That’s what I always say, but it’s true. The Father sculpted a picture on our hearts long ago, just as a child creates imprints into modeling clay. There it lay on our hearts, pressed and fitted to our souls. We couldn’t run from foster care, just as we couldn’t outrun the Father.
Our past is a mess, full of brokenness and filth. My husband and I were in our mid-twenties before we came to Christ. Our lives seemed irreparable, but He bent low and breathed life into our souls, composed a sweet melody flowing in and through us.
How could we turn our backs on families, like ours, in crisis?
How could we say ‘no’ to something so utterly personal and etched into our souls?
When we pivoted round and gazed hard into our past lives, we saw the eyes of our own fractured family staring back at us. We are all horribly broken, desperately in need of a rescuer. All of us.
It only takes a split second. One wrong choice and any of us could be lining the dark-stained wooden pews of family court, fighting for our children. Waiting for our names to be called before the judge, waiting to be approved to visit our children again, waiting for a chance to get our lives back.
The dear ones, the children, haven’t made the choice. They are flailing in a sea of uncertainty and loss, desperately in need of arms strong to hold and press the imprint of Jesus onto their souls. A voice to speak over them and for them. An advocate.
Just as Christ advocates for us before the Father, we advocate for the little ones who’ve walked through our door. We can’t rescue. We can’t fix. But we can hold and love and whisper prayers.
It’s a calling of heartache and joy. A pressing away from our comforts. A molding to something deeper, something more.
We are imperfect people who have a perfect God. Doing what He’s called us to do-loving the least of these within our city.
Sacrifice is never easy. The ground saturated with blood is holy ground-the pain, the agony, the grief. The letting go, the surrender into the Father’s plans is messy, but redemptive. There is joy and newness of life. There is beauty intermingled with the sweat and tears of sorrow.
And He is forever faithful. Not to our plans, but to His. He cares more about these children than we do. Time and again, He shows up and pours out strength and mercy.
We are forever grateful that He loved us first (1 John 4:19) and that He cemented our hearts into foster care. We will never be the same.
Melanie and her husband, Kevin, have three biological children and live in Birmingham, Alabama. They have been foster parents for two years. More of their story and journey can be followed at Melanie’s blog Running to the Father.