This is something we have really been wrestling with lately!
Do we want to save every single child that needs a loving home? YES!
Our hearts are so burdened for foster children!
When we say our hearts are burdened for foster children, we simply mean God has placed that burden in us and it's heavy! It's not a bad thing, even though it may seem that way! Don't misunderstand us! Foster children are NOT a burden, they are a blessing, as are ALL children! But the heaviness that God has placed on us is a burden (a weight) and desire to continue helping even when it seems impossible to take on anymore!
Because these children do not deserve to be in the situations they are in yet here they are... praying & hoping for their lives to be different!
When we sit and ask God the question, "How can their lives be different?!" and we cry out to God to save these children from the circumstances they are in, we see God holding a mirror up to our faces and us looking back at our own reflection. We hear Him reminding us that this life is about showing Him to the world around us! We are reminded that life isn't about us or our comfort! It's about putting others first and ourselves last!
Phil. 2:3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves. NIV
So, we wrestle. We struggle. We wonder..... and still at times we have no idea whether it's right to say yes or whether it's right to say no. There have only been a couple of times in our fostering journey where we have really sensed the Lord speaking to us so clearly that we just KNEW our YES was a "God Yes" or our "No" was a "God No"! And then there where times, we have said yes or no and felt that God was silent in giving us direction.
So, to say yes or no...?
When you get a call on a Sunday morning while you are sitting in church for a newborn needing immediate placement when you had literally JUST whispered to your husband, "I want another baby", I'd say go with the YES! And we did! Sweet Jaxon was in our home for a couple of months and we will never forget his red hair and sweet smiles! He was reunited with his Grandmother and is doing so well!
OR......when you get a call about an 18 month old girl who needs placement due to domestic violence but it's immediately after you took placement of your 1st foster child, a newborn baby who was exposed to HIV, and has to have medication twice a day for the 1st 6 weeks of his life as a preventative measure,...... you say yes ...... but then quickly realize it probably should have been a no. We were so new and so unprepared for all the emotions that came with fostering hurt, scared, confused children who are missing their families. Sometimes you find out that your yes was the wrong decision. And it hurts to have to make that phone call and tell that social worker to come pick up that confused child to be moved.... again.
So, we have learned. We take the decisions a little more seriously now and take time to really pray and think through those yes's and those no's.
We struggle. They struggle. It's a battle to know what is right all the time. Your heart wants to help all of them, but you just can't.
My husband uses the example of weight lifting! He says that when you 1st go to the gym, you don't lay under 400 ibs and expect to bench press it! But after years of dedication and hard work, that might be something that is feasible.
When it comes to obedience and hard things that God calls us to we pray that years of practicing obedience and dedication to God's Word creates the capacity for us all to do "BIG THINGS".
Most Christians don't just wake up after being a Christian for a week and commit to being a missionary and sacrificing their life for someone else. This is so true in the foster care journey as well. The more times you say YES to what God has for you, the more you understand His grace is sufficient for your weakness.
2 Corinthians 12:9 But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. (NIV)
We have always heard that when it comes to finances, that God can do more with 90% of our income than we can do with 100%. Often in our culture, we don't view our time and energy in a similar manner. We see the idea of busyness and accomplishments as a medal to wear around our necks and yet obedience and Godliness creates space for God to be able to do the supernatural through any of us. No person without God's power could ever part the Red Sea. No person without God's power could ever defeat a giant with a sling and a stone. No person can do anything of eternal significance without the power of Jesus!
When it comes to time, capacity and sanity, don't leave Jesus out! God's capacity coupled with our obedience and availability can't be defined by human limitations.
Do hard things so that God's glory can be revealed and His power be displayed through your life. Yes or no isn't a matter of fact, rather a matter of God's will. As our good brother, Quint Mccoy says, "We can't leave Him out."
In saying ALL of this above, we do know and understand that it really is OKAY to say no sometimes. Our marriages, the children we do currently have in our home need our time, attention and sanity! They deserve that! However, we find (in ourselves) that often we want to say no simply because it's hard, uncomfortable and seems as though it would be unmanageable. Sometimes our 1st reactions need to be taken directly to God. We need to be praying God would transform our minds and truly give us the strength not only to handle what He calls us to but to say YES to what He calls us to do! We pray that WE and you would simply have the strength to say YES to whatever hard things God has called you to do and the wisdom to discern the call!