I had been praying about what my next devotional should be on and yesterday I opened my bible to Jeremiah 11:1-5. Verse 3 especially stood out: “And say thou unto them, Thus saith the Lord God of Israel; Cursed be the man that obeyeth not the words of my covenant.” I thought, “Okay, the story of how we became foster parents it is.”
Last spring I was having a hard time with not feeling like my job as a medical transcriptionist was fulfilling. I was feeling stuck and bored and I began to pray that God would show me a new path and guide me into a new career that would be more rewarding. As I prayed over the next few days, God began to show me that I was exactly where He had put me. He showed me that my career may not exactly be something exciting, but it is the perfect fit for me because it allows me to be home all the time with the part of my life I am most passionate about: My children. He began to help me feel the importance of my job because it allows me to be a stay-at-home Mom and work full-time. I had realized these things before, but now it seemed so much clearer how much of a blessing my job is. But then, it was almost like God said, “We are going to step this up a notch.” I began to think about adopting another child and was led to the AdoptUsKids website. As I looked at all the beautiful faces of children without homes, God showed me how much love my family has to offer one of these children. He told me that we were the perfect people to help a hurting child. Now, I had never, ever before wanted to be or even considered being a foster parent and my first thoughts were very skeptical. But, God continued to weigh this thought heavily on my heart.
I continued praying over the next several days and finally got the courage to mention it to Josh, thinking “He is never going to go for this,” and somehow almost kind of hoping he wouldn’t, because if he said, “Yes,” that meant we were really serious about this. Well, of course he did say yes and said he had been considering it too. Amazing how God works, eh? We both felt that God was leading us in this direction and we would be foolish not to obey Him. After all, we fully trust Him no matter how scary the obstacle seems.
So, we contacted DCS here in Anderson County and began the process. We took our PATH classes (which are the ones you have to have to get approved; 8 weeks of once weekly classes). These classes scared me so much, we almost quit (when I say we, I mean I almost made us quit). They were full of new information that I had never considered, such as every child that comes into the system has experienced trauma on some level, some worse than others; 90% of children in foster care have been sexually molested, usually by someone very close to them; most of the children come with behavioral issues from their trauma, some worse than others; hoarding is a commonplace thing with many foster children, even the very young; many birth parents are resentful and hard to deal with. Oh my! How the devil worked in my head, and thank goodness for my rock solid and brave husband who never once wavered. He kept me strong and reminded me why we were embarking on this new journey: Because we may not be able to change the whole world all at once but we CAN change the world of 1 child at a time.
We made it through PATH classes and home inspections and information gathering (which is extensive, believe me) and all the while God was there to reassure me that He had this in His hands and it was all part of His plan.
We knew that some people thought we were crazy (and heck, I thought we were kind of crazy too at first), but knowing that we had stepped out on our faith and allowed God to give us a new job to do for Him is the best feeling in the world. I truly feel that He has called us to be a foster family, even though it is hard, and scary, and frustrating, and stressful, much like He calls other people to preach or sing or teach. And, I have heard way too many preachers tell their story of running from God’s calling and being absolutely miserable all the time to resist the calling God has given us. I am proud to say that we were obedient to His will, even through our doubt and fear. There are so many places in the bible that talk about how important it is to be obedient, and I know I haven’t always been willing in the past, but I never want to pass up an opportunity ever again to be blessed by Him by being obedient. If He asks me to do something, I want to be immediately willing to do it. Being asked by Him to do a job is a huge honor, and doing it is a huge blessing! And, as the verse above says, I would much rather be blessed by obedience than cursed by disobedience!
Silver Lining for today: I am exactly where God put me!
I realized after I posted this blog, that this blog itself is a way to be obedient to something God asked me to do. It was really hard for me to give in and to do this because putting my personal thoughts out there seemed pretty scary. But it is amazing since I started this just a few days ago how much happier I feel and more relaxed. I didn’t even realize that I was burdened by not doing the devotionals until I started doing them. God is pretty smart!