FREE TO LOVE | September 2018

📸 cred: https://harleyjayphotography.com

I wrote this for an Instagram post for a ministry called Freedom Movement September 2018. It was interesting having only a certain number of letters allowed to fit in the post. I could’ve written many more words but this is how it turned out.

FREE TO LOVE | My husband and I watched Antwone Fisher in ‘02 and decided that we had to do something with foster care. Then life happened…I started teaching, he got his doctorate and we had our first son. Ministry at church was busy as we added to our family and then we opened our own PT clinic. Foster care seemed like it may become a reality after our 3rd son was born. We tentatively decided that would be the plan. Then my only surprise pregnancy happened… my 4th boy arrived and our life seemed chaotic and full. It seemed like that door was closed. We couldn’t handle one more thing although my heart still felt a pull to jump in.🍃

In 2015 the Lord spoke to my husband and we began the process to be a certified foster family. We couldn’t help 56,000 in CA but we could love 1. All the thoughts of inadequacies and my already limited capacity spoke to me as we got closer to certification. Can I love these kids coming the way they need to be loved? Can I support them as they try to reunify with their bio parents? Can I let them go when they need to go? Can my boys handle it? Can I balance my already full life? Can I handle the issues that arise if they stayed forever? 🍃

2.5 years into our foster story and 4 foster kids later- I can tell you no. No, I can’t handle it. I have reached my own limits time after time but at the end is exactly where my Jesus picks it up. When I’m anxious about the future or dealing with behaviors- He is there. When my schedule seems nuts or my heart feels like it can’t be repaired- He is with me. He is there when I have to learn to trust that He’s with each child and bio parent. What I can’t do on my own strength, I can do because of Him. After my longest placement left- I thought I may need to guard my heart going forward. I didn’t know if I had more to give. I didn’t know how I’d recover. Sometimes loving is scary. But the thing is, I know true love. By knowing that, I have a freedom to love because there is always more. I have a freedom to trust Him because I am His girl. So, we will look to the future and we will love. He doesn’t give us what we can handle, He gives us more so He can show up and get the glory. It’s all His anyway. So let Him love you and He can use you in amazing ways when you know that. “…but the greatest of these is love.” 1 Cor. 13:13

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