December 21, 2014

It's All About the Grace

Like a child having a tantrum, I slammed the front door on my way out of my house, the house that suddenly seemed two sizes too small.  I could not stand to be in there one more second.  The noise, the arguing, the clutter, the incessant demands that never allow me a moment of peace.  I knew when I became a foster mother that it would not be easy, but sometimes it just gets so overwhelming that I have to step outside and get away, even if only for a minute.

I stormed down the driveway towards the sidewalk of my little suburban neighborhood, tears streaming down my face, my thoughts raging, my silent prayers practically incoherent.  God, please do something!  I can’t do this any more!  You brought these children into my home, and I have trusted you to help me love them.  You have got to help me!

I hadn’t gone even ten steps, when I ran into my neighbor, who happened to be walking down the sidewalk at the same time.  Oh, great!  Is there nowhere that I can even cry in private?!  Of course on any other day, I would have been happy to see her.  I would have enjoyed a brief chat with her.  But not today.  I looked around in a panic, trying to find an escape route, but it was too late.  She had already spotted me.  She had already noticed my tears.

December 11, 2014

Good News!

To the 150 million orphaned children in the world who will face this holiday season without a family . . . this is for you.

Do not be afraid, the angel said.   If there is one thing that you need to hear first, it is this: Do not be afraid.  Although there are many circumstances in your life that are uncertain, and the unknown future is terrifying, you will not be able to understand the rest of the message until you let go of fear.  God knows that fear, that terrible enemy that sneaks in and tries to steal your soul, needs to be banished.  He knows that fear keeps your fists tightly clinched, unable to open your hands to receive His gift.  The most amazing gift that has ever been offered.

December 1, 2014

Not Me!

Do you ever feel like Moses sometimes?  There you are, minding your own business, living in the middle of Nowhere Desert, quietly herding sheep and raising a family.1  Nothing spectacular ever really happens, and that’s just the way you like it.  There was a time when you thought you might enjoy living in bustling Egypt, with its grandiose building projects, bountiful crops, and a vigorously healthy population.2 

However, as you got older, you realized that the government is corrupt, the average person is way over-worked and under-paid, and the laws, instead of protecting children, actually decree that they should be murdered.3  No, thank you, you think.  That’s not me.  I prefer living an average, peaceful life in seclusion and anonymity.  I like routine.  Predictability.

And then, in one moment, on one ordinary day when you least expect it, everything changes.  You don’t exactly see a burning bush or hear an audible voice, but the message is just as clear.4  God is calling you, not to go and deliver his people from slavery, but to go and deliver a child from a hopeless, fatherless future.  He is asking you to be the one to rescue an orphan. 

Your first reaction, the automatic response is, Not me!  You are asking the wrong person, Lord!  I’m not brave enough!  I don’t have any special skills or experience or training.  I don’t have the right personality for it, and I know nothing about children who have been abused or neglected.  And You know I don’t handle stress very well.  I really and truly can’t do this.  Please, oh please, ask someone else to do it!5