Thursday, January 19, 2012

Who am I to Judge? {Relentless Grace}

It's funny how God reveals His character to you.
It's funny how He shows you when yours needs some tweaking.

And not funny-ha-ha, but funny ironic....funny surprising.

Last night, Arno and I sat down for Week 2 of our foster care/adoption training-certification classes. The room was filled with nearly 20 people, each with different motivations and agendas for taking these classes. Too many, it is personal -- getting back their grandchildren or a brother who is part of "the system." For others, like us, it is global, more generalized -- to make a difference in the life of a child/children. Whatever each individual's incentive, the general consensus in the room is a heart for children, a desire to help the helpless. It is kind of a beautiful thing really, finding this common bond beyond generation or race or religious affiliation.

And yet, people are still people and with the informal format lending itself to open discussion, opinions quickly come to the surface from those who cannot hold their feelings at bay and lay open, bare, on the table.

This study of people fascinates the psychology-lover in my brain. The group dynamics, the point-of-views of the various cultural backgrounds, and the way each one's desire to be there triggers a deep, raw place of BIG emotion amazes me.

We are not merely here in a class to learn.
We are here because we care and we care BIG and we care HARD
and sometimes the emotions are bigger than we can handle.

So as I quietly watched the dynamics unfold and listened to the opinions of others as well as to the continuing mantra of not judging others being repeated by the facilitator -- each other, birth parents, the social workers -- I realized that albeit calm and discreet in my mannerisms, my heart and mind boomed with emotions and opinions as large as any other person in the room.

As we drove home last night, I articulated to my love some of these weaknesses that I saw in my own heart, these judgments STILL there in spite of my own incredible journey of grace....

How could I think that my appraisal and examination of another's faults or weaknesses should be the measuring stick to which I hold another's value or worth?

And yet....what do I do when those ill-fated choices have impacted the life of a child negatively? In spite of my own barren arms, the momma-bear heart beats violently in my chest to rescue and to run away with this broken little ones to never be hurt again?

But where is the love?
Where is the redemption in my heart?
Where is the desire for restoration and reunification of the family?
Where is it in me, the one who has been hand-held on a pilgrimage of grace, who was broken open to understand how he redeems my broken places, and who continues to walk a path of relentless grace and mercy?

Who am I to judge?

....and I then realized that I am there for more than to learn to be a "good" foster parent....

I am on this journey to love MORE like Jesus.
To understand His unchanging mercy,
His propensity to redeem EVERYTHING,
His as-far-as-the-east-is-from-the-west grace

To allow Him to be RELENTLESS........

in changing me.....

into His image.

And I cannot help but smile.....
Yeah. He's kinda funny...this Father of mine.
Maybe even a little funny ha-ha.


Amy said... Best Blogger Tips

 It sounds like an exciting journey!  Though I've dealt primarily with disabled and elderly adults, I've also done guardian ad litem work in the past with children and I've seen children going through foster families. And it's such a journey for both the children and the parents.  Some of the stories are very sad, but I have also seen such grace.  So encouraging to see so many fellow bloggers working toward foster care and adoption!

Cara @ WhimsySmitten said... Best Blogger Tips

Beautiful.  We were certified for foster care before we went to Texas and your post took me back to those classes -- I had a similar experience -- different people, different motivations, different circumstances and different perspectives, and yet, the same big goal.  I am so excited for your journey to begin in this field.  I don't feel like God has closed the book yet on fostering for us -- though I'm not sure how it might fit into our future yet.  We don't have the required extra bedroom where we live now, but I just feel that quiet heart-whisper... don't give up on that idea, yet. 

We'll see what plans He has for you and for me, dear friend, and in the meantime, again, I am SO excited for your journey.  <3  How's the house stuff coming along?

Annie | said... Best Blogger Tips

"Maybe even a little funny ha-ha."  I love you, Lindsey!

Oh this whole business of judging and redemption.  I get so lost in it. I have a friend who says we go through seasons of judging like a two year old who screams "NO!" all day to distinguish herself from her parents, that we can learn from the judgements that rise up - to help us define who we are and who we are not.  I'm still mulling over the idea.

I often come back to the thought that all I can do is hide in Jesus. Maybe it's a cop-out, I don't know. 

"Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more
than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is
also interceding for us." Romans 8:34 Thank God. I need it!

Nontobeko Mbuli said... Best Blogger Tips

in a different life situation than you , i have continually asked
Jesus to cleanse me from being judgemental. i pray to
God for an out pour of His mercy and grace for all people. yep its funny, how in a moment i can forget that i too, have received mercy and grace. Lord continue to tweak me.

Lindsey Zarob said... Best Blogger Tips

This is a beautiful post Lindsey. I can relate to your heart and seeing it for what it really is yet knwoing Jesus will make us more like Him. I'm encouraged by your transaprency. {And I appreciate the way you spell your name} 

Emily Wierenga said... Best Blogger Tips

We are here because we care and we care BIG and we care HARD
and sometimes the emotions are bigger than we can handle.

trent and i have done the foster training too, and what you describe here, this is exactly it... it's as though the God inside us is bursting, trying to get out, and we're overwhelmed by the process but delighted at the same time... bless you guys for loving in this huge way.

Meredith said... Best Blogger Tips

Oh wow.
Seriously wow.
Thank you, my sweet friend, for giving us a glimpse of the next phase of your life, and for such a beautiful, and thought provoking response.

lindseyfoj said... Best Blogger Tips

Thank you, Amy. It is a scary journey, but one that we know that the Lord is leading the walk on.  Thank you for your encouragement!

lindseyfoj said... Best Blogger Tips

That is awesome, Cara! And I, too, have realized that God's timing is good and His plans never run out even if we think a season is over.  I am also happy for you in your current and future journey.

House stuff is kind of in a holding pattern, but I have just "decided" to walk in peace and go from there....what else can I do right?

lindseyfoj said... Best Blogger Tips

I love Romans...especially 7-8 read just blows me away with the anxieties that I walk in and the grace that He lavishes.  

That is an interesting theory from your I will also have to ponder a bit.

Thanks for your always beautifully deep insight. I appreciate it!

lindseyfoj said... Best Blogger Tips

How it is amazing how much every moment is bathed in His grace and NEEDFUL of His grace!

As you say, "Lord continue to tweak me." ME, too, friend. Me too.

lindseyfoj said... Best Blogger Tips

I am so thankful that you stopped over here to read as well as to comment. You are so kind.  And I like your name too -- Lindsey Z...I often like to call myself Lindsey V....they have nice rings to it, eh?

lindseyfoj said... Best Blogger Tips

Oh...your words truly do put it in perspective...."God inside us is bursting, trying to get out, and we're overwhelmed by the process but delighted at the same time..."  I am in awe of true!

lindseyfoj said... Best Blogger Tips

Thanks, Mer!
You are always so sweet and kind to me!!
God is faithful...even in my weaknesses.

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