioned my heritage? But the day came when I got my original birth certificate and learned I was not Irish but German. Later that day I learned I was conceived in rape. I was overwhelmed.
What makes us who we are? Is it the people group we look like? Is it the friends we have or our interests? If we do not have an identity more stable than what we see then our changing circumstances will cause our beliefs about ourselves to change like mood rings.
I learned I was German before I learned I was conceived in rape. And my first thought about being German was that Hitler was German. There are far more attributes to being German than to be linked to Hitler. In fact there are German Jews and German Christians too. I didn’t really know any Germans because I grew up in Louisiana and even being Irish was an oddity amongst the many Ducotes, Bordelons, Juneaus and the famous Boudreauxs. Lots of French people but can’t say that I knew any Germans. So the only German I could think of immediately was Hitler. Why didn’t I think of Johann Sebastian Bach or Albert Einstein or Ludwig van Beethoven? I have no idea. So from the courthouse I fly to the next stop- the agency who facilitated my adoption. It would be the most devastating event of my life second only to the death of my dad. But what is so strange is that I had also been a victim of child abuse from a neighbor but what I learned at that agency affected me more than anything else in my up til that time.
I sat across from a hostile woman who unwillingly released my birth info because I had a court order. For some reason she didn’t want me to find my birthmother. I’d find out later that they withheld a letter from my birthmother saying she wanted to meet me. So after talking for about an hour she told me “If you’re going to find your mother you need to know about THE father!” I had no idea. She leaned forward and in her nastiest voice said, “Your mother was raped!” Now I really had an identity crisis.
I can’t even remember how I got to my car. But I was crying so hard I couldn’t even see. I heard voices telling me I was worthless and that the best thing I could do was to slash my wrists and let all that nasty rapist blood flow out. No one would even care. Now I had a husband and children who loved me as well as other family and friends but the evil speaking over everything I knew was extremely convincing. I was – I am – a Christian. I know better. But in that moment the devil thought he had me and was going to win. I’d grown up seemingly living a lie. I was not who I thought I was or was I?
Actually I knew I was created and loved by God and there were so many personal experiences that could not sway me from my beliefs. But this time… what was I to do? I knew what the world thought of people like me. I wanted to die. Where was my identity? What was my purpose? I was so close to following through with what the voice said. But then I heard my own mouth say ” I can’t because I belong to Christ.” And that very moment the voice stopped. I was still overwhelmed with the information I had been told and thought my only option in life was to just be the walking dead. I wanted to tell no one, not even my husband.
I didn’t want to tell anyone because I didn’t want the looks of shock or pity or whatever people feel about that situation. The next day I had an appointment with a music arranger to work on a song I wrote. The woman wanted to let me hear another song but what I heard was words about using and losing women. (She later said that wasn’t what she let me hear) So I broke down and screamed for her to stop the song. She had no idea what was happening to me because she had no idea what I had learned the day before. I put my head down and saw a vision of me falling into a deep abyss deeper and deeper. She jumped off her piano bench and said “I don’t know what’s going on with you but God knew you before you were ever conceived.” Right at that moment I saw a hand reach down and jerk me into a brilliant light so bright I could see nothing else. I raised my head and looked in her direction. I knew she could have said a million other words but this was for me from God. I said ” I believe it!” And from that point on my identity has been secure in Christ.
Who do you think you are? Did someone call you a name that cuts like a knife? Do you want people to listen to you but they won’t? The world’s opinion of us changes like the weather. One day they can think someone is the greatest and the next day that same person is the worst. So on St. Patrick’s Day when people celebrate being Irish or pretend to be Irish remember that it doesn’t matter what people think. Our Creator had a plan for every life placed in a mother’s womb and He can securely establish our identity. His thoughts towards us is to give us a hope and a future and guide us through life. His ways seem strange sometimes but He is the architect and knows why thinks work better one way over another. Some people say He’s a crutch. But I say He’s my wheelchair because I can do nothing without Him. He is my identity.