When I was 12, I started babysitting for a family who had three little girls. Growing up with just an older brother, I loved the older sister relationship that grew with these three girls. Our families were dear friends so we spent a lot of time together – going to parks, church activities, graduations, special ceremonies, dance recitals, vacations. People always say “blood runs thicker than water” but for us – it was irrelevant that blood didn’t bind us because love does. The youngest of the three was 2 when I met her. This month she turned 16. Funny how a milestone like that makes us reflect on our own lives. I find myself forgetting that so much time has passed – that it is now normal and expected for me to be the adult in a room. As I think on the last year, it has likely been the most challenging of my life -- Yet I have seen God bear fruit from what I thought was desert ground. So what happens when we start believing with our whole hearts that brokenness can be made into abundance?
The last few years my husband and I have picked a word for the year. Grace. Willing. Trust. This year we wanted to trust God more. We wanted to live lives of outrageous obedience to Him. So we stepped into the world of foster care. And it rocked our worlds. We have had the privilege of being parents to two kiddos in the last few months. Saying goodbye to a foster kiddo is every bit as gut-wrenching as you think it might be… and then some. After both of our goodbyes, people keep saying: “I could never do that.” And the truth of it is -- neither can we. We endure because we serve a God who we trust. We endure because He is faithful. We endure because even in the broken and the hard -- He.Is.Good. Always. Romans 15:13 says, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” We want to be those people. We want to overflow with hope because the Holy Spirit lives in us.
When I stood in church on both the Sundays after giving back our kiddos, I realized that as much as I know about the character of God, in those moments I did not trust that those things were true. I did not trust that He was good and that He cares deeply about our grief and sorrow. So in the midst of our sorrow, we are modeling our prayers after 2 Samuel 7:28, “Sovereign LORD, you are God! Your covenant is trustworthy, and you have promised these good things to your servant.” When we trust that God will keep His covenant with us, we can have great confidence that He will provide.
As I have prayed and sought Him on what comes next for our family, He has impressed upon me the truth of the statement: hard is not bad, hard is just hard. God asks us to do hard and holy things because He has an imagined future for us that will be better than anything we can imagine. When we walk in obedience alongside Him, He will refine and mold us into better disciples for Him.
Psalm 9:10 says, “Those who know your name trust in you, for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you.” As I think about my little sisters, this is my hope for them and for all the women in my life that I care so deeply about. I want to see a generation of women who know the name Jesus, trust in His goodness, and know that when we seek Him He will never, ever let us down. So it’s time to make our lives good, fertile soil. It is time to find our passions and live in outrageous obedience -- saying ‘yes, Lord’ when we hear God call our name.
I don’t have the answers for where God is going to lead us next. I know that God has planted in me different desires and passions which He has nurtured over the years. I know that my heart beats to love the orphans and that my soul comes alive when I spend time with the women and children staying in the Emergency Overflow Shelter. I know that God has plans for my life that will come to fruition if I simply open my hands and my heart and trust Him with my life. And when we do that, trust God with every aspect of our lives, we know that brokenness can be made into abundance because that is what He did with us.