In all of our sixteen years of marriage Mike and I have never felt more under attack since we decided to take the step of faith to become licensed foster parents.
As a nurse I have cared for the drug addicted, mentally ill, abusive, and suicidal. I have cared for children on the receiving end of all sorts of abuse. I have cared for the broken, lost, and angry who lash out at those who are genuinely trying to help. God has given me the strength to love patients and families throughout my career. He has helped me on countless occasions to not judge and show compassion. I am not 100% perfect in non-judgemental, loving compassion of all humanity ALL the time, but it has grown easier and easier through the years with God’s help. That being said it is one thing to take care of the broken at work. It is a whole other ball-game to invite the broken into your home. Not just inviting the broken but the government as well.
It has been knowing what foster care would truly involve that has taken me over six years to surrender to taking this step of faith. After that sermon from our youth pastor mentioned in the first foster/adopt post my husband and I discussed finally moving forward with licensure. His statement to me was “I have always been good with it. It has been you that has struggled.”
Ok fair enough. Now as we have completed two thirds of our pride foster parent classes he has developed some of the same fears I have faced over the last six years. These classes can be sobering and emotionally draining as many worst case scenarios are shared. How the tables have turned as I feel a stronger determination not to give up and also that I want to not give up on any child placed in our care. As well as help that child’s family if at all possible. Mike on the other hand is questioning and he mentioned the word fear several times. We have both been stressed, cranky, and overwhelmed. Attacks by Satan worse than ever on our own personal attitudes and patience. In our discussion I mentioned that fear is Satan’s strongest tool to prevent people from taking steps of faith. It is only fear and our own selfishness that truly makes this decision hard. God provides scripture at the most critical times as the story of Peter walking on the water to Jesus came to mind. I reminded Mike that as soon as Peter started to become fearful of the storm and waves he sank. (Matthew 14:22-33)When we stop looking toward Jesus and look at all the dangers around us we will never truly follow the path God has for us.
The image of Jesus praying in the Garden of Gethsemane so often comes to mind. Being fully human knowing the pain, suffering, and the weight of bearing the sin of the entire world Jesus prayed “not my will but yours be done”. Jesus was the ultimate sacrifice for the greater good of all humanity. Brings the sacrifices made to make a difference in at least one young life into a whole new perspective. (Matthew 26:36-46)
2 Timothy 1:7 “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”