For the past few weeks, Scott and I have been feeling that God is calling us to something. But we don’t know what it is. Is He calling us away from foster care? I have no idea. I do know that we are “on hold, pending adoption” presently and although we’re doing respite for two babies tonight, we are closed to new placements until June or July. It feels like we are sitting on the sidelines and not doing anything. Even though we technically are still fostering Baby Girl – it’s just that she is OURS and we don’t feel like she is a foster anymore.
I may begin to ramble here a bit, and I apologize if I do.
I accepted Christ when I was 9 1/2. It was June of 1986. I had grown up in church. I had assumed I was a Christian. I went away for a week of Missionette Camp (yes, I have charismatic roots! LOL) and during the preaching one night, I realized I had never actually committed my life to Christ. I had assumed, in my 9 year old mind, that I was automatically a Christian. When the alter call was given, my little (chubby) legs couldn’t get down the aisle fast enough. I started to type “That was the beginning of my journey”, but then I remembered that He planned that night for me from before the foundation of the world. My journey began before He ever formed me in my mother’s womb.
It’s been quite the journey so far. It hasn’t been smooth or easy and I have been changed along the way.
I remember as a girl, hearing stories of missionaries and praying that God would never send me to some scary place like Africa. I was resistant to getting outside of my comfort zone and I think that inwardly, there was a sort of saying “no” to God. “I’ll follow you God, just don’t take me to the jungles of Africa please.”
So fast forward to more recent times. In 2012, God pointed Scott and I towards foster care and said “GO”. Despite all of my fears and reservations, we said “Yes.” And so we went. It will be 2 years in May since our first placements. We have had 20 children in total – all short stays, with the exception of one. If all goes as planned, we will finalize her adoption this summer after having her in our home for 2 years. (It is interesting to note that we woke up and knew God was calling us to foster care the same week that she was born. We began training 7 days after her birth. We were licensed 2 weeks to the day that she came into care and she came into our home 1 month after we were licensed.) We are fine with continuing to foster for as long as God says we are to do so, but the drive is not as strong as it once was. With a 2 year old in the family, we will be limited to infants and while we are okay with that and are totally open to fostering or adopting more children, it feels like perhaps God is pulling us in a different direction. We wonder if the point of us becoming foster parents was for this one child to become part of our family. And while I wonder if there is another child out there that will be meant for us, I do not feel compelled to push forward at this moment.
Last summer, our sweet girl had family members come in from outside of the country. I knew they were coming to try to get her and, having had her for over a year at that point, I was scared to death! In the midst of my panic, I remember God giving me a glimpse of what could be. That we could have these relationships on other continents and reach people with the love of Christ – people that we would have had no contact with any other way except through this child. We met the family, they had fully intended to try to gain custody, and after our first meeting, they decided they wanted us to adopt her and they wanted to stay in her life as relatives. We have continued contact and have really grown to love them – as our own extended family. And we have discussed visiting them and possibly working alongside some local missionaries while we are there.
That brings us to now… There is a tug towards that country. We met with friends this week who did missionary work in a neighboring country last summer and discussed their time there. We feel like God is calling us to something – but we do not know what. We have discussed how I have held back in regards to being open to any call to full-time missions work and have essentially told God that I am not willing to follow Him to the Third World. But God brought along our best friends – and it may be no coincidence that they have such a heart for the lost that they have followed Him into countries in Asia and just recently have returned to the mission field. It may be no coincidence that I have so many friends who are missionaries. It may be no coincidence that I have always been so interested in living in pioneer days and putting up my own food and raising livestock. Could those desires be because God has been preparing me for something less “comfortable”?
This morning, I finally told God “Yes”. Yes, I will follow You. If you open the doors and provide the means, I will trust You to prepare my heart for the journey – even if it means to a different continent.
Does that mean God is going to send me to the jungles of Africa? Probably not. I know He has work for me in our own neighborhood. But I don’t want to miss out on what He has for my life because I stubbornly cling to my fear and tell Him “No.”