My wife and I have been on this journey with God through the fostering process. It has brought a lot of changes into our lives. It really drives home the point that we are not in control. During our short trip so far we have had grief but so much joy. God has taught me somethings about myself and about my wife. We were a team before but now we are REALLY REALLY a team. I certainly could not do it without her. I’ve learned a few things that God has been teaching me that I wanted to write down and pass on to other parents.
Stop and enjoy the moment.
Anyone that knows me or that works with me understands that I focus on what the next thing is. Even when I complete an event, I do not spend a lot of time on celebration I’m just like “what is next, what can be better, let’s go.” Foster care has really taught me to stop and be in the moment. Honestly, we don’t know when kids come into care how long they will be there. So I can’t plan too far ahead. That is a good thing because it makes me focus on the present, which is what these kids need and what every child needs. Since I do not know how long I’ll have them I sit in those moments with them, whether good or bad. It makes me more intentional about moments that we share. It keeps me present in the moment. Jesus instructs us to focus on today because today has enough in it (Matt 6:34).
Slow down your faith actions
Sometimes we take for granted what people know and understand about our faith. Having children that don’t come from a similar faith background they have lots of questions. Sometimes we go through the motions even as simple as saying the blessing may be foreign to them. So I have to slow down my faith and explain. To explain the why can be very powerful. It makes a great opportunity for discussion. Don’t assume your child understands the what and the why. As the Scripture says that we are to impress these things on our children (Deut 6:4-9) the only way we can do that is by slowing down and explaining and having those faith based conversations.
Go with God
My wife and I get asked about how we do it. The reality is that we have got to be connected to God to do fostering. We see so much chaos, pain, and grief that the kids experience and we experience it also. The thing is we know that God is bigger than all of that. Our God is not small. We have to do our part that God has called us to do and then put our faith in Him as they leave our home. That is hard. There is pain involved. We grieve because we love and they need love so if it means that we have immense pain in order for the kids to get love so be it. Cause we serve a God that walks with us. All parenting has got to be connected to God, it is a hard job and is dependent on God. Every parent comes to a point where it isn’t about what we’ve done but about God taking hold of us(Phil 3:12). Sometimes going with God means letting go and stop trying to control something you can’t. Sometimes it is doing the hard stuff that God has called us to do.
Not that I’ve perfected these three things, but I know God is trying to show me that I have to stop in some areas, slow down in some, and Go with Him in others. Maybe God is trying to get you to stop, slow, and go in your life.