The first week the study started was the same week I was having a hard time committing to starting foster care. I was full of worry and insecurity. I knew it was what God wanted us to do but I felt so inadequate.
Beth Moore set up the story line of Esther the first week. Esther was a Jewish girl, an orphan, raised by her cousin, Mordecai. And suddenly, she becomes the Queen of Persia. During her lesson, Beth Moore said, “God is calling you to courage. He is calling you to something you feel ill prepared to do.” That just about summed it up for me.
Throughout the book of Esther, we see her imperfections, her insecurities and her obstacles. She is not perfect and she is living in a tough world. But God provides for her and her people. Why? Because they are His. When God asks you to do something and you obey, He is going to provide.
Later in the series, she shared this verse in part of her lesson:
Therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you,
and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you.
For the Lord is a God of justice;
blessed are those who wait for him.
(Isaiah 30:18, ESV)
Beth Moore explained that in Hebrew the word “wait” in this verse is also translated as “longs” (some versions use that word instead). Essentially, what the verse says is that God is longing to be gracious to us. So, when we are in a time of waiting or longing, we can be assured that He is right there with us and that it is something worth waiting for.
We are definitely facing a time of preparing and waiting. We don’t know how long things are going to take or what road blocks may come along the way. I find myself wanting to prepare for these kids who are going to come into our lives but not sure exactly how to do so with so many details undetermined. There is no “What to Expect” book for foster parents. I can’t help but think that the best thing we can do at this time is pray and humble ourselves before God, as Esther did when He called her to something she felt ill-prepared to do.
This is the final part of how we got to where we are. To be honest, it is a little bit more vulnerable than I prefer to be on the blog but it is part of the story, so here it is:
Last July, while visiting family in California, we were able to meet T & W and their two beautiful girls (who they are now adopting). We were able to share with them how God used their podcast to draw our hearts to adoption through foster care. We cannot thank them enough for sharing their story. I think meeting them really got us thinking about this even more.
Just after Christmas, our wonderful and perfect nephew was born. I said to D (well, and Jenni & Brian) at the hospital, “We have got to get a kid.” This happens to me whenever someone has a baby and my feelings generally dissipate after a few hours. But, at this time, I’d been having these feelings pretty regularly and Shay’s timely entrance into the world just emphasized them.
But I’m pretty good at reasoning away feelings with my control-freak skills. I told D that despite “feeling” ready to start this process, we really were not ready at all. I painted a lovely picture for him: we don’t have the money kids require, we are too busy, people will think we are weird, the kids will probably hate us…the list goes on and on and only gets stranger. I tend to see the glass half-empty which is why God made D marry me. It is his lot in life and he is a patient man.
D pointed out to me that I might be exaggerating our circumstances. Yes, everything may not be completely ideal but when in life is everything completely ideal? And, aren’t there some verses in the Bible about not worrying about tomorrow? Oh, and those other verses about God’s faithful provision. And, as in many other situations, I realized that Dan was probably right. I did my best to stop freaking out and Dan said, “You’ve got until after your birthday to pull it together and then we are going to the agency to find out what we need to do.”
Our next training is on April 4 and we have a load of paper work to fill out before then. Thanks for your support and prayers.