Tuesday, April 18, 2017
When the Statistics Became More Than a Number.
Thomas and I have always sort of 'known' that we had a calling to foster care, our hearts ached at the staggering statistics. We started the process about a year ago and, because of circumstances beyond our control, had to put everything on hold.
Fast-forward a year later, we moved right next door to my parent's which increased our support system. We are attending a church that supports foster parents in more ways then I could have ever dreamed possible. The decision to re-open our home should have been a no-brainer, right? I wish I could share with you how great it was to know that it was time and that I trusted God and that I just did it without any reservations at all, but, that my friends, was not the case.
A lady from a Bible study that I am attending posted a blog post about saying "I'm blessed," it resonated in my mind for the next few weeks. I began to realize how privileged we are. My prayers changed from 'bless my family' to 'Father, please help us not waste our privilege.' I asked Him to help us to use the privileges that we enjoyed to glorify Him.
**I feel a warning is necessary here! DO NOT pray stuff like this unless you are ready for God to break your heart and change your world!**
That is exactly what happened! Over the course of the next month God began working in Thomas and I's hearts concerning foster care. I have always seen the statistics of the number of siblings that are separated when entering care because homes can't/won't take sibling groups. I began to realize that if I hadn't been 'privileged' enough to have my parents, and something were to happen to Thomas and I, that could be our kiddos counted in those statistics!
So, I made the call. We would begin again the process of opening our home to foster care, but there was something that just felt off. I knew that this was right, but my selfish nature kept trying to buck it's selfish will and interfere. I struggled. When Sunday came the following week, I was beat up emotionally and spiritually. I was exhausted and about to throw in the towel. Why would anyone want to walk this road?
That day our Middle School Pastor at church brought a Missions Moment. I do not remember much from the video he showed or what he said, except this: "Those statistic that you see on the screen, those are not just numbers! Those are people. Jesus died for them and they need someone to tell them that good news!"
Jesus broke my heart! Right there in the middle of the Mission Moment at the beginning of our service. Those statistics that rocked my world all suddenly became far more than just a number, they had faces and stories. I wept. I was embarrassed and ashamed of the selfishness that I had been harboring. I knew that I needed forgiveness. I also knew, right then, that this was absolutely the calling that He had placed on our lives! We were to be foster parents.
We don't take this lightly. I believe that this is our mission field. So many are called over seas, but God chose to call us right where we are, in the middle of a crisis. A broken world, filled with broken families who are in desperate need of a Savior. Our job is to show His love to these families as they work to restore their lives and start over. We are in the business of reunification of families.
That is why we are becoming foster parents! We want to share His love with both the children and the parents in the foster care system! We know that this calling won't be easy, in fact, we know the very opposite is true. We will love these children like our own and then we will say goodbye and hand them back over to their parents. We will have to learn to trust God in a whole new way. We may never know what will happen to these children once they leave our home, but we trust a God Who does! We must learn that we only have today and the intensity of that truth.
We covet your prayers as we welcome these children into our home. Pray that we will be able to share His love to these families.