A dear foster momma friend is preparing to send home a precious daughter, and I know that feeling all to well. The dread. The sickening sorrow. The fear. It is an overwhelming pain. A pain that cannot be put into words. A heart wrenching experience that you know, as a foster mom, you will experience again and again.
The summer after we sent our precious baby girl away, I went with our youth group on a mission trip. One night, while there they gave us each a paint stirrer with the instructions to write a few words on it. Words that represented the thing that was keeping us from God. I thought they were going to have us keep it to remember, and I wasn’t really feeling far from God at the time. Instead, I chose to put one word on my stick. Her name.
Then they asked us to walk up and grab a piece of sandpaper, so that we could sand away that thing as a reminder that God can wash away all of our sin and anger and hurt. My heart dropped. I sat and watched as person after person walked up and sanded away their words. I could not do it. I could not give that girl back to God. I wanted her with all my heart, and I would have done ANYTHING in the whole wide world to keep her. Though it was a silly exercise that really meant nothing, I looked at that name with a tear streaked face and knew that I could not willingly sand away her name. Even though she was already gone, even though I had no option of keeping her, I could not choose to sand away her name.
And, then I realized. I didn’t have to choose it. For so many years, I have read about great heroes of the faith who when put to the greatest test acted with great faith. I have read about men and women who did the remarkable, and I wondered would I ever choose to do what is right when it was hard. But the reality is, I didn’t have to choose it. God chose that heartache ahead of time for me to walk through, so that I could learn to trust in Him. He knew that I needed to put my great love in His hands, He knew that I would have to learn to walk away so that I could KNOW that He was in charge. So that I could KNOW that He could take care of my girl with or without me. So that I could KNOW that in my sorrow, He was there. So that I could KNOW that in my brokenness I could become more whole than I had ever been before. He knew that I needed to KNOW that He would give me the faith I needed to walk through the things He had for me. I needed to KNOW that it was not by my works that saved me or my girl, but HIS WORK.
No, I would never, ever have chosen to give away my girl. I would have run away with her, if I thought that I could have, but He was so gracious to walk with me through that moment of faith. He held, not my hand, but me. Three years ago, God grew my heart, my faith and my hope in a way I could never have chosen, and He has been faithful to me and to my girl, and I KNOW that His faithfulness will continue forever.
Sweet friend whose heart is breaking, He will be faithful to you, as well.
Ephesians 2:8-10 “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”