About a year ago my mom and I were shopping at Hobby Lobby to find some items for a few projects. Our foster care licensure process was nearing completion and one project was to add finishing touches to our spare bedroom. A year ago before our journey began when I walked past this picture and read it the tears immediately started to flow. This one little sentence seemed to sum up our call to foster children in need in the most perfect way.
That day I did not buy it as I had no clue who would fill the room and I was trying to just keep the décor simple and as gender neutral as I could.
When I wrote A Whole New Kind of Grief in January I had no clue why and what God had planned next. Grieving someone’s potential to such depth was new to me. As I write now I have had so much more of God’s plan revealed to me. As I write now I am in greater awe of His amazing attention to detail on every life. As I write now I am even more deeply humbled and thankful to be a part of His great plan.
Two weeks to the day of God giving such a definitive answer of “NO” to my prayer “Do we take the next step toward adoption?” I got a message from a friend’s husband about a need.
You see with our first child we could have no other placements probably never had we adopted. I had resolved to this was the one and only child God had planned for us to help, but as usual I was so very wrong. God gave us two weeks to digest all that had happened and then I get a message from a friend’s husband to call his wife about a need. We were not yet on the market as a foster family. Our bed capacity still was showing zero as I hadn’t even gotten to fully communicate with our license worker. As I listened to my friend tell me the story of the need I could feel my heart swelling with love and compassion once again. When asked do you know of a family that can help, all I could think was “all I know of is us”. God had opened our room up and it was specifically for this very need in this very perfect time that it was needed. Separately speaking to Mike and the girls I watched as each of their hearts did the same as mine. They all turned into a puddle of compassion. There are not strong enough words to express how proud I am of their willingness to love and follow God’s call in this ministry.
It has been amazing as we have been able to open our hearts and home to another. There has been a community of people to help this one life and that is exactly how it should be for a child in need. It indeed does take a village. Another amazing turn in the story is that our family gets to remain a strong support in the life of our first child. Of course I can not share too many details, but God provides the most amazing paths when our hearts are open.
This brings me back to the picture above. A few weeks ago I found myself at Hobby Lobby again. When offered to get some new décor for the room our newest family addition only requested a chalk board. While shopping along I again see this picture that I saw a year ago. This time I bought it! Our sweet new member of our family was more than happy to have it hung in the room.
There has been nothing in this life that has brought me to a deeper understanding of God’s love for us than this calling to love this hurt world through foster care. Our broken lives take us to so many unexpected places, but God’s plan through Jesus is to bring us all home. Jesus is the only source of true love and our home is our eternal home with him. As a child I always thought of “God’s Will” to be what job, career, who I would marry, if I would have children, etc… God’s Will is to completely open my heart to Him. There is no way I can love unconditionally the way that I have on my own. It has purely been opening all of my soul allowing God to completely love through me. Of course my own human nature has gotten in the way from time to time, but He continues to teach me how to rely on Him fully. God’s will for my life is to love others in such a way that they feel truly loved and “home”. Whatever amount of time, capacity, platform, or tool God gives it is all just a way for God to work through me. My life is to be a channel of God’s love to direct others to Him. He is our true source of love and our true home. God’s wish is for all of mankind to come back to Him. He is such an amazing God that He gives us a choice. He cares so much about the details of every life that He will provide opportunity after opportunity even in a life of tremendous pain to see His love. It may be a complete stranger offering a word of encouragement. We get to see God in small doses throughout our life and it is up to us to accept Him. As a follower and totally sold out to Jesus I get to be a part of God’s plan to reveal His love to our hurting and broken world.
Home doesn’t always mean to live in the same house. Home is knowing that you have at least one other person that loves you unconditionally with their whole heart. Home is knowing you have someone cheering you on in life. Ultimately home is knowing that there is a God in heaven that loves you in a way that no other can love you. Ultimately home is knowing that God planned you, wants you, has a purpose for you, and wants to spend all of eternity with you.
John 14:2 “In my Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; I go to prepare a place for you.”
John 3:16 “For God so Loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.”