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Foster Care and COVID

Before I even begin on a topic that is so hot right now... I'd love to begin in prayer.

God, I truly want every single word typed out to be from you. I want you to simply fill this page with exactly what you want others to read. I pray that if nothing else, someone would read this and claim you as Lord of their life. Help the ones to read this to read this with grace, patience, understanding and love. Amen.

COVID is a word that, when seen, we cringe. Our heart starts pounding and something inside of us fills up with fear and uncertainty. Some of us have lived with this fear for almost 2 years now! You may be thinking, "What does COVID have to do with foster care?"

Well, COVID and the lock downs that happened last year are one of the reasons we have our 5th child. For those who are not aware, group homes were completely on lock down the end of last year. We got to officially MEET this stranger (who we were praying about becoming our son) ONE time before group homes went on lockdown.

I am convinced that if we had not chosen to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus during this time, our son would not be our son right now. If our eyes had been fixed on COVID, we would have been filled with fear and we would have said NO to bringing him into our home. To make things even more real, one of the house parents was positive with COVID during this time. Therefore, all the children had been exposed to this very contagious, scary virus. The opportunity for us to continue having play dates with this sweet boy were no longer an option. The only option we had was to wait until the lock down mandates were lifted from group homes (which we had no idea when that would be) or we could say that we wanted him and he would be able to move in with us within a matter of days.

I'll be honest, it seemed crazy to take in a child we had only met one time, who had been in foster care since he was 6 years old and had been in several different foster homes. He had been in the group home specifically for 3 years! This sweet boy had been through much trauma. Why would it make sense for us to bring in a complete stranger to live with us (a family of 6) forever when we had only been around him ONE TIME for a few hours????

My answer: God.

It's crazy how differently we live our lives when we chose to fix our eyes on Jesus instead of this world!

My heart began to break for this precious child. When the group homes went on lock down, they were not allowed to have visitors or go anywhere! When we were on lockdown ourselves, we had family to hang out with, neighborhood kids to still play with, Grandparents right down the street and a beautiful area to take walks in. This precious guy didn't have those things and I honestly cannot imagine how lonely some of these kids in group homes felt during this time.

God makes it super clear in Matthew 20:26-28 that we are called to serve others! He says that, "whoever wants to be great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave. Just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."

We are called to serve others, even if it involves personal risk and cost.

I keep asking myself the questions, "If Jesus were here, would he be social distancing himself from other people? Would he be saying NO to the least of these until the lock downs are lifted? Would he be putting his teachings aside until COVID is gone? Would he stop healing and touching the lepers and performing miracles? Would He wait to do what God had called him to do because of a virus spreading through his community or would that give Him the urgency to do what God had called him to even more?"

I know this is a touchy subject. I also know people have lost their loved ones due to this virus so please know that I am not saying this virus is not REAL and ACTIVE! And I am also not saying this virus has not caused extreme heartache!

I am saying, however, that the God we serve is also very REAL and very ACTIVE! Have we forgotten this in the fog of all of this COVID and VACCINE chatter!? I am saying that GOD knows more about this virus than any scientist, doctor or medical professional out there! He is the one who allowed it to even be present! And I am saying that even if the world were on fire right now, we would still be called to live like Jesus (1 John 2:6, 1 Peter 2:21). We would still be called to care for the orphan and the widow (Psalm 82:3, James 1:27). We would still be called to GO and make disciples (Matt. 28:19). We would still be called to love our enemies (Matt. 5: 44-46). We would still be called to seek Gods Kingdom FIRST (Matt. 6:33). We would still be called to lay up treasures for ourselves in heaven and not on earth (Matt. 6:19-21).

The commands that God gives us DO NOT go away when our nation falls apart! When people want to sit around and argue over COVID and vaccines, we RISE UP and continue doing what God has called us to do! We put on the armor of God and fight the battle! We are not fighting against flesh and blood, we are fighting against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms (Ephesians 6:12). We do not have the time to sit and wait for a virus to pass! We have to keep loving and sharing Jesus with this dying world!

Are you still in the fight? Or have you given into fear and hid yourself away from the world?

Are you fixing your eyes on the creator of every single thing that is present on this earth? Or are you putting your faith and hope in things and people that will not last and will fall away?

Are you continuing to do what God calls you to do even in the midst of a seemingly never ending pandemic?

Satan is working very hard right now to distract God's people. And to be honest, it's working for some of us!

My son, my 5th child, is a reminder to me that God is present! He is ACTIVE and ready to use us when we are willing to be used! My almost 11 year old son is now in a forever home! He calls us Mom and Dad. He has 2 brothers and 2 sisters. He doesn't have to spend Birthdays, Holidays and lockdowns in a group home anymore! I'm so grateful that God used us to pull him out of foster care! I'm so thankful God chose US. I'm so thankful God chose HIM.

But I'm even more thankful that we didn't miss it. Because we easily could have! I have certainly dealt with fear & anxiety (to a whole other level than normal) at different times over the last 2 years! There were times when I wanted to lock away my precious family and keep them safe and away from harm but I am reminded that God has not called us to live a safe life. He's called us to live a life that honors Him.

Jennie Allen says in her book "Made For This", "If we pray anything, we will all, like Christ, be called to give up this life and things we love. We will be called to risk for His glory. Christ never intended for those who walked with Him to feel comfortable and safe. This was meant to be a risk-it-all pursuit. The glory of God will be made great on this earth, but what a privilege to be part of His plan to restore it. In John 17 Jesus prayed this for you and for me and all of us who would come to know Him:

You are not of this world, Jennie. You don't belong here. You are going to put your feet down every morning in this world, but you don't belong to it. You don't adhere to its rules and expectations. You don't even hope for the same things. Because you know Me and you are Mine, your home, your hope is with Me forever. Your expectations are that your short life here is spent on My mission even if it is costly. Because you know it is short."

I started this post with a prayer and I'd love to end this with one as well!

God, only you know the hearts of the ones reading this! You know their fears, their worries and their struggles. I pray for each and every one of them! Give them strength to keep their eyes on you when the world is so distracting! Keep them from the chatter that pulls them back into that fear and anxiety! Grow their faith and help them to completely surrender their lives to you! Which may mean stepping out in fear and faith! I thank you that you work all things together for good, for those who are called according to your purpose (Romans 8:28). God, help us to keep walking in step with you and ONLY you! Give us all extreme extreme wisdom! Keep us in the fight and help us all to finish the race well! Help us to trust wholeheartedly that you are good and that you have good for us! Amen.

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