Thursday, August 25, 2016

Foster Care & Faith

On hearing this, Jesus said to them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.

I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

Mark 2:17

As a young adult I worked as a live-in houseparent at a home for children in foster care. After living with and caring for a house full of girls who had experienced early childhood trauma, I spent an hour with a college friend and former ministry colleague.  
“You’re just not the same, Nicole. At all,” he all but mourned.
“You just aren’t happy-go-lucky anymore. You seem more… you seem… you seem more… realistic. Less optimistic.”
His words stung. Not because they were incorrect. Though unintentionally accusatory, his words were accurate. My worldview had been impacted by pain and suffering.
During that year, I had learned how devastating life could be for children who were no less deserving of a happy home than I had been as a child. As I’d attempted to love children from hard places, I’d been punched in the face both figuratively and literally. My car had been vandalized, my personal items had been stolen, and I had once dislocated my shoulder commandeering a broomstick from a child who was threatening to beat my coworker with it.
Many nights I cried myself to sleep. All of my best ideas had been exhausted and I was hopeless.
I had failed many times in an area I’d once considered myself strong in… loving others.

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