Foster Care is Out of (My) Control

By July 16, 2019 July 31st, 2019 Blog
Yesterday marked 3 months. 90 days. 2,160 hours. I’ve been a MOM. 
I’m sorry, whaaaat?!
So often my selfishness comes through. Why did I do this? I had such freedom before. Now I have a tiny (precious) human who needs me. All. The. Time. All I want is a full night’s sleep, to not be jolted out of my perfect place of happiness to go sooth a child. Why, oh why, did I bring this into my life?! I’m angry at a two-year-old who is adjusting to where she is! Yup, I see how insane that sounds. Selfish. That’s me. 
I can pretty quickly stop such ridiculous thoughts now. Don’t get me wrong, I for sure still have my moments…I am definitely not cut out for this. It was not natural for me in any way to step into parenthood at a moment’s notice or to flip my life upside down to care for a child that will one day leave me and my arms will be empty again. When she does go, I’ll recognize the emptiness unlike I did before I was called “Mama.” 
But I chose to step into this crazy foster care life because God so clearly tells us in His Word to care for the vulnerable, to forget about our comfort zones and jump into the mess. It’s in this crazy, hard, messy, chaotic life I now live that I have begun to experience Jesus in new ways.
He doesn’t tell us to jump in and say,“Best wishes! Hope that works out for ya.” No. He jumps right in with us. Scratch that. He’s already in, waiting to meet us here. He is ready to journey with us (and oftentimes carry us) through these deep murky waters.
Years ago when I told someone I was planning to foster, they told me how hard it would be. I replied with agreement and stated how that actually excited me rather than instilled fear in me. I’ll tell you what I told that person and what I still believe to be true. When we choose to do crazy, hard, emotional things that are 176% out of our hands, we HAVE to rely on Jesus. When we rely on Jesus, we grow. We grow nearer and nearer to Him. It’s a great gift none of us want—to go through hardship—oh, but the outcome is so, so sweet.
This journey has taught me life is definitely not in my control. I knew this to be true, but going from living a life full of making my own decisions, foster care was a rude awakening. But now that my life, and the sweet babe’s life I cherish with my whole heart, feel out of my control, I have been able to see the Lord’s good, good gifts in this journey. Man, those gifts amazing! 
And the first gift is…that little tiny human needing me…All. The. Time.
My desire is to live as transparently as possible. Foster care is hard. Single parenting is hard. Sanctification through parenting is HARD. Co-parenting with someone I would not normally cross paths with is hard. Challenging my inner thoughts and feelings when the broken system offends me is hard. Having a Christ-like attitude, love, and focus in the midst of this is hard.
But hard is NOT wrong. So, for the sake of the Kingdom, for the sake of living out the Gospel with everything I have in me, I continue through the hard. Sometimes very begrudgingly and through many tears, but even still I will proclaim the excitement I have to draw nearer to Jesus in the hard.

Jillian Kellenberger

Jillian has a passion for reaching out and loving those who are hurting. She began serving with TFI in college after learning more about the foster care community. Jillian is passionate about seeing the Church mobilized to serve and step into the lives of those affected by foster care. As a new foster mom, she is currently relying on donuts, coffee, and JESUS!

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