We answered the call to foster this year and our world has been turned upside down. It has hands down been the most physically, emotionally and spiritually exhausting thing our family has ever taken part in. We have been stretched in every way possible and while I have seen God’s hand in it, I still have so many questions for Him.
When people ask me to describe what foster care is like, I like to say that it is the physical manifestation of the battle of darkness and light right in front of my eyes.
The bottom line is, if a child has to be taken from their home and live with a total stranger then something very dark has happened. I saw darkness in the lack of attachment a foster child has, the fears that manifest themselves in their little minds from all they’ve been through, and the innocent questions that come from their mouth like “can I go to my mom’s house?” as you’re driving in the car.
To be honest, there are many times where it feels like the darkness is winning as you battle it day in and day out.
But then…light breaks through…sometimes it’s only a sliver but nevertheless, it overpowers the darkness. There’s light when a child asks to read a Bible story before bed or when a child prays for the first time on their own or when you see their confidence bloom because they are safe and loved and valued.
There were many MANY hard moments for all of us, especially with our biological kids with so much change thrown at them so quickly. And through tears we had numerous conversations with them about the challenge of having new friends in our home and that it’s ok to struggle. We then followed it with the gentle reminder that it is worth the cost because this is our family’s chance not only to house them and love thembut most importantly to tell them about Jesus. To be sure, I was definitely speaking as much to myself in those conversations as I was to my 4 and 6-year-old. And although our obedience to God’s call to foster didn’t appear glamorous or picture worthy, the Lord gave us enough for each day; no more and no less. And the next day we woke up and begged Him again to provide and He did. And our eyes were opened to Him as our provider and Sustainer in a whole new way.
We unexpectedly said goodbye to those 3 faces that were apart of our every day at the end of November. It ended as suddenly as it started. And in the whirlwind of packing them up and the tears that went along with that, I stopped to ask myself “have I told them everything I wanted to tell them?” And in that moment I felt a peace wash over me as I remembered the countless nights that we sang and prayed and told them how Jesus loved them and came to rescue them. In the midst of the darkness of them leaving, light broke through once again in the peace and comfort that only the Holy Spirit can bring. Yes, in fact, we had told them everything they needed to know because, in the midst of the mess, they heard the gospel.
As I folded another shirt and put it in a bag, suddenly it occurred to me…we originally said yes to foster care but in actuality, we were saying yes to how God had called our family to fulfill the Great Commission in this season. He called us not just to care for 3 little children but 3 little souls.
It has nearly killed me not to know the end of these kids’ story but I am thankful to have been a part of it. And although I was not ready for their time with us to end, I can rest knowing they have heard the greatest story ever told and our family can continue to faithfully pray that that story will be written on their hearts forever wherever they are. May these children (and every child that walks through our front door) grow up to call Jesus their Savior, choose life over death and break the chains of darkness that have gripped their family for generations. Light in the darkness.