Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Our Groaning and Waiting

This is a long post and I hope you stick with me until the end to hear how our new precious one is teaching us.  Be sure to listen to our new sweet girl's song at the end.  My friend Joni reminded me of Psalm 8:2:  Through the praise of children and infants you have established a stronghold against your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger.  The Father is teaching us so much.

Last week I providentially started a bible study on the book of Romans.  I missed last semester's study of Chapters 1-7, so last Tuesday night, I sat in a room of women to begin studying Romans, Chapter 8.  God knows just what we need at the perfect time, doesn't He?  He meets us just where we are.  Romans 8 is about suffering, groaning, and waiting.  It is about so much more than I can go into here, but it is beautiful and so timely for my weary and tired heart.

You see, tomorrow was the date set for us to sit outside a courtroom and wait, while a judge decided the fate of a mama her 3 kiddos.   

Could you imagine... being a mama sitting before a judge
 hearing testimony of all the things you've done, right or wrong? 

Your children and your future hanging in the balance?

Don't get me wrong, we are always advocating for these precious children and their ultimate good-- a safe place.   But, in a perfect world, there would be no foster care system.  This is not our home and this is not how it was meant to be.  I feel deep grief  for the brokenness-- oftentimes generation after generation of families stuck in cycles-- abuse, addictions, bad choices.  Many are alone-- with no support network.  Isolated.

 We know that the whole creation has been groaning
 as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.
 (Romans 8:22)

And, inwardly, I groan- for a reversal.  Redemption.  Heaven.

...we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit,
 groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship,
 the redemption of our bodies. (Romans 8:23)

Sweet baby girl is 3-years old.  She has two older brothers, who are in another foster home.  The court date was originally set for October, one day after her 3rd birthday.  She had a party that was an eruption of hot pink, glitter, crowns, and wands.  And a crowd of people gathering round... to love and celebrate, oohing and aahing as she eagerly blew out her candles and ripped open piles of presents.  She was a Princess.


So the day after her birthday in October, we sat waiting in family court for 2 hours and were eventually told to go home -- it was being postponed.  We knew this was the life of a foster parent-- uncertainties.  Not only do we deal with the result of broken families, but also a very broken system.  Social workers fight hard for these kids, but the truth is that there is much turnover and things fall through the cracks.  There are long days, high caseloads, and just hard work-- dealing with case after case of abuse and neglect. 

Weeks later we heard we had a new court date for January (tomorrow, actually).  We waited.  We prayed... for months.  We asked prayer warriors to pray alongside us, as we continued to live our life as a normal family with a new little bitty, spunky girl.

This morning I received a phone call from our social worker -- more paperwork had fallen through the cracks and tomorrow's court would not happen.  And so we wait again for another date.  We groan and trust and pray for patience.  It truly is a grace that we feel Him holding us...interceding for us.  We know we are being held.  And as we rock and hold our new little bitty, we pray for her and and her brothers and their mama.

As I was putting our sweet one to bed tonight and was praying over her, she burst out spontaneously into the song God Is So Good.  I've never heard her sing it before.  But there she was, covered under her fleece blanket, singing loudly, and my prayer fell silent.   

Because her song was the prayer.  

A 3-year old was worshipping.  Hot tears streamed down my face and I worshipped, my hand on her fuzzy little head.  The first version she also started singing Jesus Loves Me and said "Mommy, Jesus is so good."   I ran for my video camera and asked her to sing once again for me in the darkness (listen to video below).   This little bitty has ministered more to us than we could ever possibly minister to her.  I am amazed by the spirit He has given her.  She teaches all of us.  Isn't that the way it is with all our children?  They teach us more than we could possibly teach them?  God is good.  He is using a child to teach us how to worship as we wait.

Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God 
like a little child will never enter it. (Mark 10:15)

   Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans.  
(Romans 8:26-27 the Message)


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