My oh my what a whirlwind the last couple months have been. My take away from all that has happened since the end of August is that if God tells you to sell your house and move just listen and do it! It wasn’t an overnight decision to put our house that was our “Dream home”, (those are big fat quotes representing the world view of success and materialism). To others it may have looked that way. God actually started planting those seeds as soon as we had gotten our first placement as foster parents. Everything about this calling has been a process. God working out one detail at time within each of our own hearts. It was an idea God worked on Mike and I individually with at first and then brought us together as a couple talking and thinking about it. Then the actual decision was fast! God said do it now! Now is the time!! So we did! We had started speaking with a friend that is a Realtor around the beginning of August and boom decided to put it on the market Labor Day weekend. The first two couples that looked put in offers and the house we ended up buying popped up on the market that very weekend. Within 6 days contracts were all set. The main point to our move was to downsize amount of expenses and maintenance so that we can be more available to the children God brings to us. The house we bought fits the need and the neighborhood is perfect for kids.
So that little bit of background leads to my real blog. So when we looked at our new house I had noticed a shower that was pretty funky. By funky I mean mildew stained gross. The home inspector noted it as a severely stained shower and took photos. Mike and I resolved that we were probably going to need to replace it quickly and I had already started pricing them at home improvement stores. The weekend we moved I started trying to clean the shower. First I sprayed my vinegar, Dawn soap, and lemon juice mix all over the shower and let it sit a while. In amazement when I went to start scrubbing I started to see a white surface begin to shine through. I did three layers of cleaners moving next to a name brand shower cleaner, then a product with bleach and even actual bleach for the base of the shower. Three layers of cleaning, a lot of elbow grease and about three hours of my time. The effort was worth it to hold off on that added expense for a while.
As I watched that shower become white again I started picturing how all of us are carrying the ugly, funky gross stain of sin on us. Some of us think we are too dirty and too far gone. Some of us don’t see our own dirt! There are two ends of the funky dirty sin spectrum. Our society and even churches can communicate to a person that they are just too bad, too broken, unwanted, discarded, worthless, beyond hope, and will never amount to anything. The next image that came to mind was Jesus taking the weight of all that dirtiness upon Himself as he hung bleeding and dying on the cross! For three hours right smack in the middle of the day the earth was covered in darkness as Jesus bore the weight of our shame and paid the price of our sins. Luke 23:44-46. He shed his blood and gave his life in order for us to be restored washed white and clean. Three days in the tomb and He arose. Three hours of darkness to finish the victory over sin then three days in the tomb rising again to prove He is the one and only God and the only one that can truly save us and heal us!
The world of foster care has opened my eyes and heart even that much more to the need of love and compassion our world has. Children, parents and families have been discarded as too broken and will never amount to anything. There is hope when love steps in. Only Jesus can truly heal and bring cleanliness to the dirty brokenness. Healing is possible to the hearts that are open and willing to be healed.
When I set out to clean that shower it was a last ditch effort I really didn’t think it would help and we were going to have to rip it out and throw it away. The shower gave up the dirt with time and sacrifice of sore hands, arms, and knees on my part.
How often do we look at other human beings and hold back giving love, as Christians how often do we selfishly hold back the Good News of Jesus thinking ah it will never work, they will never change. We don’t know! God does! We are just to love. Our previous foster placements are still in my heart God placed them for a certain amount of time for us to pour in His love. Nothing is wasted and I believe with all my heart God has a huge plan for every human being.
I don’t want to say much at this time, but now knowing the faces of our next placement we are seeing His purpose, plan, and timing being revealed. His ways are not my ways and I am so very glad. His ways are perfect and beautiful!!
Isaiah 1:16-18 Wash and make yourselves clean. Take your evil deeds out of my sight: stop doing wrong. Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow. “Come now, let us settle the matter,” says the Lord. Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.
1John 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.