The Lord said to Moses, “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘Throughout the generations to come you are to make tassels on the corners of your garments, with a blue cord on each tassel. You will have these tassels to look at and so you will remember all the commands of the Lord, that you may obey them and not prostitute yourselves by chasing after the lusts of your own hearts and eyes. Then you will remember to obey all my commands and will be consecrated to your God. I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt to be your God. I am the Lord your God.’ ” (Numbers 15:37-41 NIV)
God calls. God equips and provides. God sustains. Living a life of Faith isn’t pretty. It doesn’t matter what angle you look at it from it is ugly, hard, and doesn’t look possible. It can lead you down a path that absolutely and fully takes your breath away and knocks you to the ground face first. So what do you do?
Ten or so years ago was a pretty big spiritual marker in my life. God called me to speak. That in and of it self pretty much scared the crap out of me because if y’all know me at all, speaking is NOT something I do well or enjoy, like, or think is pleasurable. I DON’T want eyes on me. I NEVER know what to say. And I surely am not confident enough to think I know more or have it all together enough to share. Gracious, I know all you grammatically correct people cringe when you read my blog and think I need to go back to school, I’m with ya! Well….God always proves me wrong. I have learned that in our greatest weaknesses that is where God desires to work His greatest miracles. This way ALL glory goes to Him and not us! So speaking is what I have done. When ever His still small voice whispers to my heart, I answer, “yes Lord.” I will say that YES has come often times very hesitantly and with much doubting that “I” can not do the task or that no one wants to hear what I have to say. Nevertheless God’s grace washes over me and gives me strength to follow through. Have I missed the mark more times than one? Of course. But He is faithful.
About six years ago God began to work on my heart concerning loving others. He began to stir a passion in me to love those that were not like everyone else. Actually that passion was stirred in me as a teen but at this point God was making evident that He wanted to add to our family one that didn’t fit into the stereotypical mold of the cookie cutter child. I have watched my own children struggle with this, not fitting where the world thinks they should. I have listened to hurtful comments of others that we must not be parenting right or our child wouldn’t act that way. Not enough spankings, too many privileges, or the real kicker being “if I had him for a week I’m sure he would act different”. Color changes at school, principal visits, church members telling me “wow, you have your hands full” as they are excited to see me pick my child up, coercing of testing and medications from school staff, and feeling like a failure of a parent. Been there. Done that. Got the t-shirt and never wanted to be there again. But you see…that was all in preparation for now. The calling God has on our family now. That passion to love, God instilled as a teen has not left. God used ever moment of every one of those days to teach me, and our family to love a little deeper, to see people a little differently. It has continued on and God is still working. Today it is a picture of a little girl that has been added to our home through foster care. Through every ugly day. Through every overwhelming situation. Through every “you’re crazy” look I receive. Through ever word that is muttered behind our backs. God isn’t finished.
We all have great adversity. None of us are immune. I love my children but I’m thankful for school days. Can I get an AMEN??? It gives me sanity. I’m thankful God hasn’t called me to homeschooling. I might just pull every hair out on my head as having all four kids home last week with a few extras just about sent me over the edge. Don’t get me wrong I enjoyed the snow days of sleeping in and spending good quality time with everyone but this momma thrives on a schedule and so do my children. No organization means chaos and crazy!! And my OCD self needs calming. Not to mention all the other things we had going on that put me into a tail spin. But like I said we all have adversity. We all have challenges.
Can I just say that until you learn a little psychology of children, especially a foster child you are missing out? Trauma runs DEEP! And list upon list of disorders can not begin to describe what these children, that are NOT cookie cutter, have to endure and overcome. I know there are those of you that believe parenting is black and white. And I am not casting stones. I’m simply informing you that not all children can handle the same methods. Not all children respond the same. We as adults don’t respond the same how can we expect children to? That said our newest little had come home with a not so great report from the bus driver. Our oldest two have struggled with their grades this nine weeks and now we are down to the final few days and nerves are high. Adversity begins. The little miss’s misbehaving didn’t end there. It didn’t stop with one minor hiccup it just kept going. I will let your imagination go on that one and spare you the details. Then it’s bed time. And as I come to the little’s room to check, after being in bed for ten minutes, I see her still in the state of rebellion. It had been a long night and momma did not feel well to top it off. I felt the temperature of my body literally rise. It started mid body and spread like wild fire in about ten seconds. “Lord help me,” I cried as I stepped in to her room. God was in that room. He gave peace, and patience, and a calm word. We talked about fears and behaviors. We talked about satan wanting her to do things that were not right. We also talked about God always providing a way out and that He always gives us a choice. We prayed and asked for forgiveness and for help to conquer sin the next time. Explaining sin to a five your old with about a three year old mentality isn’t easy. Especially when parenting her isn’t black and white. It isn’t cookie cutter by any means. I fail miserably so many times. But in all God’s Glory He gave me hope last night. This little girl wanted to make a pinky promise. She said mom, let’s “pinky promise that I won’t do these things any more.” Then she said and “can you hang a picture on the wall so I can remember?” As I’m studying Moses right now in BSF, God told the Israelites to wear tassels on their garments as a reminder of His promises, plan, and faithfulness. My heart sang as this precious child of God needed that reminder as well. She needed to know that He always gives here a choice away from sin, a way out, and He promises that He will never leave her.
Thank you Lord that just when I think my well has run dry You spring new living water in my soul to give me hope. To remind me of your calling. To show me suffering is not in vain. To keep my feet planted on your path. And to help me love a little more.
I pinky promise to you all that when He calls, He equips and provides, and oh how He sustains us through every battle, every crisis, and every storm!!! You can count on His promises!!
Author of Encouragement To You