Missing Mattie takes me back to our first turn of "letting go"...
I'm in bed with strep throat. Julie's wedding was this weekend. It was wonderful, really wonderful. Jamie took a half day so I could sleep. I'm blessed.
Big Sis M moves on Friday. Sigh. I've been thinking and reflecting a lot. She'll be our first child to leave, but we're quite confident the house will be full again sooner than we think. The Father is so glorious in that M's number one family loves Jesus desperately, and longs to celebrate her in His faithfulness.
It's interesting that through this journey, there's two reactions I can almost count on hearing:
1. You're amazing. I could never do that.
2. That's so good for you, but I could never let the children go.
Ironically, those are the exact responses that I had as God led us into this journey. Woah...that's not for us. God has allowed me to see His grace in both of these, and to show His grace through my response.
1. We're not amazing. I've been thinking a lot about how we are simply obeying a call the Father gave us. Obedience is not amazing; it's obedient. In light of that, I can point to my Jesus who gives me the call to obey. Don't look at Jamie and me; look at our AMAZING SAVIOR.
2. The second response is harder. It may even come across prideful, but it's my heart. And as I said, those are the same words that came out of my mouth to a fostering friend just a year ago. It was the words I spoke as I kicked and screamed when Jamie became so confident that we were called to foster, before we ever adopted.
I could never let the children go. I hear this at least once a day. I told Jamie the other day that if I heard it again, I may scream. Please, please don't take that the wrong way, but the comment makes it sound as if Jamie and I have some secret power that enables us to let the kids go. The truth....
The truth is that for three months, I have been these girls' mother. God's grace has allowed me to clothe them, feed them, and teach them. I've had the honor of taking them to the Word, singing over them, and introducing them to my Savior. No, I'm not their permanent mother, but I have been called to fully give my heart to them for this season. So, in truth, I've also grieved them as a mother. They deserve that. Jamie's held me, and I him, as we've wept, prayed for their future, and some days not wanted to really get out of bed because we know we're one day closer to goodbyes. I have no secret ingredient, except that of the gospel. We do not base our obedience on whether or not something is easy for us, or if we will be strong enough to finish well. Christ, our Savior, is the author, perfecter, and finisher of our faith. We are simply called to obey. In truth, the moment I stop grieving these children, should perhaps be the moment I turn in my resignation to this calling. They deserve to be wept over, rejoiced over, celebrated, disciplined, and prayed for. For a very short season, I was given this honor.
These girls, and the ones that will come in the future, are not mine to let go. My own children are not mine to let go. They are my Father's, who graces me and allows me to put my hand into the gospel's work in their lives for a blink of an eye.