I often feel like a race horse with blinders on-I can only see what’s in front of me and nothing else. I can’t see the crowd, who is coming up behind me, or even my rider. The only thing I can focus on is the finish line. Sometimes wearing the blinders feels like a wonderful opportunity – there is nothing to distract me from the task at hand and nothing to scare me away from crossing the finish line. But other times, the blinders inhibit me; I forget that there are other things going on around me-things I can’t see when I wear the blinders.
Jason and I have been licensed foster parents for almost 3 months now! We have spent the majority of that time at the top of “the list” for the 0-2 year age group, meaning we are the first ones to get a call from our agency when the need arises. So far, we have received 5 very different calls. The first one, we slept through. The second one was a possible placement for two little ones and ultimately, they did not need us.
The third phone call was for two little ones that would need travel to Amarillo (2 hours away from us) every week. With both Jason and I working, we knew that having two under two would already be a lot on our plate, and we could not add 4 hours of weekly travel to that.
The fourth phone call was for a little girl that we said yes to! It was very exciting…for about 5 minutes. What we didn’t realize was that even if we said “yes”, that doesn’t mean we will get chosen for the placement. There are 13 agencies in the Lubbock area that get the same phone calls that ours does. Unfortunately another family already said yes to her before we could. What an emotional roller coaster!
The fifth phone call we received was a couple of weeks ago for a legal risk placement. This means they are looking for an adoptive home to place the child in because parental rights are likely going to be, or have already been, terminated. Jason and I do ultimately want to do adopt at some point, so we said yes to being considered! Our caseworker submitted our home study (a long document that we filled out with everything about our lives and with answers to the most personal of questions) and a couple of pictures of us, and we are just waiting to hear back. The last we heard, they were still going through home studies. Our caseworker warned us that we may not be chosen for this child and that we shouldn’t take it personally. She said there will likely be several (maybe even hundreds) of families being considered. And so we wait. And while we wait, we have been taken off of the emergency placement call list in case we are chosen as this child’s adoptive family.
If you know me personally, you already know that I am not a patient person. I don’t like waiting. Not only that, but I loooove to be in control. Not being in control over a situation gives me anxiety. I tend to worry and fret about the “what ifs”. So you might be surprised to hear that foster care has changed me! Okay, maybe not foster care. But the Lord has sure done a number on my heart within the past few months, in preparation for what is to come in foster care, I’m sure.
Of course when we were actually waiting to get licensed, I was super impatient. We were told it would likely only take a couple of weeks…but it took about 2 months until we received our license. Then it took about a month for us to even receive our first phone call! But once the calls started to roll in, the patience set in. I’m no longer checking my phone every 30 minutes to make sure I don’t have a missed call, and I don’t fret when we haven’t heard from our caseworker. I’m just trusting in the Lord and His timing.
Honestly, it is really hard for me to explain the amount of peace I have with all of this-because I have never felt this way before. I always worry. I’m the kind of girl that must prepare for the worst possible case scenario, every time. Growing up with CF, I worried about my life expectancy and my ability to even have a future. So the fact that I am not one bit worried about when we will get a placement or who that child will be, is really quite extraordinary. If everything about foster care (or my life in general) were left up to me, I wouldn’t have any peace at all. So really, the only explanation is that this peace I am experiencing is from the Lord. So how did I get here?
Not too long ago, I started to realize that when I’m wearing blinders, like the race horse, I can’t see all the work the Lord is doing around me. I can’t see Him working on my behalf.
Jeremiah 29:11 says, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope” (ESV).
At the beginning of the year, our church (Redeemer Lubbock) started a Bible reading plan together. We received a 260-day plan of 5 chapters to read per week and one memory verse from Psalm to memorize every week. A small group of girls and I started meeting every 1-2 weeks to talk about what we were reading and learning, and then our pastor would preach on one of the chapters we read during the week that following Sunday.
I’m definitely a checklist kind of girl. I really enjoy having a list of things to check off – it makes me feel more accomplished. So when we were literally given a checklist of chapters from the New Testament to read in a year, I worried that I would treat my time with the Lord as such-just another thing to check off. To be honest, some days it felt that way. But most days, I look forward to my time with the Lord. I wanted to open my bible and read more about Jesus and His time on earth. I was even excited about reading Revelation! I am confident that the only way I’m likely able to experience this peace in regards to foster care is because I am truly reading my bible every day (or listening to it via the Dwell app-highly recommend!!) and praying, asking the Lord to remove the blinders and to give me the peace that only He can give. Praise God for answered prayers!
I’ve learned that no matter the race I am running, the Lord is there-beside me, before me and even behind me.
“It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” Deuteronomy 31:8 (ESV)
I know this blog is dedicated to my life living with CF. But to be honest, my health is so good right now thanks to Trikafta. And it’s because of this great health that I’m able to focus more on the things that matter to me-like caring for children who need a family to love on them. I have an appointment coming up in Fort Worth this week with my care team, so maybe my next post will be a health update. But until then, I’m praying the Lord gives you the same peace He has given me about whatever you’re going through in life.
A prayer to relinquish control:
Father, I have tried to control my life and even to control other people’s behavior to suit my purposes: forgive me. You are the King of my heart, one and only Sovereign, Lord of all. Thank you that I don’t have to be in control because YOU are. Thank you for your perfect leadership, for your omniscient command of every situation, and for loving us while you hold all things together. In the name of Jesus, Amen (https://www.crosswalk.com/faith/bible-study/how-the-bible-assures-us-that-god-is-in-control.html).