Thursday, March 8, 2012

When You Feel Like You Are Just Not Cut Out For This

The room began to clear. Resource papers had been generated. Congrats-You-Did-It certificates were placed into our hands. A desire to exchange phone numbers rippled through the graduates after these 9 emotional weeks together, preparing to be foster parents. With just half of us remaining from those who launched into this endeavor in January, and even now we find ourselves only at the beginning of our journey, we discover this amazing growth as people, together with open discussion and heartfelt banter. But there is another growth, silent, deeper, within the stretching of our own skin.

And for me, it's been a hard road. A broken road.

On top of waiting months longer than anticipated to walk through the threshold of the house that is STILL not yet ours; daily sorting through the mystery that is chronic pain; and constantly questioning, "Who am I?" and "Why am I here?" now that I no longer function in the role of pastor, the longing mother heart continues to beat strong and the silent, constant, dull ache of my empty arms never truly deserts me.

And then these classes...these blessed classes....bringing to the surface every negative emotion I have ever felt in my entire life, about all of the above and more -- unforgiveness, selfishness, pride, prejudice, remorse, shame, and fear....all with a vengeance, especially fear....dear, sweet, terrifyingly hideous fear....

What if their needs are too much for you to handle?
What if your health...and sleep...issues get in the way of caring for them?
What if you get overwhelmed?
Or can't relate?
Or they want to switch homes?

With the loudest fear screaming in my ears,
"What if you just are not cut out for this?

In fact, half way through the course, I found myself legitimately physically ill, and I knew that while I might be able to push my physical body, I would never be able to take on the emotional burden of those 3 grueling hours of real-life-training, so we took our one-free-miss pass.
True Story.

So knowing now that tonight would be the last night, my heart sighed a HUGE sound of relief. My emotions felt let off the hook for a little while at least. It makes me wonder if this isn't what parents go through every day, spread out across 18 years of life and somehow we are supposed to be "ready" after these 9 short weeks because we might get any age, any issue, any circumstance, and yet our hearts must be ready to love and to discipline and to work through the long haul.

Am I crazy?
Maybe certifiable?
To take on this reckless disruption to our quiet little world?

I listened to the currently active foster parents share their stories tonight, and I felt the thumping of my heart beat louder and louder with delight and hesitation and desire to make a difference as well as to crawl into a hole and hide all at the same time.

So with all of these emotions coursing through my veins, we prepared to leave this final night, saying our eventual goodbyes, and one of our classmates, an elegant woman maybe 20 years older than I, says, "I was talking about you two this week with a friend of mine," pointing at Arno and myself," and I told her, 'This couple that I am in training with would make great parents.'" She went on, "There is just something about both of you, an air, a way about you that I just know you would be amazing parents."

We both say thank you, say our goodbyes, and walk out the courthouse doors. We drive home, with our usual banter, stopping at the drug store for toothbrushes and Kanka, and I look over at Arno and I say, "That was pretty special what she said to us, wasn't it?" And without question as to whom or what topic, he says, "Yeah. It was. That meant a lot."

Sometimes a healing word comes from the most unexpected places, in the most unexpected ways with God's voice behind it reminding us WHO we are IN Him, WHAT we can do THROUGH His power, and THAT we can trust His plans, timing, and ability to take care of even the smallest details.

While I really AM NOT cut out for this, HIM in ME is....and that makes ALL the difference.

I got you, Babe....I can almost hear Him say with that knowing smile and comforting wink.

I got you.

You know everything I'm going to say
before I start the first sentence.
I look behind me and you're there,
then up ahead and you're there, too—
your reassuring presence, coming and going.
This is too much, too wonderful—
I can't take it all in!
Psalm 139:4-6
{The Message}

Would you pray for us as there is a young teen mom that we have been asked to consider adopting with baby in tow? While it's just in the possibility phase at the moment, the details and parameters are terrifying yet so hard to ignore. We want to make the right decision for us and for her and baby. Thank you...

You're Already Amazing


Amy Lee Ellis said... Best Blogger Tips

Praying for you and for God's will in that situation with the teen mom.  I know that must be exciting and scary all at the same time.

alwaysalleluia said... Best Blogger Tips

Such beautiful, difficult words here, Lindsey! God will use you, in spite of you, to bless and show His face to the children in your care- you will make beautiful, wonderful parents and any child who spends time under your roof will experience the love of Christ through you!  Praying that God continues to lead you, as I KNOW He will- you will be parents to these children, and Lord willing, in another capacity too. ((hugs)) and prayers. You are awesome,  God works awesomely in you!!

Jana | said... Best Blogger Tips

I'm so happy for you, proud of you for stepping out in faith and answering His call to show the love of Christ to these children. He will equip you for your calling, love through you in mighty ways and show you new mercies every morning. "While I really AM NOT cut out for this, HIM in ME is....and that makes ALL the difference." Amen. 

You will be amazing. XOXO

Jennifer Camp said... Best Blogger Tips

Lindsey, those words you hear, that truth you know, all tucked deep down inside that beautiful heart? I love that you know it is Him...and His love in you just spills over. You are on such a stunningly beautiful adventure with Him. Wow. Hold on. This is going to be awesome.

National School of Dental Assi said... Best Blogger Tips

I was a foster child and God gave my "mom" special wisdom to help with my emotional pain, then God did the rest.  Nancy Kehr

Meredith said... Best Blogger Tips

Whoa. Praying. Big.
What a gift in the words of that woman... what a blessing. <3  
Love our Abba!!

Jennifer said... Best Blogger Tips

Congrats! That's an amazing thing you are doing!

Love His ways of healing our hearts- always personal to our needs!

lindseyfoj said... Best Blogger Tips

Yes, it is. Thank you so much for your prayers...we need it!

lindseyfoj said... Best Blogger Tips

Thank you, Kris! I needed these heartfelt words...and your prayers...the whole idea is a bit overwhelming, striving for His peace in all of it.

lindseyfoj said... Best Blogger Tips

Thank you for your words to lift up and to bolster my heart. I appreciate your encouragement!

lindseyfoj said... Best Blogger Tips

Nancy, that means so much. I walk this path with much your words give me courage.

lindseyfoj said... Best Blogger Tips

Thanks, Mer...yeah....her words came at the right timing ...and this whole thing...yeah...big. Thanks for your prayers!

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