Identity: God’s Family

Ephesians teddy

Adopt – to choose or take as one’s own; make one’s own by selection or assent

My daughter was 9 years old when her tiny feet first stepped onto US soil.  9,000 miles from the country of her birth, she could only speak a handful of English words.  Her understanding of what life in America would entail was limited.  The word “adoption” had absolutely no place in her vocabulary.  To this little Rwandan, she was on the trip of a lifetime and an eminent return to the life she had come from was looming in her future.  But that was never our plan.  From the instant my husband and I chose to walk the road of adoption, there was no earthly thing that could deter us from the end goal…making this little girl our very own.

Once we signed the dotted line and this precious girl was in our arms, not only did her last name change but everything, and I mean everything that belonged to us, was at her disposal.  The life once lived, the hours of fetching water, the days spent hungry without food, the years of fighting to protect herself from danger, and the nights without comfort–swallowed in loneliness–had been replaced in an instant.  Although once an orphan, she had been chosen and adopted into a new life.  An exchange had been made…

“For he foreordained us to be adopted as His own children through Jesus Christ, in accordance with the purpose of His will [because it pleased Him and was His kind intent]…”   ~Ephesians 1:5 Amplified Bible

Our Heavenly Father, the One who created us in His image {Genesis 1:27} and knit us together in our mother’s womb {Psalm 139:13}, has also chosen us to be adopted as His own children through Jesus Christ.  He sees us in our pain, while we are hungry, lonely, searching for love and acceptance, feeling stuck in our sin, and He extends the opportunity for a new life.  A life where everything, and I mean everything that belongs to Him is at our disposal {2 Peter 1:3}  But an exchange has to be made…

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.  You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.  I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and I will bring you back from captivity.”  {Jeremiah 29:11-14}


Even at 9 years old, my daughter had a choice to make.  By all outward appearance her life had been radically changed, but the internal transformation was something she would have to accept and embrace on her own. The world labeled her an orphan, but now she had been adopted.  Her past circumstances told her she was abandoned, but now she was chosen.  Though she believed herself to be unlovable and rejected she was now embraced by a family who would love her unconditionally, simply because she was their child.

We sit at the same crux in our own lives.  We will remain a slave to the identity the world has spoken over us, or will we accept the offer our Heavenly Father has extended to us…adopted as His children?

“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!  And that is what we are!”  {1 John 3:1}


Schwein-4Carol Schwein is a fierce and passionate pursuer of Jesus.  She is committed to spiritual, emotional, and physical health and inspires others to do the same.  Married for 10 years to Jake, they minister together at Grace Chapel while raising their three gorgeous children, Josiane, Josiah, and Jaelyn.

…and she will gladly put aside cleaning house to have coffee with a friend, any day of the week!! {Bio provided by Danae Allen}


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