Sometimes God speaks so loudly to our hearts it silences all our fears. Other voices grow quieter and matter less. That is happening to me now.
It started on New Year’s Day while driving home from church. My husband Andy, said that he felt like the Holy Spirit was urging him to start praying about our family, and specifically what was next for us. We both felt like our family wasn’t complete, but we were not sure in what direction God was steering us. We always just knew before. Our babies turned one year old, and we knew it was time to start planning for the next one.
This time felt different. We fasted and prayed and heard nothing. But God spoke loud and clear in the days and weeks that followed. He placed Foster Care in our paths almost everywhere we turned. He used other people’s voices, strangers, our son, worship music and scripture (Go figure).
For months, I had a whole list of reasons why my answer to God was an emphatic “No.” The list included the safety and ages of my children, my husband’s busy schedule, STRESS, finances, and my intense and unrelenting fear.
My sweet Lord began to tenderly answer back with all of His reasons. The items on my list paled in comparison to My Father’s and one by one became non-issues. Except for the last one. That annoying, overwhelming fear lingered.
“Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.” James 1:27 NLT
I’d read this verse many times before. But the words in my bible suddenly seemed more black and white than ever before.
So I said, “Okay.”
“Sometimes my very best
Is only my weakest yes
You see strength in every movement”
– Steffany Gretzinger
Andy came home from work that day, and with fear in my voice I asked, “So what are we gonna do?” He knew what I was asking and said, “We’re just going to walk in obedience, until God closes a door.”
My face: 😳
So we made the decision to start the process to become foster parents. Saying it out loud made the fear melt away, and I was overcome with His warmth and peace.
“Jesus, Jesus, You make the darkness tremble
Jesus, Jesus, You silence fear”
– Mosaic MSC
Even though we only came to this decision for our family a few months ago, I can see how God has been shaping me for this for years. It was early in my teaching career when I realized how deeply I could love a child who wasn’t my own.
I wish I could say things have gotten easier since we decided to be obedient and take steps towards becoming foster parents. That is not true. That is not even in the vicinity of truth. The stress of three little kids and the busyness of our current season has actually intensified. Life seems to have gotten exponentially harder all the way up to this very moment. The fact that we still started taking our preservice classes on Friday is evidence that God is driving this. It would have been so easy to scratch that one off of our never ending, ever growing to do list. But I trust God. He silences all my fears. I have peace. That is the beauty of moment by moment surrender to Jesus.
“And further and further my heart moves away from the shore
Whatever it looks like, whatever may come I am Yours”
– Jenn Johnson