Time to deal with the big fat elephant in the room. 🙂 I have been coming back to this post for months. I recognize all sorts of things are going to come to a readers mind and I welcome any questions from friends and strangers alike. On top of pointing to Christ and his redemptive power, I would want this post to open a door for anyone that feels they can relate to the struggle. You don’t even necessarily have to be a foster parent to deal with the strong feelings the enemy can near torture you with. I would be more than happy to exchange emails for an avenue of personal encouragement if you need prayer or just to talk. God created the body, his church, so we can uplift each other. And that’s the only reason I even keep this blog, because by Gods grace, it has been encouragement to others. It’s not me, it’s all him! 😉
So I really feel that I need to share this and am reminded that:
1.) Gods great love covers my short comings 1 Peter 4:8
2.) He works all things for the good of those who love him. Romans 8:28
Some of you may be wondering… where we are with foster care and Faithbridge and that little girl who came to us back in July.
Our first placement left us in January shortly after the new year. She did not go home though, she was placed with another family. And trust me when I say, I am more shocked by that than you are. I know we are not the first foster family to walk through the process and decision of having to place a child in another home but that did not make it any easier. It was probably the hardest decision we’ve ever made after one of the hardest seasons of our life. Going into this our hope was of course to see her reunified with her mother. We didn’t get to see that through. But it’s not about us…. Which I believe continues to be the BIGGEST thing God needs for me to learn, among many others.😉
I want to share some personal details because I know God has purpose in our experience. I keep coming back to this rough draft trying to determine “Lord, what do you want me to say, how can this story be shared to honor you?” I am confident that someone needs to hear it,…. someone who was like me. There were many times that I felt so alone and that no one would understand. I wouldn’t dare be candid about things I was really feeling with anyone outside of Jason, my parents and a very select few friends. Satan was good at capitalizing on feelings of guilt, shame, and failure and diminishing any of the work God was doing. It just became a very hard time and clearly not at all what we would have wanted or expected. But friends, it’s not a cliche saying to make us feel better, God works in ways we just can’t understand. Often we define success much differently than God and we really can’t see the bigger picture or understand how he uses all things for good. Especially when we view circumstances as bad. We tend to wonder “why would you let that happen?” But stay there long enough and satan will win in keeping us ineffective as Christians. It is a fight but we must move forward with confidence that God can redeem all of our brokenness. Because He CAN! 🙂
I could blog about more intimate struggles I had, like praying for bedtime to come. I was emotionally over-done, spent, maxed out. Can you relate? 😉
I don’t mind being honest about some of my less than stellar behaviors but for the sake of time I’ll get to the point. It basically came down to recognizing that I was no longer serving her with excellence or our family for that matter. Lots of things led up to that but at that point it became more about letting go of pride, wondering what would people think and doing what was best for her, our children, and our marriage. In the midst of our decision I really mourned the situation, I questioned and wondered. I felt “what was the point?” but I knew I couldn’t stay in that state, it was just plain miserable. God was calling me to trust him. To trust that he still cared and loved that little girl and his love will be sufficient where mine or anyone else’s isn’t. HE is watching over her and knows her future and will put more individuals in her life to minister to her heart and soul. To trust that he still cared and loved our family, that he used us for a season and now he was changing the season on us. I had to trust him that she was going to be okay and that she needed things from this new foster family that I (we) could not provide. And I had to trust the Holy Spirits leading, that letting go of her was what she needed us to do, and that I had most certainly NOT fallen out of my Heavenly Fathers favor. Biggest lie satan tries to tell us. Sometimes we will have moments in our faith where the biggest exercise of it is believing God loves us no matter what. Satan is good at convincing us otherwise, convincing us that we need to work harder at being better to be accepted by God. But Jesus died for us while we were still sinners, and the requirement is not that we have to be perfect for Him to accept us, he already has. I’m an easy target for this mentality and now in what satan wants to stamp a big “FAIL” sign on, God keeps whispering to me “no Katie. I’m still God, I’m still at work, and I will always love you. I have control over this, even when you feel out of control, I still reign and I will be glorified.”
I know that when we started with Faithbridge we genuinely believed God was calling us to that area of ministry. I don’t think it was a mistake even though it did not turn out how we thought it would. There are things we learned that had we not walked that we obviously wouldn’t know. I know we can pray and encourage people in ways we wouldn’t have been able to had we not gone through what we did. Sometimes when we are walking through dark valleys, just having a person tell us “I get it. I truly understand how you are struggling.” That alone can keep us from not going off the deep end! God gives us people like that to say “You can persevere and I will support you in every way I know possible because I know how hard this is.”
So right now where does this have us…. We are stepping back from
foster parenting for now. For me it’s simply trying to make that conscious choice every moment to choose Christ, his hope, believe in his redemptive power and his sovereignty and amazing grace. I’ll be honest, at points I felt so shaken in my Faith and I really am trying to trust where God has us right now and wherever he plans to take us tomorrow.
One day at a time.