Love I Do Not Deserve

Mary - Lexington, Kentucky
Entered on December 12, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: love
  • Listen to This I Believe on RadioPublic

  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails” (1 Corinthians 13:4-8). I believe that love is the most powerful thing on the planet. It heals, overwhelms, and can soften the hardest of hearts. It expels hatred from its nature and protects. Love has saved me, both physically and spiritually. Though not everyone agrees with me on this power of love, I believe and I trust. This is what I believe. God is love, He gives mercy and grace, and He is always there to rely upon.

God is the one I believe has had a hand on my life even before I was born. My life was not always the way it is now. I was not born into a family that was protective and loving. My birth father was abusive and my birth mother negligent. Two of my three siblings and I were separated one day in 1991. That day has scarred my soul, my heart, and changed the way I view love as I look back now, on the people I should have been able to trust.

My eleven year old half-sister, Jennifer, was sexually and physically abused by my birth father. After enduring several years of abuse took control of the situation and reported him to one of her teachers. He was immediately arrested, but my needy birth mother refused to divorce him. He went through counseling and anger management sessions while serving time for “indecent proposal to a minor”. He was released early for “good behavior” and shortly after I was born, Jennifer was 15. My sister loved me, protected me, cared for me, more than I, the child of the monster who stole her innocence deserved; it was as if I was her baby. I was four months old, when my birth mother became pregnant again with twins, my brother and sister, Timothy and Megan. To my astonishment I was the favorite, that I was his pride and joy. His actions proved otherwise. He did not love me enough to keep his hands off of my brother and sister. He did not love me enough to be responsible for his own actions afterwards. He did not love me enough to change his ways.

Unconcerned about our well-being, my birth mother sacrificed us to follow the pursuits of her heart and her selfish needs. I was fifteen months old when my birth father was left alone with Timothy, Megan, and myself. Our birth mother returned home later from work, and Megan did not look well. My birth father refused to take them to the hospital and forbade my birth mother to do the same, but she chose to drive to the hospital anyway. She was informed that Megan had severe brain damage, and Timothy had three broken ribs. My birth father denied any involvement with their injuries and tried to blame me, a baby. He was immediately arrested and Timothy and I were taken by social services. That day my baby sister was taken away from me. My birth father was convicted of child abuse for my sister and sentenced to twenty-five years in prison. He was released after only serving fifteen.

Timothy and I lived in a foster home for two years. I was three when my brother and I were adopted by Michael and Diana Mayfield and our names were changed to Mary and Seth. The only thing that remained of my past life was the mark of love in my heart for my sisters. I was thirteen years old when the desire of the unknown consumed me and I raided the file cabinet that was upstairs in my dad’s workroom. I re-discovered my sisters that day. This may have seemed like a joyous moment, to have questions answered that were secretly hidden in my mind, but it was not. I read the entire adoption file I found there and then I knew about my past and Jennifer’s story. What struck me the most was that my birth father testified that I had beaten the twins with a plastic teething ring.

To my teenage mind, I had failed to protect people that I loved, and it ripped me apart on the inside. I did not realize how small a fifteen-month-old was. When my baby cousin, Andrew was born I had a flashback, a suppressed memory. I saw my birth father shaking Megan and Timothy (a.k.a. Seth). I was angry at myself for not biting him or something, doing something to distract him from them. I realized that at fifteen months Andrew was still a baby; he was small enough to be carried around and to have little to no teeth.

I have come to believe that God did not take away anything, but He gave me many things. My conclusion is that He gives everyone a fair opportunity whether or not to commit evil acts against one another. He gave my birth father that choice and my birth father made his decision. As for Jennifer she married and has children of her own now. Megan we know little about, but we do know that she was adopted by parents that are trained to take care of her condition. My parents weren’t allowed to adopt her because of the Air-Force my family moved around frequently. Seth is my best friend, and I love him to death, even though he annoys me frequently. Michael and Diana are my real parents, because they are the ones that have genuinely loved me and wanted me. All this I attribute to God. He provided so much for me, and gave a happy ending to us all or as I like to refer, a happy beginning. We all start anew.

Only God could have given all this to me, because of His great love. No coincidence or chance, but a direct power in my life. I no longer loathe my birth father for what he did. I cannot and I will not. He may not deserve my forgiveness, but frankly I don’t deserve God’s forgiveness either. I love my birth father through God’s eyes and I no longer live in fear of any human being. Love never fails and my siblings and I are all living proof of this. I give this glory to God.