God has been teaching me a great deal this year; mostly things about myself. You see, nothing has revealed more about the state of my sinful heart as much as becoming a foster parent. To be honest, I used to look at my life and feel like, for the most part, I had a great handle on things. I was a good mom, a caring wife, a youth group leader with my husband, and an all around nice person to those around me. I loved God and lived for him.
I had it together.
Then God moved my husband and I towards adoption; so clearly, so persistently. We kept taking steps, and he kept confirming that we needed to keep going. After first agreeing we could never pursue adoption through foster care because of the fear and uncertainty that would bring, God pushed us right into that place we said we never wanted to go.
You see, for years we’d been praying the dangerous prayer. You know, that one that sounds a lot like:
“God, I love you more than anything else in this world. Draw me closer to you, whatever that takes. Show me how I can serve you more. Use me for building your kingdom and bringing you glory.”
I call this a dangerous prayer because God is a God of no boundaries, no limits, no fears. When you start asking him to do his will in your life, no matter what that is, I believe that is when we find ourselves in situations beyond what we ever thought we could do/handle.
Enter “Autumn”, our 12-month-old foster daughter. My world turned upside down. I was suddenly a mom to nearly twin one-year-old girls and a 3-year-old son. We were suddenly dealing with things like attachment problems, sleeping issues, and food anxiety from our new little housemate. I couldn’t leave the house without getting strange looks and lots of questions. Life went from comfortable to uncomfortable very quickly.
It’s been a year of many growing pains. God revealing the weaknesses in my own heart. I never knew I was so impatient. I never knew I had so little grace. I never knew I was so selfish. Throughout all the struggles, God showed me my ever-present need for him. And in each struggle, he has been there, not always as visibly or comfortably as I’d like, but he has been there day after day.
God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. – Psalm 46:1-3
And now I’m here. I have a 2-year-old, an almost-2-year-old and a 4-year-old and I feel like I’ve matured about 10 years. Yet, rather than being close to the end of this grueling process and on our way to adoption, our daughter’s case has taken a sudden turn in the opposite direction; a path that would take her out of our home.
Once again I find myself at a crossroads. The truth is that everything in me wants to give up, to stop fighting and to sit back and feel sorry for Autumn and our family. But I keep coming back to the Word of God and it keeps saying the same things: Trust God (Proverbs 3:5-6). Do not worry (Luke 12:22-24). Love others (John 13:34). Do not be over come by evil, but overcome evil with good (Romans 12:21). Never will I leave you (Hebrews 13:5). Care for widow and orphans, and not just when it is easy or comfortable (James 1:27).
I’m at a moment in my life where I either trust God completely or I don’t. He is either totally in control of what happens in my life or he isn’t. There is no middle ground of self pity mixed with faith. He is either God of all, or he isn’t. It’s so easy to trust him when we see where he is leading us, when the joyful moments overwhelm us and we feel his love. It’s hard to trust him when the road is blurry and you don’t even know what the end of the journey will look like.
But, just because our circumstances change, doesn’t mean that God, his love and his holiness do.He hasneverbroken a promise and he never will.
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday today and forever - Hebrews 13:8.
It’s been a challenging year, but I praise God that it has! God has shown me time after time that he is worth leaning on with all my weight. Despite where the next few months may lead us, I know that he will not disappoint us. His ending to this story is truly the only one that I desire.
Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God. They are brought to their knees and fall, but we rise up and stand firm. - Psalm 20:7-8
1. What situations do you find yourself in that are difficult to trust God to handle?
2. Have you ever prayed the "dangerous prayer"? Are you willing to start?