When I’m on a rollercoaster, I find it extremely difficult to throw my arms into the air and let them flail about. I find no enjoyment in that.
Instead, I keep my hands firmly connected to the apparatus I’m locked into. That way, if something terrible happens, I’ll be holding onto something stable and can save myself. I know it doesn’t really work like that, and that my ability to hold on while I’m rounding tight corners or dangling upside down without being locked in by something more secure than my own strength is silly. Still, I want to feel in control, as though I’m contributing to my safety.
This idea of control in foster parenting is a struggle.
I want more of it than is really an option in foster care.
I want to feel as though my tight grip is what is keeping me secure. But, then, I’m forced to let go. Those tight turns do come, and they come seemingly out of nowhere. I lose control.
And for a moment, I just want to give up. If I can’t have full control, I swing the other way. I stop hoping. I stop dreaming. I get tugged and pulled throughout all the twists and turns, and I get apathetic.
As humans, it isn’t easy to have expectations, hopes, and dreams, and yet not be fully in control of them. It forces us to hold those expectations loosely.
I think that’s true for all of life; I’m maybe just more aware of it in foster care. Here’s the thing, though, we have to find a way to not swing from all to nothing. We can’t have plans without the understanding that those plans could change. We can’t have dreams without holding those loosely.
There has to be another option.
That’s where faith steps in. Sometimes our plans don’t line up with God’s. But isn’t that something to rejoice over?
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
All of our plans will not come to be, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t plan.
All of our dreams will not become a reality, but we can still dream.
Friend, if you’re in a place of darkness and hope seems lost, please know you’re not alone. It’s only by prayer from saints on my behalf and my lamenting to the Lord that I’m in a place to share encouragement today because last week was another story. What you’re walking through may feel like the worst-case scenario, but God is still walking beside you. We have God’s Word and His promises that will never change.
You aren’t in control, and that’s actually a good thing.
God has an intentional plan for you. He has an intentional plan for your forever kids. He has an intentional plan for your temporary loves and their families, too. His ways are higher than ours. He sees the big picture, and even if something feels like the worst-case scenario right now, it’s not. He is working all things for the good of those who love Him.
Know that if you’re concerned about the future for a little one, God formed him or her. He is this child’s Creator. He will not fail this precious one. He will do what is best for his or her life. So it’s okay to have hopes and dreams for this child but hold them up to the Lord.
God is good. He is good even when we can’t see it. God sees far more than we can imagine, and, with that, we can trust that His good may sometimes look different than our own definition of “good.”
So, open up your hands and pray or lament if that’s where you’re at. Allow yourself to release and surrender all of your worries and anxieties to the Lord, knowing that you have a God who is in control and cares deeply for you and your child.
Friend, I pray peace and comfort overflows your soul for today, tomorrow, and the future—just as I’m praying over my soul, too.
Jillian has a passion for building relationships and loving people well. She desires to see the Church mobilized to support and step into the lives of those affected by foster care. As a foster mom, she is currently relying on donuts, coffee, and JESUS!
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