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Foster care is a journey of uncertainty. Fighting and trusting on behalf of children is never an easy or straight-forward process. (Perhaps this helps us remember how important the work truly is? Perhaps there is an epic battle in the heavenly realms for each life that is wanted/rescued.)
This year, the word coming to mind most often is hope. Not hope that it will work out exactly as I want or plan. But hope in a Person--that Jesus will work it out exactly as He wants, at exactly the right time, for His specific sovereign purposes. For hope to be truly hope that I can hang my life on, it must be properly placed. Properly placed in a Person.
Hope to tackle just one more day.
Hope to love despite the risks.
Hope to persevere in the midst of unknowns.
Hope to continue trusting even in sorrow.
I wonder if hope can only truly be hope if we're in the midst of something that requires us to need it. Some sort of sorrow or seemingly insurmountable mountain ahead. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our [trials] because we know that [trials] produce perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us[!] (Romans 5:3-5)
I told a friend recently that I'm in the midst of a Lamentations 3 moment. Let him bury his face in the dust--there may yet be hope. (Lamentations 3:29) To the world that probably seems an impossibility but it is somehow true--suffering in trials and face-in-the-dust yet still great hope that does not disappoint.
Friends, our foster case is out of [our] control. Five years ago when Bryce and I started the process, we never could have foreseen the difficulties to come. The heart is invested and the calling sure; yet the road to permanency is, frankly, absurd and simply heart-breaking at times. We cannot hope in the system or our caseworkers or the attorneys or the other myriad of people involved in our case. If nothing else, I am learning that all we have is hope in Jesus. ...we who have fled to take hold of the hope offered to us may be greatly encouraged. We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. (Hebrews 6:18-19)
What a beautiful picture of Hope! Our sure soul anchor that we can run to.
My heart chooses to declare, in the mist of everything: my hope is You, Jesus.
For further study on hope, some of my favorite passages:
Romans 15:3-6, 13