Last Tuesday while waiting to pick up my nearly 15 year old from High School, I received a text.
Hey Dana…we have a child in need of placement… what are your thoughts on a newborn?
I had just become licensed to be a foster mom the Friday before. God had placed it on my heart well over two years ago, and when I started the process last summer it was after much required softening of the heart. I’m a single mom of two very self-sufficient children. The idea of purposely adding to our chaotic structure seemed crazy! I guess that’s when I should’ve known it was a “God-thing”. Our faith isn’t grown in comfortable places and if we could do everything He called us to do in our own strength and power then there wouldn’t really be a need for Him, right? God, in His perfect timing and perfect preparation had blessed me with a home last Spring. It was more than I had dreamed and even though there have been some bumps along the way, the space and availability to include more into my home was evident.
A newborn… I haven’t had a newborn in my life for 10 years. Do I even know how to do that anymore? Can I risk not getting sleep with my health? And then I stopped, I prayed, and felt the peace of God and His spirit telling me yes. You won’t be able to do it in your own power, but through Me, you will be more than enough. If only I could remember that promise from God on a daily basis, not just in these big decisions. I don’t want to do anything in just my own power, my fleshy-ness is certain to fail, and fail big according to history. I responded yes and then immediately began texting and calling friends to help me get this tween and over household ready for a newborn baby. My tribe answers in an abundance of blessings. He has more than enough and I simply thank God for the amazing people He has placed in my life. They too are sharing in this new found journey and loving without boundary.
Within two days an older sibling came to stay with us. In my mind I was freaking out. There’s no way, this is too much. ALL things the Word says, even when your too much is now more. So in our home you can find a teen, a tween, a child, and a newborn, plus two dobermans, one of which is a 6 month old puppy; hold the partridge in a pear tree. Am I crazy? Is this really what you called me to? God…can I do this? You won’t be able to do it in your own power, but through Me, you will have more than enough, you will be more than enough. Right…that unshakable, never forsaking promise of His. Thus I went all-in, thinking of how my Pastor would be proud of me as his Sunday message is walked out.
Today is Tuesday. It has been one week. I am tired, bursting with love, amazed by God, and overwhelmed with His presence in my every day walk. He is in the simplest moments, more present than I have ever allowed Him to be. We are facing developmental delays, anxiety, and a host of other quams that have yet to be discovered. Yet, in one week bedrooms have become safe havens, and a routine is starting to emerge. A personality burst through yesterday that had been reserved under nerves and anxious fears. We pray daily, and that includes praying for their mom, and an eventual return home. See one thing I have learned is that impact is found in transparency; and truth does not evade children. There is no need to pretend that life isn’t scary right now, or that there are unknowns, and what ifs. It’s okay to not have the answers and to be honest about that. The best I can offer is reassurance of truth, encouragement, and hope. I am not a replacement but a hopeful temporary hold, with no boundary or time limit. There is no guarantee in life absent the love of Christ. And through that transparency and reflecting His love for ALL involved, we engage conversation that is open and honest. We talk about families and parents without feeling ashamed or condemned, and thus an alliance begins to form. There in the midst of it all God speaks this life lesson; transparency allows for His greatest impact. It is when we are open, honest, and surrender our opinions for the truth of His Word that He crashes in with the abundance of everything He says He is. He destroys lies, strongholds, and fears, and I not just in those we are helping.
Every day I see growth; their sleep sounder and their breath deeper. I see trust developing in the form of smiles and conversation. It’s not because of me…it’s because of the God in me that He pours out to them. It is the surrender of my plans knowing His will always be greater than I could have ever imagined. If you would have asked me a year ago, if I would be a mom of 4, including a newborn, I would have laughed and looked at you like you had lost your entire mind. Yet, here we are, on the other side of obedience, wrapped in His presence, marveling at His hidden treasures, and basking in His unimaginable love. Today…is still Tuesday, and God is certainly still good.