Saturday, March 9, 2013

The Least of These

To the casual observer, things look just peachy. I laugh out loud and smile often. But if you look long enough and closely enough, you'll see the tears just behind my eyelids. The tears I'm trying valiantly to hold back. But when I'm all alone they come. They come in the middle of the night and awaken me. They come because I know that very soon I'll be saying goodbye to another little one. And Oh Dear Lord it hurts! I know that being a foster parent means that I'll say goodbye to many children. I know they are not mine to keep. But I also know that I can do no less than to love them completely while they are with me, and that means my heart breaks completely when they go. I am so very happy for them, that they find forever families! I pray for them often and for their families, both past and present. But still I hurt. I cry out to God to please give me strength. To please take the hurt away. And then I remember why I do it.

I've been there. Right where they are. I've been in the presence of a parent that was mentally unstable. I've been the child that hid from an abusive step-parent. I've been the child witnessing violence. I've been the little girl violated. I've been the child grown up too fast. I've been the one no one seemed to want. I've been the runaway. And yet, I've also been the one that was shown kindness, and the love of Jesus, by strangers. Those that shouldn't have cared, but did. I've been there, and so I do this. Because to whom much is given, much is required. (Luke 12:48) I have been given much in this life, not the least of which is forgiveness for rejecting the One that only ever loved me, for way too long.

As I spend seemingly each waking moment asking for God to give me strength, crying sometimes, and holding it in during others, I realize that God has ALWAYS been right there by my side, and that He always gives me strength for the tasks that He has given me. (Phil 4:13) He has equipped me and He stands by me. He has shown me in His Word that this is what those that love Him do. (James 1:27) We care for the least of these. Whether temporarily or permanently, it matters not. So, while some seem to think I'm some kind of superwoman for doing this, let me be clear. I am not. I only do this in God's strength.  On my own, I couldn't do it. I would crumble. 

Today, during one of my difficult moments, as I cried out to God for strength, a couple songs came on... and interestingly enough, these same songs are the ones that seem to play each time I start to feel down. Because I just really like these songs, especially in my situation, I thought I'd share them with you. And if ever you feel like maybe you could show the love of Jesus to one of the least of these, let  me know and I'd be happy to share with you how you could get started. Because, really when it comes right down to it, though there is pain, there is so much more joy! And like my husband says: I'll keep my eye on the eternal prize and "just think of the reward' to come. :) Blessings my friends! And thanks for reading.



2 comments:

  1. Hi Shalene,
    It's Janet K. I used to go through the same thing; then Jeanie Dolan - who used to go to WPBC a few years ago - gave me a piece of very helpful advice. God placed these little gifts in your arms & hearts & family for a reason. He has given you & your family the priveledge to keep praying for them. And I do often! Including, our precious daughter that had to go back before we were placed with Jared. She is 16...:) When someone tells us that we do not know what it is like to loose a child.....we do know - we had her for 5 months. But the Lord used that situation for so many things - positive things! She was & is a Blessing & so are all of our little visitors! And so will yours! Will your heart stop hurting - no...you're a mommy!...:) But you will grow from this! Love more & Be Blessed, Janet

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    1. I do know this Janet. Thank you. I am so very blessed and am so gratefule that the Lord would use ME! I'm blown away by that every time I think about it like that. :) I am blessed to be their mommy, even for a short time. I'll hurt, but it'll be ok. God will ease the pain for me. Even if He does it with a new little one to distract me. :) Thanks for your encouraging words!

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Thank you for your comments. I look forward to reading your thoughts. Be blessed!