For so many in the foster care community, the passion for foster care or adoption started through awareness at an early age. This is the story for Jessie Barnes. While other teenagers were searching for music videos, she was searching for adoption stories and begging her parents to consider adoption, leading her mom to suggest she take licensing classes (as a high schooler!) to learn about foster care as well. When Jessie grew up and had a family of her own, she became a foster parent herself, and is now a TFI Advocate launching a foster care ministry in Dubuque, Iowa.
In today’s episode, Jessie shares how God placed the passion for foster care in her heart, how her involvement has shifted with each season of life, her journey of battling feelings of inadequacy, what her experience has been like in partnering with TFI, and how she is learning to live with God-confidence. Jessie has such a beautiful heart for this work, and you don’t want to miss this one!
(P.S. Applications to become a TFI Advocate are officially OPEN in the month of April! Apply today!)
TAKEAWAYS FROM TODAY’S CONVERSATION:
1. Explore the passion God has placed in your heart.
We’ve heard countless stories of how God has drawn people into the foster care community. So often it starts with this deep prompting that God has placed in their heart. There are other reasons people are led to invest in this work, but if you have an unexplainable pull on your heart (for foster care or something different), take the time to explore that God-given passion and see where He wants to lead you!
“From middle school all the way up, I was very fascinated with the idea of adoption.”
2. New seasons of life may require you to press pause on some things.
Life circumstances can pull you away from your passions for a season, or simply cause them to shift. You may have been able to foster in the past, but circumstances make that unrealistic for a time. Jessie’s openness about this in her life was so valuable… and it ultimately led her to step out in faith to something new in the Advocate role. It’s okay, and healthy, to regularly assess what you have the capacity to do and if your role needs to change.
“If we can’t foster through our home right now, then I have to do something. God has placed this desire so deep within me that I need to do something.”
3. You are NOT inadequate!
God often chooses to use those that don’t feel like they can make a difference. Maybe you’ve felt a prompting about stepping into something new, but thought, “That would be great, but I could never do that.” You don’t need to have a certain level of experience, a college degree, or anything else for God to use you to make a difference. We loved the phrase “God-confidence” that Jessie shared in this episode. If you are lacking the self-confidence to step out and follow the passion God has placed on your heart, that’s a great reminder to step into your God-confidence.
“When I am lacking self-confidence, I can have God-confidence. It’s in the things we don’t feel like we’re good enough for where God shows up, and He gets all the glory for it.”
Meet Our Guest
Jessie Barnes is a stay-at-home momma, a support for her husband as they own and operate a Chick-fil-A, and an advocate for foster care in Dubuque, Iowa. Jessie’s passion for adoption and foster care came at an early age. When other teenagers were searching for music videos, Jessie was searching for adoption stories. That passion has carried over to her adult life as her family moved and it was no longer feasible to foster in this season of life. But God still nudged Jessie’s heart to live out that passion in a new way. She is now launching a TFI Ministry in her area as an Advocate. Jessie likes to hike with her family, go on date nights with her husband, Justin, watch her son play hockey, and enjoy game nights.
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