From the age of 15, Javian Shipley felt the desire to foster. It’s a calling she has passionately carried with her into her marriage and is living out today. But her journey has not been easy. In addition to the challenges of being a foster parent, she has also walked through infertility. In this episode, Javian openly shares what she has learned through the grief and pain of her own story, how she and her husband found unity in their decision to foster, why we need to be intentional about our perspective towards biological parents, the value of anchor Scriptures, and how God has continued to show up again and again and again.
HERE ARE 3 TAKEAWAYS FROM TODAY’S CONVERSATION:
1. Opening yourself up to others brings encouragement and empathy.
Wherever you are in your fostering journey, there will be a time that you will experience grief and pain. But we were not meant to carry that alone. In fact, there’s even purpose in the pain. Experiencing those overwhelming feelings allows us to receive encouragement from others. Other times it allows us to be there for others and expand our own empathy.
“When you have experienced great pain, you are able to sit with people in their pain.”
2. Whatever you are going through, God remains faithful, for you, and with you.
As we heard in this episode, Javian had gone through infertility, she has gone through uncertainty, and job losses, but through it all God has been continually faithful. Javian specifically talks about having anchor verses for a year or a season of life, and repeating those over and over to keep us grounded along the journey while reminding ourselves of who God is.
“I feel such love and peace because God has shown up again and again.”
3. It is normal for your foster children to struggle with trust.
They have been pulled away from everything they know. We may know that they are safe in our home, but it is normal for them to feel out of place. Trust takes time, and we have the opportunity to continually establish and reestablish trust and show them they truly are safe.
“We have to establish trust and continue proving ourselves to the kids in our care.”
Meet Our Guest
Javian Shipley felt the desire to foster from the age of 15. When she met her husband, Joshua, it was one of the first questions she asked him, along with what his favorite color was. They have been married for four years. After walking through some infertility, they decided to pursue foster care. Javian is a teacher in a local city school. She is passionate about racial reconciliation, educational equity, fostering, and justice. For fun, she LOVES home decor, home organization, fitness, and browsing realtor.com! She speaks Spanish and has learned that the more languages you know, the greater the ability you have to connect with people and the greater the opportunity for God to use you in new and unique ways.
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