So I missed a Monday. Anyone else out there that misses deadlines they put for themselves?
Today I want to share some heart with you. We used to be foster parents. Two years ago marks the week we said goodbye to our foster son and I just wanted to share that blog post I wrote that week. Full of emotions, swirling emotions. Enter into my world two years ago…..
Not Always A Happy Ending
October 13, 2018
Life doesn’t always give you a happy ending. I wish life was like a child’s movie where everyone is happy in the end. Where they all forget their heartaches and troubles, they learned to forgive, where there is no bad attitudes, failure or rejection. But life isn’t a movie. Life is hard. Life is messy.
I supposed most people blog as they go through experiences. I had every intention of keeping up a blog as we went along, but I get so caught up in the moments. My emotions swirl in the heartache and the stress that I just try to survive. I’m starting at the end. Only then, can I can get my thoughts wrapped up into any resemblance of a rational idea.
We had a foster child this past year. Two actually.
We had a boy. A teenage boy.
When we got him, the last placement was a bad situation. The woman wasn’t nice and he was acting out. Everyone (the team consisting of caseworkers, juvenile officers, lawyers, as well as the doctors, counselors and psychiatrists) thought it was environmental, that being in a different environment would allow him to thrive, grow change and become a productive young man in society.
We took that young man into our home and our hearts with open arms. We treated him as though his previous sins were as far as the East is from the West. We pretended his past felonies had not been committed. We gave him a fresh start. Told him it was his second chance.
Our family adopted him easily as most of the time he was pleasant and easy to get along with. But the darkness was always there, every present, simmering just beneath the surface.
We thought “he’s just a normal moody teenager” or “it’s his abandonment issues”. I thought if I could just love him more, show him more grace and mercy, have more bible studies, take him to more youth kid events, do more fun things with him that I could keep him on the right path, that he wouldn’t fall off the fence onto the side of darkness.
I wanted to love him enough to save him. And in there, lies a problem. I can not save anyone. Only God can save someone. Only God can shake down someone’s soul and bring them to the light.
He continued to show more and more mental health issues and signs of behavior disorders. You can only “fake it” so long. I wanted to be wrong. I wanted it to be just because he was having a bad day, or missed his mother.
We as humans always have free choice. I can’t make him love us back. I can only show him what love and a Christian home is like.
His behaviors have escalated to the point I no longer feel safe having him in our home. After almost a year, we have asked that he be moved to a new placement. He needs helps for his mental illnesses, help that we are not equipped to give. He needs resources that are not found in our small town.
My heart is breaking. It feels like I failed him somehow. Satan throws in the “what ifs” what if I had been more playful, tried harder or loved him more.
I hear all the “why’s”, why didn’t it work out, what was the thing that he rejected about us, why weren’t we good enough, what did we do wrong, he needs a family why couldn’t we be his family?
As an adult, I have the ability to see how his life could have been different. I see the blessings that could have been. Why wouldn’t he believe that we loved and cared about him? Why didn’t he want to change?
As I cry to my husband, he spoke grace and wisdom into my life. He told me “honey, remember he has free will. He chose to reject us and this family. Nothing you could have done, would have changed the outcome. We showed him the love of God. He is rejecting God’s love.”
My husband is right. God calls us to love others. When we love the way God calls us, God uses us to pour out his love and mercy on others. It is their choice to accept it or not.
I am not responsible for his choices. I am responsible for mine. Someday when I am face to face with God and God asks me if I loved that child, I can say yes. When he asks me if I treated him differently because of his past sins, I can say no. When he asks if I showed mercy and compassion I can say yes.
God calls us to hard. He calls us to stretch our boundaries, to lavish our blessings on others. When he asks me if I opened up the empty room in my house to a homeless child who needed it, I can say yes.
If God asks me if I loved that child as my own, if I feel the heartbreak and the loss at the thought of him leaving our lives, I can say yes.
God reminds me that the agony that I feel over this child’s rejection of our love is like a drop of water in an ocean compared to the agony God feels when one of his children reject him.
God loves you. You are in God’s family. Will you believe the love he has for you? Will you accept the love and mercy that is offering to you?