I sit here and I don’t exactly know what I want to say. I know my heart is raw and tender, and I want to always remember this feeling. The moment I am empty of myself, I find the most beautiful. It is these moments where I find it easier to rely on God, stop trying to do it all on my own, and surrender that I don’t have control.
I think it would be safe to say these last five months with our sweet foster son, my heart has largely been in this sweet, yet difficult place.
Yes, it is very hard to live day in and day out with such raw, heavy emotions, but it can be beautiful. Let me explain. When we said “yes” and brought a child in crisis into our home, we were bringing brokenness, hurt, pain, lies, bad habits, etc with him. It is a very trying experience to walk day in and day out with love in the midst of these circumstances. Not to mention having three other children in the home, who are little sponges. It was a constant balancing act of our hearts to care for everyone well.
There were many days where I was exhausted and cried. I couldn’t do it on my own. I learned that from our last foster experience. So, I think I was set up better this time around, but it didn’t change that it was still hard. The truth is though, all those things that lived in our FS, also lived in me. I have just perfected the art of putting up masks and shields.
This experience had me running to Jesus. I needed him. I relyed on him to get me through conversations, to give me grace, to not expect changes overnight, and to give me the qualities like patience, compassion, and mercy. I wanted to instill these in my kids, but couldn’t before emptying of myself.
This sweet, sweet boy was used to change me. He made me see Jesus in a desperate way. Jesus is real, he is alive, and I saw him move. He moved my heart. I went from wanting a 1-year-old girl to saying yes to a 4-year-old boy. I went from wanting to help him to loving him like my own flesh and blood children.
Even in this moment, I type through tears as I hear one of my son’s saying “where is _______” and another eating his granola bar the exact way our FS always did. He has parts of our heart and we will always love him.
Yesterday, was a hard day as it was our last one with him in our care. We all cried heavy, hard tears as we said goodbye. It was real. I got to hug his great-aunt with my tears streaming onto her back and whisper she’s going to do a great job, and I believe it. We then went out to dinner as our little family of five again. We told stories, joked , and I laughed so hard till my belly hurt. It was a beautiful moment to realize that even through pain…there can still be joy. God has not forgotten us and did not leave us in the moment when we said good-bye to our FS.
I feel like we have been grieving him leaving for a while, so now that the band-aid is officially pulled up, it is a mix of emotions. In sorting all these out for a few days, I have felt scared. Not scared for our FS, because I believe he has an amazing team around him to watch over and make sure he is safe and he is in the palms of our mighty God, but scared for our hearts. This boy was used to move blinders on my eyes and rocks in my heart. I needed him just as much as he needed me. But, laughing with my family, hanging on our bed all cuddled up together till we all crashed, and waking up today knowing and believe that God is still with me, I have a peace. God has never left me. We have hope. We have faith. God is not through with us yet. This was just another beautiful part of our story and the journey God is taking us through in this world.
One way I see God move now, is in the caring of our hearts through all of you. Thank you for the sweet texts, emails, comments, drop bys, hugs and messages saying you are praying for us. I can’t tell you how much I have felt them and you are being used to carry us. Although we were on the “front lines,” it was a team effort and we couldn’t have done it without the support of so many.
We will miss this sweet boy, but we will see him again. Looking back now I feel like when we said “yes” to that phone call five months ago, we were largely saying yes to God having the controls of our life in a raw, trusting way. It should be that way daily no matter what is happening or who lives in our home. I want to still wake up today and say “yes” to Jesus. We gave of ourselves, but really in that giving…we were blessed and changed far more than we could have ever expected.
It is a continued prayer that we will have strength to say “yes” to hard things and give love through it again and again.
As we reflect on our experience, the song posted below has become like an anthem for us. I hope and pray wherever you find yourself today that you would know there is a faithful God you can cry out to and find hope.