"...I think Jesus tells us to love our neighbors, not just for our neighbors sakes, but for our own as well, because he knows what happens inside our hearts when we let in those who are vulnerable, needy and even repulsive near us. WE become vulnerable, needy and dare I say it, even repulsive too. Our own motives and shortcomings and entitlement and laziness come to the surface and stare us in the face. And that IS uncomfortable." -Sarah Dornbos
This defines so much of what my fostering experience has been.
With every child, God has refined me. Pruned me. Poked around in those parts of my heart that I’d just as soon pretend aren’t there.
All of these ugly things start bubbling to the surface.
Trauma tantrums? Up comes my impatience.
Hours of crying out the hurt? Out comes my lack of compassion.
Needing to be rightnexttomeeverymomentoftheday? The hard parts of my heart are exposed, unwilling to love with the intensity of Jesus’ call.
In it all I feel him moving.
I am pruning you. With my help, you will produce more fruit. Because I love you, I will not leave you in the state you are in. Trust me.
Some days it is easier for me to love, to serve, to find joy in the brokenness.
Sometimes loving other people’s children is difficult. Sometimes I struggle with allowing my heart to love them, forcing myself to be what they need, trying to be selfless in the face of pain, struggle, challenge.
I’m being honest. Painfully, really. Literally, painful, to my heart that knows the love that has been lavished on me only to struggle to fully love a child.
Some will choose to judge in the face of honesty. Those who have fostered, and those who have not. To that, I say, I cannot blame you. My heart is ugly. My only redemption is Christ.
I wish you could meet Bella. Or maybe you have. She is beautiful. Her gentleness and innocence have persevered through so much. She finds joy after being drug through hell. She has a loving heart, yet her pain is worn on her sleeve. She loves pink and purple. She loves to dress up like a princess. She loves swinging. She has her Daddy’s eyelashes. She HAS eyelashes (!!). And in His eyes she is beautiful and purposefully created.
Yet in my heart, sometimes I struggle to let her in, to love her, to be compassionate.
I hate it.
And in my brokenness I cry out, “Jesus, prune me! Teach me. Fix me.”
His love is the only love that will always be enough. But slowly, he will refine my heart so that my love will look more like his.
“This is my command: Love one another.” -Jesus