A couple weeks ago, a dream that God planted in my heart years ago finally came to a kind of fruition. After years of praying, talking, thinking, and worrying, then taking action – moving, going to training, filling out paperwork, being interviewed, opening our home and our family to outside scrutiny, finally we are approved. Our county has approved us to be Foster/Adoptive parents. It has been a long road just to get to the starting line. The Sunday after we were approved, the sermon at church centered upon the story in the gospels of when Jesus heals a little boy of demon-possession. After the father and Jesus have a conversation where Jesus asks the father if he really believes that He can heal the boy, the father shouts, “I do believe! Help me with my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24) In the sermon, our pastor talked to us about the power of that phrase and how it showed what true vulnerability and honesty before the Lord looks like. This story shows us that it’s ok to show up and ask Jesus for help when we still have doubt lingering. Our pastor also encouraged us to not puff ourselves up or try to put on extra spiritual airs when we come to church or to gather with other believers – it’s really ok to just come as you are, to say, “I believe, but….”
This story struck me really hard because it is exactly the way I feel about this foster parenting thing. I believe this is what is next for our family. We are walking in obedience to what God has for us. BUT, that very weekend, I was challenged by the needs of my children and my inability to soothe, to fix, to understand. I was utterly powerless to fix an issue in my child’s life. No words I said, or prayers I prayed changed anything in the moment. I believe that, with God’s help, I am a good parent to my children, and that in time, the effort I put in to that specific situation will bear fruit. But, Lord, help me with my unbelief! How in the world will I be able to handle all the anxieties, behavior issues, and heart issues of a neglected or abused child? I feel so incapable, foolish even, to take on this gargantuan task. It gives me great comfort to see how Jesus met this desperate father right in the tension of his belief/unbelief.
It feels strange to be sharing without any real resolution to these feelings, but I’m just going to go ahead and post this and use it as my “announcement” for this next step for our family. Feel free to leave questions in the comments section and I’ll try to answer as I can.