Freedom Conference (4 of 4)

Mike Connell

Page 11 of 13
So what happened then, the law changed so we wrote a letter in and a letter came from her parents at exactly the same time and we were able to start to connect and communicate and suddenly the reality of meeting this daughter become not something that was a way off. It was about to happen and so we just didn't know what to say. It's hard to know what to say, but I was determined in my heart not to dishonour her, so we testified to the church the week before she came and let everyone in the church know of our background, of our failure, of what God had done to restore us and of the great miracle God was doing. So she came and it was just a most amazing time and she started to connect with us because there's now six natural brothers and sisters and we just kept loving her and honouring her and making her known to everyone.

It was a bit funny for a while because people ask how many children have you got and Joy would say six and I would say seven and they'd look at us and - but I had determined I'm not going to disown her again. Joy was still struggling with some aspects of denial and pain over this issue, so anyway as we journeyed with her we watched her make a number of mistakes in her life but we just never judged her. We just loved her and made her welcome and then eventually we were able to give her advice and help her and a couple of years ago I was able to take the service where I married this daughter and there was considerable tension on the Friday night at the practise, because we had already met her family, met her parents, but it was an awkward situation and we had, because we'd loved her and gained her trust, been able to help her in how to set up a service. We talked about the issue of honour and how honour works out and how it looks out and so on and we were able to give her advice what to do.

So she determined she's going to have me take the service and boy, I went home from that practise, I just wept. I said God, this is so hard, I can hardly bare to do this. The tension is so difficult. Show me what to do. How do I break through? So we got to the service and the Lord had given me an insight what to do and we came to the service and of course you've got her family and their friends and our family and our - so you know, then there's other people there as well as their friends and you can feel the tension; this is the natural father. What is he going to say?

The couple - she came down the aisle. It's quite - it's just so unbelievable really that God could do such a thing and the Lord had spoken to me and said do this. He said I want you to honour her parents and so she came down and stood there and we just welcomed everyone, just broke the tension a little bit, but it's still there and I spoke to the parents. I said today I want to honour you for caring for this girl of ours for so long. I want to thank you and honour you for all you've put into her life, the education you gave her, for loving support for her, for standing by her and for being willing to allow us to be a part of this day which is an important day in your lives. So I gave them honour. You know, as I put honour upon them the whole atmosphere just shifted; presence of God came. God loves honour. Its part of the kingdom and you know, the atmosphere changed and there was a tremendous response as we took them through the wedding service.

We went to the reception. I'm thinking God, how's this going to work out here and when we looked out she had set it up so we had the main table and she had a whole lot of round tables and she'd put her parents, natural parents on one side - that's us - and put her adoptive parents just in almost the same positioning. She'd placed honour on both of us. She was not going to have us minimised. Now we had never tried to impose anything on her. We just honoured and valued her like we made the commitment to and in return honour came back and so she spoke and she honoured her adoptive parents first and then she honoured us. People just started to weep. You could feel the presence of God come and her adoptive mother who was not going to speak at all stood up and she began to speak. She began to talk about how grateful she was to this woman she'd never known who'd carried this daughter and had given her up for her. She said there wasn't a year went by when she didn't think of that person and thank them for the gift of the daughter.