Unfixable, yet Standing

The social worker's words are a backdrop to my inner dialogue.

She speaks of dead ends and fizzling attempts; I'm designing the hail marys, the final chances, the last shots that could make their dreams come true.

My eyes fill with tears, because I understand that though my nature craves to fix, to save their day...from my end, this is unfixable.

Together we tiptoe among the shattered glass...the workers, the lawyers, the judges, the counselors, us and all the in-betweens...though we make our way across the sea of splinters...we are peering from the outside into the lives of the ones who bear the hidden wounds, those who bury the glass of broken dreams embedded in their sides.

And not one of us can remove the pain; we're unable to dig deep enough to expose the wound, the source of their sorrow.

Because this was never meant to be.

Though she stretches her hands to me, striving for rest, her eyes peer past me, longing for what she has ached for since the moment she crossed my threshold.

And as I take her 10-year-old body and rock it back and forth, my soul screams in fury rather than faith, because all I can do is stand.

You tell me it's so much. They whisper she's so blessed to have me.

But I was never meant to be.

This space I claim, this position I hold...it is one born of brokenness.

I lay her to rest in her tears on the bed that has never quite felt like home, smelled like home, to only turn and hear her mama's voice weeping over my phone...

You don't understand. I didn't mean to screw up. It was never suppose to be this way.

And, I can't seem to fix it.

The shattered glass breaks into a few dozen more pieces, as the pain pushes it deeper into the aching heart.

All I can do is stand, listen, beg the Restorer to whisper through me.

Some moments, I feel as if my calling is to absorb the grief of their worlds, because there is no one else to listen, to be still with them.

I realize that somewhere along the way, my home became associated with immeasurable grief for child after child. Safety, provision, and moments of joy, yes, but cast against a overbearing backdrop of grief.

Somehow, my presence came to represent her greatest loss, the removal of his priceless treasure. At times, even being seen as their highest hurdle, most overwhelming obstacle.

Yet, the Restorer calls me to stand, a conduit of His movement, of His silence, of His mercy, of His redemption.

I turn from them all to weep into the wings of my Father, and He whispers, Let me stand for you. Watch me stand for you. Just say, Yes.

So I rest in the One who is standing for me, 

In our only Restorer, our only Hope ~


  1. Catie- Hi! Thanks for always being so honest and sharing your heart. My husband and I are about the begin the process of becoming foster parents and have some questions. Would you mind emailing me at megantrader@yahoo.com ? Thanks!

  2. We will be praying. Absolutely gut wrenching to watch them grieve... Over and over again with each visit's goodbye. I cradled a sobbing child myself this week as he said goodbye. And we stand with strength only He can give.

  3. Catie, I wish I had what you have! I know HOW you do it (Jesus!) but yet I DON'T know how you do it if that makes any sense? I mean, you don't just love the parents of the children you foster from a "safe" distance--you and your husband get right in there with them, minister to them--even knowing that their situation is WHY their children are with you in the first place. How do you DO that? I KNOW I sound awfully judgemental--and truly, if you wanted to talk to anyone that knows me they'd tell you that is NOT a word that describes me at all (Father, forgive me for I do not mean to be judgemental in the least...) but it just amazes and confuses me. You see, I've always thought of foster care as a need for separation--keeping child and parents separated for the time being unless and until they can ultimately be reunited. But you invite them in....to church with you, meals together, b-day parties etc. You stretch me to think of foster parenting in a whole new--and MUCH more healing and therapeutic way. Thank you for that--and for standing for these families! I think it all is so very real to me (more so than usual) not only because of stuff I suffered as a kid but more recently, due to a family member's situation and my concern that his child will end up in foster care eventually. I pray I am WRONG! And now, I also see I need more than ever to pray that when I deal with them it be from a place of LOVE and GRACE and not a place of judgement and anger at the fact that a child COULD suffer if they don't make some changes! I'm sorry if this sounds awful, Catie.