My heart breaks every time I think about this little 8 year old boy who lives at the residential treatment center (RTC) in our community. The majority of the children living at the RTC are in (or have been in) foster care. Most of them have been in and out of up to 7 or 8 foster homes before coming to the RTC where they get 24 hour care in a therapeutic environment. Many of these kids have experienced trauma, abuse, and neglect in more extreme forms then those in traditional foster homes. Some have been in the RTC for two years or more and have never had a visitor (besides staff) or a family member come to check in on them. They must truly feel forgotten, unwanted, and are hurting.
One day, the mother of this eight year old looked into her son’s eyes (who was in foster care) and said “I promise, I promise, I will get you back this time. I will do everything to get you back. I promise.” She then walked out to her car that was packed and running and drove off the Las Vegas, not to return to her little guy.
Broken promises. Rejection. Pain. This is what kids in our own communities are dealing with. No wonder they act out. No wonder they do things that we don’t understand. They are just trying to make sense of their lives. They must be screaming on the inside, do you see me? Do you care? Am I worth more?
Or am I nothing?
These kids need to know that they are loved. They need to know that they were not a mistake. They need to know that they have been created by a God who has a purpose for their lives.
But how will they, unless we tell them?
Unless we show them?
Unless we are willing to get out of our comfort zones and get our feet dirty.
I’m not saying that everyone is called to foster care or helping kids like this little eight year old boy or whatever. Just go to God. Seek His face. Ask Him what He has planned for you. Trust Him enough to obey whatever He says, no matter how big OR how small it seems. Be who He created YOU to be and remember why we’re here. To be Jesus to our hurting and broken world.
And remember, everyone has a story.