When your heart says No, but His will says Yes...

It's been almost two weeks since I've written here.

My head says, Too long, Catie.

My heart say, Not long enough.

The darkness and hard that threaded these past two weeks together with the mercy of God forced me to pause, to ponder.

To be honest, I didn't think so many people would notice, or realize.

I'm so humbled, and I'm so grateful for your prayers, messages, and love.

I'm not ready to share the story yet, or our space of her story.

But I assure you it's the story of God once again calling broken, messy people, to love broken, messy people for His glory.

When it is time to share, you'll see a woman whose heart cried, No, again and again these last weeks.

But the Spirit whispered, Follow me.

What else can I {we} do but obey the One whom our heart craves the most, even if it means the Valley of Death?

Because that death will birth new life...this story will reveal that in the most beautiful, crystallizing ways.

But it's still too raw.

A number of people have asked stated to us as this case {the hardest case we have ever had} comes to a close, Surely you will step away. You can only take so much.

We treasure your concern for us. We do. But we are so grateful we did not have a Savior who said He could only take so much.

Foster care was only one aspect of our full surrender to the Father almost four years ago. It is a dominant aspect, but only one nonetheless.

We didn't surrender fully because we wanted to be known, or have a great story, or even save kids.

We surrendered fully because we wanted Jesus.

And Friend, in the darkest moments of these last weeks, I have tasted and seen my Savior as never before.

When you have drunk from the well of Living Water, there is no other source of life to which you can return.

Pain in this fallen world is unavoidable. Some of us experience it through circumstances God allows; some of us through sacrifice. If we truly know Christ, I feel we all will be called to walk both within various seasons of our lives.

Our hearts want to flee from the thought of that.

But look deep within your Soul. Feel that for which you were designed.

You may discover that the very thing you most want to flee, is possibly the gate to deeper joy than you have ever known.

We were crafted to our core to know deep pleasure and joy, but the true definitions of those gifts will never be found apart from the One who invites you to delight in Him.

Believe me. I ran hard and far.

As Nancy Leigh DeMoss says, "Our hearts can never be truly satisfied with less than Him."

Deep within us, we know that.

Isn't that why you even bother to join me today? You're comforted that another soul kindred to yours is wrestling with this truth through the words you read.

There's a line from a Caedmon's Call song that has been imprinted on my mind, To the solid Rock I fly, though He bids me, Come and die.

Only in death, is there life.

Only in surrender, is there never-ending joy.

Only when you have stood amongst the hard fought battle, and watched the Father defend you, do you realize how deeply you are treasured and loved.

Do these things purchase our salvation? Not for a moment.

But do they take us to the Cross, to see how deeply we are loved, rejoiced over, and pursued? A thousand times, yes.

Real love, the love that was made to flow from Christ through us...it was made to shatter the messy and hard places of darkness that surround us.

That is never easy or tidy.

But don't shy away from that. Own it. Because it will bring beauty you could never have dreamed.

For I know the plans I have for you. 
Plans for your welfare and not for evil. 
To give you a hope and a future. ~ Jeremiah 29:11

What if those plans are not simply for our comfortable prosperity and safety, but to even more so make known to us our hope and future as Christ brings that truth to the world through us?

That is what I learned this week.

Cinderella, we are forever changed because of what you taught us of our Jesus. 
All our love, forever.

He is worthy ~


  1. Thank you, Catie. In these weeks as you've grieved, we have too over something else: best friends who have decided our child's HIV is too big a stumbling block for our friendship to continue as it did before. I've had sweet children ask for play dates with a friend whose parents won't allow play dates with us any more. And I've picked up the pieces of my broken heart and held them out to God, trusting Him with our pain and our friends and our children and His perfect will... oh, what a privilege. What a messy, hard, and beautiful privilege.

    Love you, my friend.

    1. I am so sorry for your grief. I have never had an HIV child, but bring a broken scary teen into your home and watch people run away. Afraid to expose their children to yours, but too unwilling to say why or to walk with you on the hard- as -heck journey. I try to look at it totally from their view - which is often limited to the concept of protecting their own. They truly believe that they are doing what is best for the health and well-being of their child, which is a legitimate position. They honestly cannot see or even fathom why some of us choose to expose our kids and ourselves to messy, hard stuff . Do not grow weary in doing good.

    2. Golly, I love you both. What a treasure and example you both are in my life. So grateful to walk this road with you guys.

  2. Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him! How I've proved Him o'er and o'er. Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus, oh for grace to trust Him more.

    Praying for your family to cling to Jesus during this grieving process. I am struggling to cling to Him as I wait for my grieving to (possibly) start. Foster care is hard! But oh, so worth it.

    1. One of my favorite hymns! So true! Jesus is worth it!

  3. This brought tears to my eyes and a huge lump to my throat as I read your story and re - lived our own. I wrote a similar blog post a while back. So much I want to say....I wish we could sit down for coffee....but mostly I just want to send out a big cyber hug, say I am so proud of you, and thank you for being His friend. I honor you and I am praying for your heart as you walk all this out!

  4. I just wanted to say THANK YOU ... God is being hugely glorified in your life. I read lots of blogs, but yours is the only one I'm email subscribed to because I don't want to miss a post. The Lord is using your transparency very deeply in my life. We are fostering a baby whose case has also been very hard for us, and my heart has bled a lot. Sometime I would love to email you and talk further.

    1. Lisa, holler anytime. I love talking foster care! So humbled. A bleeding heart is beautiful!

  5. Dear Catie and family, though we are strangers I am so sorry you are hurting!! AND, in the same breath so very thankful you still choose to follow His will in all areas--including writing here. There are so many wounded souls and broken people in this world. I'd have to say that at least in this season of my life, I am one of them as is my family--albeit for different reasons. May God hold you all --and your "Cinderella" close, wherever you may be. And THANK YOU, for being faithful, for sharing glimpses of your heart and lives with us! Hugs, Lori

    1. Lori, you are so precious. I'm so grateful for you!

  6. Thank you so much for sharing your journey and your heart with so many. This quote reminds me of you and Jaime.
    " Don't shine so others can see you. Shine so that through you others can see Him." C.S. Lewis

    Blessings to you - Juliet

    1. Girl, love you. Wrote this one down. You are a treasure.

  7. Praying for His peace to wash over your family. Thank you for your faithfulness to a higher calling.