Saturday, July 26, 2014

Trusting God with the Pain of Foster Care

"Won't it be hard if you have to give him back?"

The nurse asked sheepishly as we chatted between head measurements and weight checks. I pinched my lips into a solemn smile and nodded the tiniest of nods.

I've heard the same question from a dozen others who have been brave enough to ask since this New Chick joined my nest. But just like in the pediatricians office, I rarely attempt an answer. Mainly because I worry that I might start crying.  
But also this; I'm afraid that I might make THEM start crying too. And I don't want to heap this pain on others. This hurt hurts. And any woman who considers it with me is going to hurt too. 

But what if by shying away from sharing my hurt, I'm robbing them of the chance to experience the Healer?

Won't it be hard if you have to give him back? It's a vital question and it begs an honest answer.

Yes. Yes it will be hard if we have to give him back.

I'll grieve. I'll hurt.

I'll shake with sobs over the devastating loss it will be. I'll ache with the pain from the severing of a life completely grafted to mine.

I'll cry cupfuls that many will see.

And buckets that most won't.

I will be weak. I will ask God why. I might question His plan.

I'll hate DHR and detest the system.

There will be tremendous pain. Possibly like I've never experienced before. But after I've drained the sorrow, after I'm spent...

God. Will. Come.

And He will gather my wounded and weary soul to Himself and with the voice that calms seas He will say,

"Well done good and faithful servant. What you have done for the least of these, you have done for me."

He might not make sense of it.
He might not tell me why.

But He will remind me that He Is Good. And that what He requires of me, He will supply. If He asks me to hand that baby, every bit my baby, over to another, He will give me the supernatural strength to do it. And then He'll walk with me every step of every awful day after.

This is my firm conviction. And the only way I can face this uncertain future. 
This is the only truth that allows me love that little one completely, knowing I might let him go: 

That His grace to get me trough will be enough. And that He will make it well with my soul.

Whatever pain you might be facing. The same is true for you.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Foster Care Means More

Foster Care means 
more mouths to feed
more hineys to wipe
more fingernails to clip.

It means 
another car seat to buckle
another nose to wipe
another body to bathe.

Foster care means
more visits to the doctor
more appointments to keep
more gas in the car.

It means 
more laundry 
more dishes
more sweeping
more working.

It means more vomit
more snot
more tangles
more poop
more pee.

It is more 
agencies to deal with
more systems to navigate
more people in your business
more government to answer to.

Foster care means
more uncertainty
more desperation
more complication
more giving up
more end of the rope
more worry
more loss
more heartbreak
more tears
more fear.

It also means
more help for your hurt
more grace for your burdens
more mercy for your mistakes
more joy for your journey.

Foster care means 
more of them.
More of Him. 
Less of Me.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Dear Bride to Be {Series} So You Don't Have a Man

I know you.

You're young. And single. A Jesus follower who reads the Word. 

You go to work, out with friends, on random dates. Your life is full and you can't complain. 

Still. There is an ache in your heart for "the one." 

Maybe I haven't met you, but I know you.
Because I've been you.

I know what it is to yearn for a Godly husband. To want to be a Godly wife. To hear the sermons on marriage and anticipate the day you gladly put them into practice. To buy the books just so you'll be prepared.

I know what it's like to stand beside another friend at the alter, holding her bouquet as she holds the hand of her beloved and repeats the vows you long to say. 

I know what it's like to beg God to either remove that desire for a husband, or fulfill it. 

As one who has walked that road of longing, here is my word to you while you wait.

Bless your husband.

You heard me, bless him. That darling brain of yours has daydreamed dozens of ways to do that in the future, but have you considered that you can should do that NOW?! Pay attention to this snippet from Scripture about being an ideal wife:

"She brings him good and not harm all the days of her life." Proverbs 31:12

Did you catch it? She brought him good ALL the days of her life. Not just the ones after she met him. 

She was a blessing to him by the way she lived even before she laid eyes on him.

So dear girl, it's time to start thinking like a wife. It's time to start living in such a way that you bring good to your future husband with how you live today. 

Bless your husband today by deepening your relationship with Christ. Singleness is a great season to serve Christ unfettered.  But beware of the superficial spirituality that comes with busyness. Above all else, press into Christ. Commit to know Him like you've never known Him before. This solitary effort will bless your future husband more than any other.

Commit to a church and grow alongside other believers. Just their presence in your life will help hold you accountable to the standard of holiness that will bless your future man. Not to mention that learning how to serve and commit are pretty big themes in marriage. Practice that at church and you'll be better at it in marriage. 

Bless your husband by being wise about who you date. And how you date. If you would be ashamed to tell your husband about so-and-so, or what you did with so-and-so, then for pete's sake don't go there. Bring good to your husband by remaining (or becoming) untainted by sexual sin. And for the love, cover up your sexy parts. They are meant for him alone. No man wants others oogling his girl. Bless him by not sharing his woman with another man. 

Bless your husband by being good with money. You know what will really impress a Godly man and bring good to his life? Not spending all you have right now on yourself. Tithe. Spend some on cute clothes. Give. And save for the life you will one day build together. Invest in his future, not just your own. He'll kiss you for that one day. (And when he does send me an email telling me I was right.)

Bless your husband by being radical in your obedience to Christ. If you are looking for a man who is all in with Jesus, then bring good to his life by developing that discipline in your life now. The husband you are looking for is not a half-hearted Christian (as if there were such a thing).  The wife he's looking for isn't one either. 

Dear lady. Waiting is tough. But you don't have to sit around doing nothing.  Say "I do" in your heart to the man you haven't even met. 

And commit to living now in a way that blesses him.