4 Questions To Ask Yourself When Foster Care Gets Tough

By July 25, 2019 July 31st, 2019 Blog

I’m not sure if anyone I know would describe any part of life as “easy,” especially not the foster families I know.

Whether it’s a comment from a stranger in the grocery store, the dread of going to an activity where other people seem to have “perfect” children, or trying to rush out the door to make it to another appointment, life as a foster family can be tough. And at times, it feels as though everything seems to be working against you.

Can’t it all just be easier?

If you feel like life is hard and everything around you is spinning, take a moment to stop and ask yourself these four questions.

1. Is this supposed to be easy?

I wish, but unfortunately, the answer is a resounding, “No.” Read Luke 9:23, it says,

If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross daily, and follow me.
Luke 9:23

Ok, so that doesn’t sound easy, and maybe it’s not the answer you want to hear. We are followers of Jesus, and He went all the way to the cross to die for us. Are we supposed to expect that we won’t face trials? Do we think somehow He’s called us to a life of ease? Christianity will never be easy, but it will always be worth it. You represent Christ as a foster family—something that comes with great joy but also some hardship. Keep going.

2. Am I expected to have it all figured out?

Listen, I’ll be the first one to suggest trying a new plan or developing a new system to solve problems when they arise, but the answer to this one again is, “No.”

Perhaps there are some practical changes you can make so that life can be a little less crazy. Make them. Keep working at it. Here’s the truth though, we aren’t ever going to know everything, because we aren’t actually the ones in control. God is.

We simply have to learn to listen to the voice of God and follow Him one step at a time. Our plans and expectations will fall short (I promise), and when that happens, it’s probably God trying to get our attention, so we need to focus on Him instead of trying to get His stamp of approval on our plans.

3. Do I have to please everyone?

Take a second and read Luke 4:14-30. Jesus has just given a sermon, and the crowd tried to throw him off a cliff… rough. If Jesus can’t please everyone, neither can we.

In fact, the only person we need to please is Jesus.

Obviously, I’m not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant.
Galatians 1:10

Our call is to please God, not people! When we make it our goal to keep others happy, we will actually wind up disappointing God, and we’ll live a life of disappointment and frustration.

So, that disapproving look as you parent a different way than a “traditional” method, don’t let it bother you. Continue to bring awareness, but then let go of seeking everyone’s approval.

4. Should I be in this alone?

Sometimes our plans work out, cool! But when that’s the case, we fall into a mindset that we are somehow responsible for God’s blessing, and we’ve got to work hard to outdo ourselves. The result of this type of thinking is always unbelievable stress and exhaustion.

God called us so he could work through us. Allowing God to work in us, prepare us, reveal Himself to us, and shape us is the best way we can do what He has called us to do. He is with us.

Life as a follower of Jesus isn’t supposed to be easy. You don’t have to have it all figured out. You don’t have to win the approval of others. But, you are not alone.

God is right there with you…even when foster care gets tough.

Mitch Nelson

Whether he is drinking coffee or coming up with new ideas, Mitch is always looking for new ways TFI can grow. He is very involved at his church, Compass Church, and has led in both creative and pastoral ministries over the last several years. He and his wife Becky were married in April of 2018, and together they enjoy camping, live music, black coffee, and good books.

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