I have been contemplating this new year, and like most everyone else I have some things on my heart and mind that make up what I think 2014 will look like....
Well, I was trying to find a "life verse" for the new year...something really profound...something I had never noticed before...something new. but as I prayed, God brought me back to the most basic verse that probably every christian knows and has quoted at some point or another. It's Philippians 4:13 "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." I didn't wonder why He brought this to my heart. I already know. 2014 is going to be hard. it is going to be full of change, tears, what ifs, what might have been's....
You see, we have had the same two fosters for a week shy of a year. We have been through some rough times, crazy times, wonderful times...growth, joy, sadness, disappointments, holiday memories, family court, therapy and lots and lots of love. Lots of sticktoitness (if that's even a word). Not giving up. Trying to show these two what Jesus' never stopping love looks like. YES, I will love you when you punch me in the face! YES, I will love you if you spit on me! YES, I will love you when you break my things, tell me you hate me, scream at the top of your lungs, throw fits in public, and be completely thankless for my hard work. YES, I will love you when you tell people all of the horrible things about me and none of the nice things, when you complain about the gift I give you that wasn't really what you wanted...I will still love you. I will yell at you, and then apologize for yelling at you because I don't think that's what Jesus would want from me. I will try my hardest and do my best to be the comfort that you need but don't think you need. Even when I tell you for a year every night that I love you and you never say it back...I will still love you. I will not be perfect for you, but I will love you, and I will not give up on you.
We have only been a foster family for a few years, but I can tell you that children do not stay in care forever. So this year either they will go home to their mother, or we will adopt them. It is hard to say right now which way it will go, So I wait on the Lord. But either way, it will be difficult. But the Lord has been working on my heart. Reminding me that these children, along with my own are only lent to us. His plan is so gloriously grander than my thoughts, and no matter what, He will take care of them. And us.
He will give patience when needed, mend the broken hearts, give me the words to say when none of mine come out right, walk with us along this path and continue to carry us to our purpose. He will use me, an ordinary person; us, an ordinary family, to do BIG things. Like let two little children, who were given up on and kicked out, know that there is a God that loves them and people that love them. And no matter where 2014 takes us, I can know with every ounce of my being Psalm 73:25-26. "Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides You. My heart and my flesh may fail; but GOD is the strength of my heart and my portion forever."
So this year I throw out MY goals....my "I want to eat right and read more books goals." Just give me Jesus. This year I will wake up every morning and say "good morning, God. Where are we going today? Who will we love without limits today? How will we be your hands and feet today?"
Just give me Jesus.
Because I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.