When you read my words of anguish and grief, does it inspire you to step boldly towards what God is calling you to? Or does it stop you in your tracks watching me grieve?
I struggle sharing the darkness I've been through. I want to share this story, unite myself with others who are suffering, and provide an insight into where God has called me.
But, late at night, I wonder, am I scaring people out of their callings? Because in the middle of the night, I have tremendous powers of persuasion.
Hear my words of heartache and anguish, but look to what God has done in my life.
Suffering has transformed my heart. It has been turned inside out, so now my focus is on others instead of myself. It has been broken, but it has also been remade. Into a heart big enough to reach for heaven.
When we started down the road of fostering, we heard a lot of voices expressing concern for how we would guard our hearts against the possibility of loss.
As I sat one day, holding a fragile five pound baby, I answered that question boldly, "God gives us no promises on any of our children. I'm not guarding my heart, she deserves it."
My family raised a beautiful, feisty little girl for too short a time and entirely too long to guard our hearts. How could we guard ourselves against falling in love with her for 29 months? Every day of that time, she was with us, rocked to sleep, bumped knees kissed.
I poured love into her with reckless abandon. I was her mother. What were the options? She deserved nothing less than all of me. This precious child entrusted to our care.
I haven't made light of what it was to lose her. What it was when her bio parent cut off all contact. Devastating. Crushing.
It took me a long time to come out of a very dark place after losing her. I'll mourn the loss of raising her as my own the rest of my life. Every day.
But what was the alternative? That precious precious girl needed a home and God called us to be it.
We aren't promised no suffering because of our faith....in fact, sometimes that faith causes more suffering through persecution. But, we are promised redemptive suffering.
It wasn't the losing of Sweet Baby that made me a better person, it was the fiat. The unconditional surrender to God's plan for our lives, even if we were taking a big risk in the eyes of all around us.
Maybe it looks like we gambled and lost. Some days that's what it feels like.
Maybe the fruit of my next fiat won't be additional children in our family.
But always, always, God shows up when you say yes.
In big ways and little ways.
Take risks for God. Be bold in your faith.
It will be hard. It will crush you. But you will be made new. Allow God to remake you, to refine you by the fire.
Do not guard your heart from your calling. Give with reckless abandon and trust.