Are you excited?! My sweet rock star friend Rach ( I have to say "rock star" because she doesn't know who She-ra Princess Warrior is) is AWESOME! So, obviously things are under construction because some really exciting stuff is on the horizon. I can't wait for you to be a part of it because you have been a part of every step of our journey. So be sure to follow along....
But for now. I'm a pretty open person here, but I realized at 2 this morning that I (we) have never asked for prayer, though some of you have emailed and asked me, and others have been so faithful to follow along with encouragement.
We are at a season where we need prayer...
1. Pray that we would finish well. God is working miracles on the front with our girls. Why do I ever doubt Him? His story is being written in and through them in ways that they will one day be able to look back and say, "Never once did we ever walk alone." The temptation is to protect ourselves. A year and a half (by the time this all wraps up), is a long time to be a parent. Our instinct is to quietly put a wall up and distance ourselves in order to make the removal shock easier. But we want to finish well in light of the Gospel Truth. We want them to remember these last months as a time when they were loved and pursued by a mother and father who delighted in them and prayed over them. I fall short every. single. day. I'm humbled to have been chosen to be in their lives.
2. Baby J - I was talking with my social worker friend tonight. It's so ironic that people come into foster care longing for babies. The older kids may be harder day to day, but the babies feel like your heart has been gutted out and slowly bled when they leave. Now, I'm weeping again. J turns one on Sunday. (Tune in for that letter :) He will have been with us for a year on September 10th, and he will leave on the 18th. Jamie thought we had lost our minds for saying yes to this kiddo, but what a gift! Now, we're addicted. It's so easy to look at the babies and grieve as "one without hope." That is what Satan would love for us to do. He would love for us to get overwhelmed and discouraged and say once again that "this isn't worth it." That's a lie.
The whispers tell us this is just too hard. But the truth is we have never been so alive, even in the grief. I've never felt the hand of God literally leading my life in such a clear way. Dude, I'm weeping all over the computer. I'm coming to realize it is a precious gift to have ability to say that we have a crystallized view of our particular calling and mission for the kingdom. We are all called to the Great Commission, but materialization of that takes different forms. God has brought us to the place where we delight in His work in and through our lives. And, just because something is hard or makes us hurt, does not mean we're not called to it. I'm pretty sure all the disciples weren't jumping with joy at persecution and martyrdom, but they didn't run from their calling, and their calling produced a heritage of faith for us.
With Baby M, we grieved with bondage and fear. My vision was so shallow. I. still. grieve. her. What God has grown from that child, is so much grander than we could have ever dreamed. I'm honored to call her grandmother, friend. She teaches me so much.
Please pray, we would grieve Josh with hope and life and with the confidence that our God is a redeeming God, and that His word does not return void. Please pray for me as my Momma arms will ache, for our boys as they transition, and for the girls as the reality of the "temporariness" of foster care is forefront on their minds again, and for Jamie as he surrenders a son to his daddy.
3. Pray for the girls' and J's families. They have seen Jesus in our lives, however weakly it is at times. But He is real, and He resides in us. Pray that we would transition and let go of these children that have been ours for this season in a way that Jesus would be proclaimed. Pray big for salvation. Pray big for them to desire a continuing relationship with us, and the One who created them. Nothing is impossible for our God.
4. Finally, for the first time in two years it is looking like we will be a family of five for a season again, possibly as soon as the holidays. Pray that we would treasure this season, however long or short. But please pray also, as we are making some "big to us" decisions" right now in regards to our foster care ministry. Some beautiful initiatives are on the horizon, and fun announcements for you all, but we want the Father to lead, and not ourselves. We are passionate about our calling, and so it's quite easy "to put the cart before the horse." Pray that we would be HIS "ever-increasing glory" to a watching world, day by day, and not live in the future.
I ask because I know He answers, and I know many of you will lift us before our Father's throne of grace with confidence.
So honored to have you doing this journey with us,