This past Tuesday I got a phone call from our caseworker that was nothing short of a gut punch. After hanging up the phone I started sobbing right there in the Pilot gas station parking lot.
I had just had my hair cut for the first time in over a year, and was coming off of weeks of illness and texted Trevor that I was going to drive around for a bit and enjoy some quiet and fresh air. I pulled off to grab a bite from good ol Taco Bell when the phone call came through.
The words she spoke were the last things we wanted to hear- in fact they were the things we’ve been praying we would not hear this entire past year. It seemed unfathomable, and in fact is quite ludicrous which she herself admitted to thinking as well. I cannot imagine working for a system that so blatantly traumatizes children who have been victims of trauma already. It is hard enough as a foster parent to watch this happen.
I cried, I texted Trevor I couldn’t come home until she was in bed, that I had gotten a phone call and it was about her and I couldn’t let her see me so undone (this is not about not showing your kids emotions, this is about her trauma).
I started to drive and get angry and I felt God say to me “Do you trust me?”.
It was quiet- I heard it in between my raging but it was there.
And the fact is- I do. I do trust Him. Everything seems to be unraveling, our fears are based in facts and our concern is valid despite the fact that those things don’t matter to the people making decisions. But I trust Him nonetheless.
I don’t trust Him because I have read about others trusting Him. I don’t trust Him because I have seen others walk through fire and they are still standing, those things are helpful yes, but I trust Him because He has always been faithful to me.
When I lost the baby I prayed for, He was faithful to me in my anger and grief. When my Mom was diagnosed with breast cancer and my Dad had a triple bypass He was faithful to me in my confusion, my fear and my doubt. All three of my boys spent time in the NICU, and those were some of the hardest days and yet He was with me and He never left my side. I’ve faced difficult times with finances, with jobs and with ministry, with family and with friends and despite how I was feeling, despite how angry I got and how mad I was, God stood with me in those dark moments and He continues to.
When it hurt so bad to be at church but I kept going because I trusted God to be faithful when others weren’t and as I’ve said goodbye to many friends who have lost their lives too soon for my liking, God has met me in those places of deep sorrow.
I was reflecting on Jeremiah 17:7-8 this morning,
“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”
I get to choose what happens when the fire burns.
I get to decide if I trust in God and if I will allow Him to produce in me the kind of fruit that lasts, the kind of fruit that causes others to ask, “how are you getting through this?” Are my roots planted by the stream, by the living water? Will I bear fruit in this season or will I be like a bush in the wastelands- withered up and dried out. If I draw upon my own self, and if I try to do this on my own I stand no chance- I cannot see this through on my own accord. I trust that God loves us and loves her more than we ever could and despite the outcome I believe in His faithfulness. I trust Him.
I know we may not see the ending we longed for and prayed for this side of heaven, I know there is a season of deep grief and pain awaiting me, I know that from my perspective things look lost and dark but there is nothing I am more sure of than a God who meets me in those places and guides me to His healing arms.