Brian and I have really been struggling as of late regarding placements. Trying to determine what type (ages, behaviors, background info) of placement is a good fit right now. Typically we’ve been open to almost any placement that they call us with. But due to having Sylvia, our most recent experience, and some other factors playing into our lives right now we feel like it’s important for us to be very discerning at this time.
Lucky for us (since we haven’t come to any conclusions), we haven’t gotten any calls yet for children that would even be a possibility. We’ve gotten lots of calls for kids with physical aggression, very large sibling groups, and older boys with no background info. These, during this season of our lives, just aren’t possible.
Anyway. We’ve been stressing about it.
How do you trust God while putting up stiff boundaries? Is that really trusting at all? But God also has given us brains to use, and the ability to determine lines between obedience and being foolish when he’s not asking us to be.
Back and forth. Back and forth.
But I was thinking back to before Sylvia was born. We had decided that we were not going to take any more placements until she arrived. It was not out of lack of obedience or willingness – we just felt it was the best call to make, and we felt at peace with it.
Of course almost exactly one month before her grand entrance we got a phone call for a baby boy. He was 15 months old, but was developmentally around 4 months, and he weighed a mere 12 pounds. We knew it was crazy. Most of the people we know thought it was crazy. But it was undeniable that this frail little boy was exactly what God had for our family. We prayed about it and knew that we needed to say yes.
And that was when we met our sweet X-man.
The first couple months after Sylvie was born were hard. He was very high need, he was sick a lot, they were developmentally about 8 months apart. And looking back, we would not trade one single moment of our time with our sweet boy. (Okay, maybe that one moment when he crawled around the house with poop in the feet of his jammies.) And what I wouldn’t do to get to give him another hug. He is forever a part of my heart.
All that to say, that even when we had decided not to take placements for a while, God made it abundantly clear what he wanted of us. I think Brian and I have been over analyzing it all. We have been worried about trusting enough for the strength to take another placement – when what we really have been lacking is the trust that he will lead us in the next steps for our family. And he will.
So we’ll keep taking phone calls, and we’ll keep praying, and I know that he will once again lead us to what he is asking of us – even if we aren’t clear on what that is.
This lesson God is teaching us reminds me of one of my favorite stories about Mother Teresa. (I’ve quoted it here before, but who couldn’t use a little Mother Teresa in their day?)
A man felt the call of God on his life, he was sure that God had something huge planned for him. The only problem was that he wasn't sure what it was that he was supposed to do. So he figured he needed prayer. Upon meeting Mother Teresa, he asks her, "Mother Teresa, will you pray for me?" She says, "Sure, what would you like me to pray for you about?" He states, "Clarity. I want to know in no uncertain terms what God wants me to do with my life." She looks back at him and says, "No, I won't pray for you for that." Very confused and embarrassed, the man spurts out, "Well why not? I only want for my life what you have had so clearly in yours. You seem to always know exactly what God's calling you to do."
Mother Teresa looks back at him and said, "I sir, have never had clarity. What I have had is trust. So I'll pray that you learn to trust."