Thursday, June 16, 2011

A RELINQUISHED CHILD--A RELINQUISHED LIFE

Pandita Ramabai (1858-1922)

Is it because I’m a romantic, or are there times when God writes on our lives with a big bold pen? Because He’s done it again in my life. And quite frankly taken my breath away.

This past spring I didn’t think He could bless me more than He already had when He arranged for my birth-daughter to be the model on the front cover of my debut novel—a fictional story set in India 1919. My birth-daughter Sarah is the child I relinquished to adoption when she was 3 days old, and was reunited with 20 years later.

The road of adoption relinquishment and reunion is not an easy one. After the reunion as I relived the original loss of Sarah, the Lord encouraged me to write out my emotional pain. Like a lot of writers, my loss became my muse. But it wasn’t until after the photo-shoot for the front cover that I realized God had bracketed the conception of my fictional career and its debut with my beautiful muse. I couldn’t thank Him enough.

But He wasn’t finished yet. He was writing another chapter to our true-life adoption story.

During the design of my front cover, Sarah and her husband were in the midst of applying to various missions. As ER nurses they both felt called to full-time missionary work.

Several months after my novel was released, Sarah announced they were going to serve with Global Aid Network—GAIN. One of the bigger projects they will oversee is the Ramabai Mukti Mission, an organization that has been in existence in India for over 100 years. The Mukti mission cares for women and orphans—especially the disabled and those rescued from sexual slavery.

I couldn’t believe my ears. This particular mission has strummed a chord in my heart for several decades, and so has its founder, Pandita Ramabai—a former Hindu widow who came to Christ in the early part of the last century and who started up her mission to rescue women and children.

There is an integral fictional character in my novel Shadowed in Silk. Her name is Miriam. Some reviewers described my Miriam as a Mother Teresa figure, but in fact she is based on Ramabai who had died in 1922.

My birth-daughter, Sarah, had no way of knowing this. I’d kept this tidbit of my novel to myself. Only God knew.

So why India? Sarah and her husband had considered all sorts of missions all around the world. And why this particular organization in India? There are so many
Christian relief projects even in that country. Why bless this particular birth-mother's heart in such a personal way?

As I look back on the road of adoption relinquishment and reunion—and my writing—I am amazed at the boldness of God’s pen strokes in my life.

It’s no wonder I write. I desperately scrabble to get down on paper just a trace of His exquisite tenderness and kindness, the artistry of what He can do with a surrendered life . . . a surrendered child, to encourage others to follow Him.

If you would like to know how you can support this worthwhile ministry that endeavors to relieve the suffering of others, then you can contact Sarah and Mark Blaney at the following email (spelled out) Marb(at)globalaid(dot)net or Sarahb(at)global(dot)net or by going to the Gain website Powertochange.org

A life totally committed to God has nothing to fear, nothing to lose, nothing to regret.’ Pandita Ramabai (1858-1922)

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wow, another great "God story"
Thankyou Father!!!
Shirley Banman

Carol J. Garvin said...

And you sometimes wonder if your writing is what God intends for you to do????

Christine Lindsay said...

I know Carol. He's so gracious in making things plain. But you know how it is---writing is such a huge investment of time and energy. Not an easy road. But this has strengthened my heart that He can use the words I plunk on a page for His glory. Thanks for being such a friend.

Anne Mateer said...

I love the way that Author God writes our stories, weaving together story lines we never imagined would connect! Such an amazing story He continues to write for you!

Golden Keyes Parsons said...

Christine,

This is such a beautiful story. I'm sure I have just missed it, but what initially sparked your interest in India?

I feel honored to be a small part of your writing.

Blessings!

Christine Lindsay said...

My interest in India began as a kid when my mother used to tell me stories of my Irish ancestors who had served in the British army in India during the Raj. As a young adult I devoured British Raj novels of the great MM Kaye.

As time went by I wanted to write a novel in a similar vein as Kaye, but from a Christian viewpoint. I first learned about the Ramabai Mukti mission shortly after I gave up my daughter for adoption. As I healed emotionally by be faithful at church, the Lord opened up other interests.

But my love for India and her people grew the more I researched their country. Some of that research took me back to the biographies of great Indian Christians like Ramabai and Sundar Singh, and what Dr. Ida Skudder did in Vellore.

But that love grew even deeper on when God sent me to India on the short terms mission trip in 2010.

I'm amazed at this connection with India that the Lord seems to have developed in my life and heart.

Elaine Stock said...

What an amazing, beautiful story, Christine. My arms tingle thinking about how God seems to arrange life as circular--everything connects and everything has a purpose and impact on each and everything. Thanks for sharing.

Elaine

Ane Mulligan said...

He amazes us daily, doesn't He?

Ruth Ann Dell said...

I stand in awe as I read about the new chapter God has written in your life.

May God bless you and your family.

April W Gardner said...

Christine, your story has touched me today. Can you imagine what life would be like if all of God's handiwork was a clear as this particular instance? How would that change us? For better, or maybe not? He obviously has his reasons for often hiding his workings from us. Maybe we wouldn't appreciate Him as much when times such as this come along. Whatever the case, we'll praise Him today for what we CAN see! Rejoicing with you, sister.

Crystal Laine said...

Christine, you have always written your passion and it has shown through in all of your writing. You had many discouragements along the way, but God listens to each desire and pain and uses them for good. I'm so pleased with each new revelation and am so happy with it.

Thank you for sharing something so personal--but each time you share a personal joy, you attribute God so unselfishly--showing your true heart. Blessings for Sarah and her husband as they go on this journey. I didn't realize that they were ER nurses!

Christine Lindsay said...

Yes, Sarah and Mark are ER nurses, and have such a heart for suffering people. I get all goosebumpy when I think of what God will do through them.

K. Dawn Byrd said...

Such a touching blog post. God bless you!

cbalmony said...

God is amazing. He continues to show Himself to us everyday. All we need to do is open our eyes to look. Thank you for sharing this story. I am an "adoptive aunt." My niece's birth-mother endured much personal sacrifice to ensure her birth-child remained safe and alive within her womb, before she relinquised her into the loving hands of my sister and her husband. I know God has big plans for them all. Just as He obviously has for you.

Norma Gail said...

I am the adoptive mother of two adult children. They were raised knowing they were adopted and have been very comfortable and open with others about their adoptions. Neither one has a desire to reunite with their birthmothers at this point, though we have continued annual letters to their birthmothers since they were babies and recieve letter from their birthmothers also. It is me who would like to meet them. My purpose, to give them a big hug and tell them "Thank you for having the courage to give life to these children and allowing us to raise them!"

Christine Lindsay said...

Norma, how wonderful your family must be. I'm so glad your kids are as happy with their adoption as they sure sound to be.

I also think it wonderful that you got to share letters between the birthmom and your family. I wish I'd had that opportunity.

As I shared in my Adoption chapters on my blog, reunion isn't easy. Myself and Sarah's adoptive mom were very honest about how it affected us. I was so grateful that Ann shared so openly about how difficult it was for her when I did meet Sarah.

I hope that if you ever do meet your kid's birthmother or father, that it is a happy occasion. But then, it's all in how we look at the situation. You sound beautifully confident and happy that you are your kid's mom, and would not feel threatened in any manner.

My hugs to you.