There are three statements you regularly hear as a foster parent:
1. I don't know how you do it.
2. I could never do something like that.
3. I just think it's amazing what you do.
I think all my foster parent groupies would agree that sometimes these come posed as questions, sometimes with a negative tone, but often all remarks can all be boiled down to these three.
1. I don't know how you do it ~ I don't.
2. I could never do something like that. ~ Neither can I.
3. I just think it's amazing what you do. ~ I'm not amazing, but I do have an amazing Savior.
This week was a case in point...
By Tuesday afternoon, I was wiped (and remember Monday was a holiday). I was tired and weary, and all around done.
I woke Wednesday morning and just laid my requests honestly before my Father.
There is no greater place I would rather be than right here. I love what you have called us to. But I need to feel you pursuing me because my heart is so sad and heavy, and selfishly, I want results.
That was all. I had no devotion. I did not say another word to God. I screamed at my kids, left the house a wreck, and wrestled everyone to the car.
As I walked into Wednesday morning Bible Study, my sweet friend Hillary handed me a packet. It was the photos she had taken of the girls with their mother and brother, the first time they had been together as a family outside DHR since their lives turned upside down. I would ALMOST surrender my license to post them for you, because the Gospel is written in every face, touch, and look. Hillary captured it all.
Low and behold, I wept to the point I had to go to the bathroom and pull myself together.
From there, we swung by Ashley Mac's because awesome Ashley had left some diapers and pull-ups. As the girl behind the counter handed me the bag, she said, "And this is especially for you." I looked inside to find a gift card. And, I cried.
We showed back up at church for our Wednesday night dinners kick-off. It was a miracle we were there, and some of us were in grave danger. We walked into the fellowship hall to be greeted by Ansley, a precious high school freshman who has faithfully pursued Big Sis' heart over the last year.
You see, Ansley had been given a gift card, but she knew she was content with all she had. Instead, she went and bought Big Sis and Little Sis her favorite books to share with them. Then she turned and handed me her English paper entitled, "Catie Lumpkin, My Hero."
I wish I could say that I embraced my life once again with new found zest, but instead I nursed my self pity, and clung to proclaiming my self-denying ways, but He continued to whisper through the actions of those who were willing.
- Food from the church for M's family.
- A sour cream pound cake made by sweet Camille, who made a special out of town effort to hug my neck.
- God specifically answering ministry prayer requests so much bigger than we could have imagined and throwing the door wide open.
- Precious Chalice bringing me hymns to fill my soul.
- A fancy double date night with Mer and John, who constantly remind me I'm seen by my Father as Jesus.
The truth is I can't do this. Before our crazy journey began, I longed to be independent and capable. To proclaim a hypocritical faith that displayed how together I had it.
Now, I embrace the rest that comes from being "undone." I've been able to admit that I can't do this, but so many come alongside of me to carry the cross He has called us to, and it leads my soul to drink deeply from the True Well.
I look my children's families in the eyes and tell them that this is not us; there are hundreds praying, fighting, holding and delighting in their children. It's the thread of the Covenant Body that weaves through the tapestry of His kingdom coming here to earth.
It's a thread that lets me feel the pursuit of my soul's lover, and delight in the ways He's rejoicing over me.