Tuesday, January 29, 2013

our good and His glory....

'For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD.'

'There is strength within the sorrow, There is beauty in our tears
Even what the enemy means for evil
You turn it for our good, You turn it for our good and for your glory'

So after the stormy anger has had a chance to subside, God has shown Himself faithful. He let me have my moment, my great big noisy fuss, and then gently pointed me to evidences of His hand.....

Jared had a chance to tell me more about his afternoon at family court. He was able to talk a good bit with Poppi, mostly about Dora & Diego and their case, but also about our experiences thus far in this fostering journey. In the middle of their conversation, Poppi just looked at Jared and said, "why are you & your family doing this, fostering?" A perfect open door for Jared to share the gospel with this precious, precious dad. Right there outside that horrid courtroom, the scene of so much heartbreak, Jared shared the answer to all of our deepest need. He shared with Poppi the good news of Jesus. 

The more I reflect on that conversation, the more my anger just melts away. What if one reason for this seemingly horrible situation is for Mama M and Poppi (and all of us)  to see more of Christ? Maybe even for His grace to soften their hearts and bring them to Himself?  

*a little background on Poppi* he grew up in "the system," ran away from his foster home when he was 13 and ended up in a boys' home for the next 6 years. As a result, he's pretty hardened to church and all things spiritual. I pray that he might see the difference that is Jesus between his experience in care and Dora & Diego's. 

Asking why...

Remember that struggle with trust I was having? Yeah, that trust just got rocked this afternoon. Praise the Lord that He is not only my rock but my strength. Only He could be holding my heart heart so firmly as to keep it from being completely torn in two by the news handed down in family court today. 

Dora & Diego's next hearing is July 8, and they are to remain in care with only weekly visits until then. Ashley, SW, said that we were still welcome to schedule our own extra visits as often as we wanted.  There is a plan being set in place for mom to be able to force an earlier hearing, perhaps by April. Jared and I were speechless.  

My initial reaction was not pretty...to quote a foster momma friend, I was foul. Probably a very, very good thing that Jared was the one actually at court and not me. All I could do was scream on the phone. The injustice in this case is unbelievable, unbelievable. I was ready to get in my car and go straight to the judge and explain to her that she had made a huge mistake and that she needed to make a different decision and she needed to do it NOW. That probably would have not gone over very well. Judges tend to frown on such behavior, I'm told. ;) At the very least, I wanted to burn up some attorney's email and voicemail, which I may still do after lots of prayer. I just still don't need to express every thought passing through my brain, at least not to D & D's attorney. 

Beneath all this storm of anger, however is a firm anchor for my soul which keeps me from going completely insane. I know that while we do have a human judge making decisions in our case, we also have a heavenly, sovereign, and GOOD Father determining those decisions. For whatever reason, He has chosen this path for us and for Dora & Diego and those 'lines have fallen for [us] in pleasant places' even though right now it certainly does not seem like it. 

Sunday, January 27, 2013

With an Open Hand

'You are working in our waiting, sanctifying us.
When beyond our understanding, you're teaching us to trust.'

I was really struggling this morning during worship with trust. Jared and I have had an opportunity, that we were not searching out, seemingly fall into our laps. After some initial hesitation, we've embraced this with all (okay, most) of our hearts. And yet, I'm scared to death that something will fall through, that this incredible gift that seems to be being handed to us will at the last moment be taken away. Theres a part of me that wants to hold back most of my heart until I know for absolute certain that this thing I want so badly will indeed be mine. I was having a very frank conversation with God in my head about this when the worship leader began his next song....

'trust you Jesus, trust you Jesus, trust you Jesus with my life'

The chorus was just that phrase over and over again. 

I wish I could say that that song was all it took for me to stop worrying completely, that at that moment, I was filled with joy over the prospect of our uncertain next several months. I'm so not that girl. I'm more the 'here's what's going to happen and when it's going to happen' type. All this up-in-the-air business makes my mind spin out of control. After all, what exactly I am supposed to bank on when I don't know what's out there? How can I prepare my heart and mind when i don't know what's coming down the pipe? How can I possibly know what to do when so many things are out of my control?

'trust you Jesus, trust you Jesus, trust you Jesus with my life'

I'm intentionally being vague about our opportunity for a number of reasons, but mainly because I know (or at least I hope) I'm not the only one who is facing this type of situation. When you think about it, our whole life is uncertain. Oh I think I know what my day is going to look like tomorrow, but I don't. I don't even know what my next 30 minutes is going to look like. BUT, I know who does. 

'faithful forever, perfect in love. you are sovereign over us.'  

Sunday, January 20, 2013

A Moment at the Park

'Christ is risen from the dead
We are ONE with HIM again
Come awake, come awake
Come and rise up from the grave...
Oh church, come stand in the light,
The glory of God has defeated the night'

You know how there are moments that are etched forever into your memory, moments when everything around you fades into the background and you feel like you're looking at something almost sacred. The first time you see your baby in the delivery room, for example, or when you watch a new believer be baptized. I had a moment like that today at the park. 

We arranged to meet Dora and Diego's mom and her fiancĂ© for a play date and supper. I was a little nervous about it simply because this would be the first time that I had ever met a birth parent in person. I wasn't sure how mom would respond. I wasn't sure how I would feel. I was honestly afraid of the awkwardness which surrounds this type of situation. How do you spend an afternoon with someone whose children you've been mothering for the past 8 weeks, whose children have been calling you mom? 

Truly, there was no need for any of that. After about 5 seconds, we were simply two families having a play date at the park. 

And then it happened, the moment that I will carry in my memory from this afternoon forever. I looked up from pushing Jojo on the swing and across the playground, I caught a glimpse of Dora and Diego walking with their mom and "poppi," the four of them hand-in-hand. A moment so simple and yet for them so very, very precious. I thought, that's how it should be, that's how their life should be right now, that's what I want for their life to be. I want them to be a family. 

We go to court on the 29th, and this will be the first time that we will be there. Jared is planning to go, to advocate for this sweet family.