So when I started the process to be a foster parent, I didn’t tell a lot of people, but I’m terrible at keeping secrets. I would let it slip occasionally, and I’d get mixed reactions. I had some amazing people who were so supportive, but then I got some blatant discouragement from others.
I was reading in Matthew 16 recently, and when Jesus told his disciples of his impending suffering, Peter responds, “Far be it from you, Lord! This shall never happen to you.” (Matthew 16:22)
Jesus responds strongly with, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.” (Matthew 16:23)
While Peter said this out of wanting to protect Jesus, he was actually tempting Jesus to step out of His calling. Jesus knew that He would suffer, and He felt everything because while He was fully God, He was also fully man. He wasn’t numb to the anxiety and the pain that came with this. He suffered in every sense of the word.
Just like Peter’s quick and logical defense for Jesus, many people quickly reacted to discourage me from doing this hard thing of foster care. I know they meant well, but I knew without a doubt that Jesus was asking me to step into the hard to love the vulnerable children in foster care.
While it was confusing at first to hear discouragement from people, I do feel like it helped me to become more confident and resolute in my calling. I think God definitely used those discouraging comments from friends and coworkers, but it also made me feel more isolated in my calling.
My experience has opened my eyes to how to better love and support those following God’s calling on their life. Support can be just listening and praying with people about the next steps. Support can look like stepping into the hard with them and being the hands and feet of Jesus alongside them. Loving them can look like you faithfully praying over them.
But God’s calling to do hard things doesn’t make much earthly sense. Because human logic is limited, and God is greater than our own understanding. He can do the impossible. He can use ignorant and naive people like myself to love and parent 5 beautiful little girls.
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