"If you could go back and change one thing...what would it be?"
This is a question both my husband and I have been asked several times by different people now that we're on the other side of foster care. And the truth is, if you had asked me in the midst of it, I'd have given you quite the lengthy list. I wanted to change all of it.
How many kids we took in.
My husbands attitude.
My kids attitudes.
The list would have gone on and on and on.
And yet looking back now, I know for certain that I wouldn't change a single thing.
Maybe hindsight really is 20/20, but all of the hard times, the times of crying and wailing and fear and exhaustion (sometimes mine, sometimes not) and just feeling like even one more hour was near impossible...
I now see how it all truly served to help us know and love and honor the Lord even more than we ever had before.
We all had such idealistic views of how we would be as a foster family and how it would go, and yet never once did the reality ever measure up to our lofty dreams.
Not even once.
In fact, in all truthfulness, it seemed we instead failed every day at being all that we had hoped we could be.
We fell short in one way or another, and even when our actions may have looked admirable, we knew a lot of times our heart maybe wasn't so much.
But where we didn't fail, was that every single day (and many many many times throughout the day!) we continually chose to give it all to the Lord. We chose to be obedient to what He had called us to do, despite many times wanting to give up and choose instead the path of least resistance.
The best picture I can share is this...
Imagine a broken bowl or glass so unusable it's no longer able to serve it's purpose, that there seems to be no other choice but to throw it away.
That was us. (still is)
We were those broken dishes.
So unusable and completely unworthy.
And yet by giving it all to God, surrendering all of it to Him, He came and filled in those massive cracks and was able to use us anyway.
In spite of us, for our good, and ultimately for His glory.
The humbling and glorious truth we came to realize over and over again?
We weren't awesome. (still aren't!)
He was. (and always is!)
And now that the girls have moved back home, we keep in touch often and the biggest blessing of all... we still get to see them each week as we excitedly pick them as well as their mother up for church. And instead of what felt like two broken families, we have become one larger whole family, all seeking even more whole-heartedly after the Lord.
And this is why we can say with absolute certainly that there isn't a single moment we would go back to change.
Even had the circumstances ended differently, even if the circumstances should change in the future, we now have this unbelievable assurance and confidence in God's sovereignty and awesomeness.
We get more than ever, that it's not about us.
It's all about Him.
We can honestly admit that our foster care experience has humbled us unlike anything else.
It has absolutely brought us to our knees in gratitude and awe and absolute worship to our God who is able to do abundantly more than all we ask or imagine.
And he does it in all things...
In spite of us.
We aren't awesome, because ultimately the story isn't about us.
He is, because it's always been about Him.
It's not our glory story.
So whatever you may be walking through, in all the things that may feel heavy or burdensome or too much to carry...I encourage you to give it all to Him.
Don't worry about being awesome, just trust that no matter what, He always is.
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