Normal is really nice. Right now as I am sitting at the foot of Chris’s bed on the fifth floor of the cancer wing, I am tempted to be envious of other families who have semi normal lives. But is that what I really want? A normal life?
I remember when three years ago I came to a point where God confronted me and I poured out so many bad habits and slowly started to change. Every day I felt more free as I got rid of dishonesty, insecurity, selfishness and baggage. After that I was on this high and I felt that I would do anything and everything for God. I prayed and prayed asking God to use me, I’m ready!
Every day I felt that I was being put together piece by piece becoming more whole. I looked forward to more then anything the walks down to the park, meeting at a special place where I would talk to God. I felt his presence with me everywhere and although I experienced the fear of confessing yet another part of me that God brought to my attention I was more afraid of loosing the closeness that I never had before. He became very quickly the most important in my life.
I began to share my story with friends, family and the one person I most valued approval from, my husband. I shared my story online through my church and was no longer afraid to share of how God changed me. My thoughts and heart were drawn to others now and no longer on my self and my own insecurities. I prayed how I could be obedient and serve others. I prayed for my husband’s heart to ignite the same fire that was in my heart. I prayed and I was patient. I did not hound or pressure like I would have in the past.
And then one day Chris talked to me about what I thought of becoming foster care parents. I don’t think I really realized it at first because it was so gradual, but my prayers were answered. There were classes and paperwork and contacts and time but the more we learned about it the more excited we became. Two weeks after we were certified foster parents we received a call. The woman on the other line had not called to talk to us about one or two kids but four. We were only certified for two but that was soon to change. The youngest came to live with us right away and the other three came four days later after we purchased a bunk bed, bedroom furniture and a van that would fit all of us.
That first night after Chris and I got the four kids to bed we were filled with so many emotions. I think our words to each other were, “Wow, what did we just do?!” But we were elated with joy. It was exciting to be on this crazy adventure of obedience that God had called us to, even if it was scary as ——.
I did not help raise 4 kids for a year and half by my own strength and I certainly was not able to say goodbye when they went back home with my own strength. God helped me through it, every day. Those four kids were our family. Chris and I loved them so much and we still love them and miss them. God, however, had bigger and better plans. The kid’s mom started to trust me and appreciate how Chris and I loved and cared for her kids. I assured her the first day I met her that I could never take her place and I would ask her advice and update her on how the kids were doing every week. I began to love her as a person and friend. She opened up to me and shared her struggles, as well as her background. I shared with her my life and my past, assuring her that I was far from perfect as well.
Last August the kids moved back in with their mom and her life partner. We love them both and they are all our family. We would do anything for them and they would do anything for us. Its honestly incredible and it scares me to think what if I was to scared to have four kids come and live with us? Since then we have seen the kids and they have come over on the weekends to spend the night at our house. They call us Chris and Gina but at night time when we are saying prayers its always, “Goodnight Mommy, I love you”.
The separation was not quite as bad because one year prior, Chris and I discovered the exciting news that we were pregnant. We had no idea that this was even possible which is a big reason why Chris and I wanted to be foster parents. Gabriella Grace was born healthy and strong. Today she is almost 7 months old and I will talk about her later in future posts. Oh, don’t worry!
Writing this I am reminded that I absolutely love my life. I love that Chris and I are walking in obedience to God and we are being used by him through our pain. Today is Sunday and our pastor Dan Wright talked about John the Baptist and how he devoted his entire life to preparing the way for Jesus and yet he found himself locked in a prison. He questioned Jesus and if He was who He said he was, Christ, God in flesh. Jesus answered him saying that,
“Go back and report to John what you have seen and heard: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor. Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of me.” (Luke 7:22-23)
And Dan pointed out that John realized Jesus came to serve and to love. And that as his follower, John’s mission was to serve and love even if it means suffering and death. Dan also pointed out that John hit a “wall” and had to decide, “am I going to be mad and resentful of my suffering or am I going to be faithful to God.”
I am at a wall right now, so to speak, but when I have already decided that my life is not about me, my life is about Him and how He is using me to impact others the walls are never deal breakers with God. The walls are hard and tough, but they always bring me even closer to God then before. Dan reminds me in his message that during the “good” times I need to fill my cup (my life) with scripture, prayer and community so when the “wall” comes I persevere.
I have been thirsty with getting back into God’s word and prayer has become my lifeline to stay sane. The community around me has always been a constant and faithful support. I am so so thankful for all the support from our church community and our friends. I can’t imagine going through all this without it!