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A Bonus Interview with Gaelin Elmore: Be a Vessel of Kindness

By January 18, 2021Podcast

Before we kick-off Season 10 of The Forgotten Podcast, I have something special for you! I recently brought one of our podcast guests from Season 8, Gaelin Elmore, to the stage at an event that is dear to me with our friends in ministry, Lifesong for Orphans. Gaelin gave us insight into his experience of foster care. Beyond sharing his experience, though, Gaelin has a passion for encouraging others! He threw out a challenge to the live audience at the end of our interview that was so good. I pray it’s a challenge that you’ll take to heart too. I don’t want to tell you more now because I want you to hear it directly from him. So, listen in as Gaelin shares his story and his call to action for you.

HERE ARE 3 TAKEAWAYS FROM TODAY’S CONVERSATION:

1. Life in foster care doesn’t always feel better.

Gaelin’s experience in foster care wasn’t good. I think that’s important to say and acknowledge, even as the goal in foster care is to ensure the safety of children. It helps us see the greater need for foster homes that promote a space for children to heal and navigate this often bumpy road with adults who are compassionate and caring. That wasn’t Gaelin’s experience of the families he lived with. He was moved more than 20 times before he was 6. He was sometimes placed with his sisters and sometimes not. He experienced abuse at the hands of those meant to provide him safety. He felt like he had to make the choice to run away from one home. After reuniting with his father and watching it all seem to slip away, the one thing he feared the most was entering the system again. Life with his father had its challenges, but entering foster care again felt much harder.

“My world was turned upside down when I was put into foster care.”

2. Recognizing and experiencing God’s kindness is transformative.

We can look at Gaelin’s life and ask with him, “Why, God? Why would you allow this in Gaelin’s life? Does the road need to be filled with such pain and heartache?” It’s natural for us to ask questions like that, and they are tough to answer. For Gaelin, Romans 2:4 offered him a new perspective. “God’s kindness is meant to lead us to repentance.” With that verse, Gaelin felt the freedom to loosen his hold on anger and to repent. He began to see God as kind, and he desired to know him more and pursue a deeper relationship with him. It has allowed Gaelin to reconcile the pain that God allowed him to go through and now walk in radical obedience to the Lord.

“For my whole life, I asked, ‘Why me? Why did I have to do this?,’ and after reading [Romans 2:4], that question changed, and I asked God in a more positive tone, ‘Why did you choose me to come through it?’ That mind shift changed my life.”

3. Use your life as a vessel of kindness to others.

When it looked as though Gaelin had no other option but to enter foster care or run from it, his high school football coach stepped in and invited him to live in their home. It wasn’t just one coach, though. God used many people in Gaelin’s life at just the right moments to be vessels of kindness, changing the trajectory of his life. Because others stepped in and were willing to share their gifts with him, Gaelin developed a relationship with the Lord. So, Gaelin’s invitation to you is simple: Be a vessel of kindness to others.

“Whatever God is calling you to, whatever He is continuing to poke and pry at in your life, answer that call. Accept being that vessel, that form of kindness, to someone and see what God’s going to do in the lives of others.”

RESOURCES FROM TODAY’S SHOW 

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We hope this episode has helped you wherever you are on your foster care journey. That’s the goal! If so, will you tell others?

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Meet Our Guest

Gaelin Elmore is married to Micaela and dad to Laniah. He is a believer, leader, speaker, and writer at gaelinspeaks.com. Enduring a childhood of homelessness, foster care, family struggles with drug and alcohol addiction, abuse, poverty, and every form of instability, Gaelin learned the compounding and transformative power of overcoming life’s obstacles very early. Gaelin played football at the University of Minnesota, signed with the Cincinnati Bengals, and now works with teenagers from diverse communities and difficult backgrounds, helping them overcome their adversity to obtain a life of hope.

Foster Parents, check with your agency to see if listening to this podcast will count toward your foster care training hours!

Special thanks to Resonate Recordings for their knock-it-out-of-the-park podcast production services! If you have a podcast or want to start one, reach out to our friends at Resonate!

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