Saturday, July 12, 2014

Waiting In the Pew

Life never seems to turn out as I plan.

Sign up for foster care and life never, ever will follow a stable route.

But, the Lord has been doing something in our hearts for quite a while.

Our grip is loosening more and more on the things of this world.  

Our hands opening ever so slightly.

With foster care, we knew there would be drama and lots of uncertainties.

Nothing established or firm-- constant shifting sand.

We have often jumped aboard the twists and turns of the roller coaster.

And I hate roller coasters.  That nauseous feeling of falling.

But, by His grace, we are more often peering up at His face and less at the circumstances.  Falling into His arms.

We still freak out.  A lot.  

We still get frustrated.  A lot.

And we still deeply grieve.  A lot.

But, we are also growing in faith.  A LOT.

We've traded a well-planned life, for rickety slopes where paperwork is fluttering by, sometimes never to be found again.

And... we trust it is part of His plan.

Do I scream?  Sometimes.

Our life is now overtaken by people and situations we can't control (like we have any control anyway...all an illusion we grabbed more tightly in the past).

Transporters trek down a completely different path of puttering, leaking oil, flat tires.  Always late or disappearing for hours with Little Bitty.

I stand by with no control and watch a child I love being strapped into a car seat that does not meet up to my personal safety standards (or probably those of the federal law).  Little Bitty often squished between multiple babies or toddlers to go to a birth family visit.

There has been much releasing and letting go of my plans and comforts as we have embraced this calling. 

Court dates ride on a fast mine train from Indiana Jones.  Whizzing by.  Leaving me dizzy, disoriented.  Fearful.

And, He me.
The inconsistent ride can be maddening if I am putting my hope and trust in the ride-- steep drops and fast rolls in stark contrast to the sluggish time frame and decisions.  If my eyes wander from the eyes of my Savior, my trust falters.

After eight months of rescheduled court dates, in my hopeless hours, it all seemed like a waste.

As we entered court a few weeks ago, He again gently unfolded our eyes to see His precise plan.  His hand chiseling the details for a perfect, specific time.

A significant plot twist occurred the week before our court date-- a time He knew would expose the truth and the children's best interests.

None of the days beforehand wasted with babysitters and Kevin taking off from work.

Our hours sitting on benches only to be told to go home.  Nothing wasted.

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither
 are your ways my ways (Isa 55:8)
We finally got our court date.  Trading one set of uncomfortable benches for hard pews situated behind our attorneys inside the courtroom.

We spent two days listening to lawyers and witnesses.


The wooden pews in Family Court remind me of the ones I quietly occupied as first grader.  Sitting close beside my best friend, Kathleen, in a tiny PCA church in small-town Alabama waiting for the sermon to end.

We'd pass notes to each other and giggle.  Satin bows, stockings, patent leather shoes.

The solid oak benches of Family Court, however, are most definitely stained with five million more germs than those of my childhood church.  (I am a self-professed germaphobe and carry loads of hand cleaner everywhere).

The seats have also withstood more than their fair share of daily splatterings of tears, heartbreak, and families in deep pain.

If pews could talk and we had ears to hear, we would be on our knees daily crying out for the least of these within our city.

Family Court is in an area of town I had never visited before.

Poverty screams at you with cracked sidewalks and shards of glass in window frames of abandoned buildings.


Prostitutes.  Drug dealers.

The businesses still standing are surrounded by barbed wire.

I never knew this part of town existed.

Life is cozy on my side of town.  My zip code.

In the past, it was easy to live life with my eyes tightly shut.

Pretend my own life was not as broken as those sidewalks, shards of glass surrounding me.

Sometimes we open our eyes by choice, other times it's the grace of God that peels them open to view ourselves as we truly are-- a broken mess in desperate need of rescue. 

We have walked through the metal detectors and up the flight of stairs of Family Court too many times to count since Little Bitty moved in with us.

For two days we held on tightly to wooden benches as a tidal wave engulfed us, sucking us under to watch a parent's worst nightmare.

A fractured family.

Wholeness slipping further from their grip.


That's really the only word I can think of.  Shattered.

There is no doubt in my mind that Kevin and I were placed on those benches by the Father Himself.

Still a place we'd rather not be, if we're being honest.  

It's hard to look brokenness in the eye, especially when you hold up a mirror and gaze at a similar reflection staring back at you.  That's us-- a fractured family saved by the grace of God.  Still bearing the scars, always grateful for His hand dipping down to rescue us.

The rescue, our story, our passion-- the place we've been called.  Advocate.  Be a voice.

The two days we held on with a fierce grip to those sturdy pews in the courtroom, fighting through prayers and conversations with legal people.

Listening to shattered hopes and story after story of heartbreak.

And now we wait.  Again.

And we stretch our arms wide.

Across the chasm, the gaping space, where in God's perfect design He created a mama and daddy to be.

There we find Christ's arms are already enfolding us, drawing us to the place He's called. 

Holding us up as we hold Little Bitty.

{image -}


Tessy @ Divine Moments said...

What a beautiful heart of love expressed here. This really resonated with me:
"Sometimes we open our eyes by choice, other times it's the grace of God that peels them open to view ourselves as we truly are-- a broken mess in desperate need of rescue. "

Shannon said...

Nothing wasted. Oh, these are words of life to my weary soul as we said good-bye to our foster baby this week. Thank you for sharing.

Kamea Hope said...

I understand all too well. My husband and I have been foster parents for 17 years and it truly is a roller coaster ride. In this world where you realize all too quickly how completely things are out of your control, how wonderful to have a faith that knows that God holds all things in his hands. You are doing a great work, the kind that pays eternal dividends.
Many blessings to you and your family,