To be a part of Your Kingdom rising, oh.

Almost a year ago, I started praying about fostering this kid. I was working at a group home for teenagers and let’s be real, I wanted to take them all home, but I knew I couldn’t. I knew I was doing exactly what You wanted me to do for right then. That job taught me so much and I felt like I had a real purpose there. I had an amazing group of coworkers and the work was so rewarding! It wasn’t work, it was ministry. I was pulling up chairs to the table. Now I wanted to put my yes on the table.

I had a million excuses for why not to foster. I was 26, single, working way too much, for way too little, still living with my family. Then the house parents who trained me got new jobs and I was leading that house and I was feeling a major dose of “mom mode.” I went from feeling like an Aunt who helps out, to feeling like an actual mom. I was already feeling the need for more responsibility and I think running the house for a minute by myself, kinda pushed me over the edge. This kid moved in and I saw sooo much of myself in her and thought I could help more.

So, I asked to be her visiting resource, set up weekly visits and I started applying for jobs. I took the first thing I got without taking a pay-cut. I knew I would be losing my overtime, so I couldn’t afford to take less. I quit a job I loved. I wasn’t happy about leaving, but I knew You were answering my prayers. I learned a lot there and met some great people. I started filling out mortgage and housing applications and searching for a place to live. I took the foster parent classes. I did all the paperwork. I got the physical. I got the dog vaccinations updated. I did the fingerprinting. My whole Church was praying and looking for places for me to move to. I prayed and prayed for a house. Nothing. I decided my prayers weren’t specific enough and I wasn’t praying bold enough. I wasn’t asking for what I needed. I started praying for a four bedroom, two baths home. Right after that, my friend from Church called me saying I’m standing in your house. I called the number she gave me and sure enough, it was exactly what I had been praying for.

Then I got another job, with better pay, full benefits, and would work with the hours I needed to be home in the afternoon after school. Another answered prayer. But the house wasn’t ready yet. So, I waited some more. And some more. August came and I finally got to see the house, but it still wasn’t ready to move into, so I waited again. Lord, You already know because You orchestrated it all but let me tell You what, the walls were painted yellow, my favorite color. You planned the whole thing. I was blessed beyond measure. Now it was time to move. I spent a month unpacking, shopping, and well nesting.

I got everything ready, showed the kid what would be her room, and prayedddd she liked it. She stayed one night before going on a church retreat with me. Then we scheduled the pre-placement weekend pass. Then I got a phone call. She did not want to stay with me anymore. She told me when this process started that she would push me away, no matter how much she wanted it, that she would test me. I knew exactly what I was getting into. I knew it would be hard, but I also knew it would be worth it. Ya girl had no idea just how hard it would actually be and just how much it would test and push allllll the boundaries. I was challenged in alllll the ways, and I came out so much stronger on the other side.

God, You have been so good to me. Through every battle You’ve shown me the way to a better relationship with You. Over the days spent with her I got to really know her. She is really funny. I feel as if she is my own kid. She is full of sunshine and her laugh is infectious. It was really hard losing her. Relationships are hard and messy. Especially when you have trauma and a million reasons why not to trust. Do I regret it? Not for one second. Did it work out in the happily ever after I wanted? Not at all. Would I do it all over again? You betcha. I have a new placement moving in on Tuesday. Because You, my almighty Father, You take my good intentions and turn them into actual mountain moving miracles. I am a foster mama now, hear me roar.

On the way home from church, choose to love started playing on the radio, and of course ya girl cried.

So here is my prayer. Father, I needed you and you were there. Thank you. Thank you for taking me on this journey. Thank you for encouraging me not to give up. Thank you for teaching me so so much. Thank you for holding me through every step of the process. Thank you for your will. Thank you for leading me through obedience to your will. Thank you for the joy and even the messy bits for what they taught me. Forgive me for the mistakes I made along the way. Thank you for the time I had with her. I pray for her, that she knows she’s yours and that she is loved. I pray that they see you through me. I pray I only point them to you. Thank you for allowing me to continue being a foster mom. Thank you for letting me have a small part in your kingdom rising. Thank you for teaching my how to pull chairs up to the table. Thank you for teaching me how to put my yes on the table. Thank you for teaching me not to listen to fear. Thank you for teaching me that love is a risk. Thank you for teaching me to love anyways. I can’t wait to see what you are gonna teach me next, Father. And as always I pray for my family and sorority sisters. I pray for my university. I pray for guidance for our government, church, and school leaders. I pray for protection for our troops. I pray for all of those that need you now and for those that haven’t met you yet. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Oh God, let my heart be tender in a world so tough.

To be honest. Boys confuse me and love scares me. Like plain and simple.

When I like a guy he should feel special because he must be pretty great. Except they don’t, they are pretty repulsed. Which I sooo don’t get, because when people like me, I’m flattered. Like ohh my eyes are pretty today? Thank you very much. Guys are not like that. At all. They give compliments away like free candy at a parade, to anyone and everyone, but they react terribly to them.

There are two sides to every story but there are like a million sides to me so I can’t even keep up with anyone else. Sometimes I’m running straight to love and diving right in. Sometimes I’m running away. Therein lies the problem.

Part of me is completely patient. I waited for five years for one boy to like me back. Well, it was all of elementary school, but it was still five years. I would have kept waiting too if I hadn’t changed schools. And don’t think for a minute that when I was a senior in high school signing up to take my ACT at the very same school that I still wasn’t holding out hope that I would see him. And I did, of course he didn’t even notice I was there, but whatevs. Water under the bridge.

Part of me is completely fearless. I will admit I like you in a two-page letter, hand written for the boy upstairs or I’ll wait after a football game outside the locker room and share my feelings. Truth time, I ran after both, so is it still ok to call myself fearless? One ended with silence and no words back. The other ended with a year of “talking”, three days of “dating” and then dumping me for a friend that I introduced him to. Oh well. Wasn’t meant to be. Water under the bridge.

Part of me is completely open to new possibilities. Ohhh a note has been passed to me? From a cute boy? And he’s asking me out? Okkkk. *Completely disregards 8th grade best friend telling me that it is a joke. What does she know? She’s only been my best friend for two years.* I wasn’t the sharpest tool in the shed. I learned. Again. Water under the bridge.

Part of me is completely trusting. Boy tells girl that she would make a good wife, girl believes him. *Boy then laughs when she tells him she likes him.* Boy tells girl she is the love of his life, girl believes him. *He’s just kidding. Don’t overthink this. Too late.* For the love of Pete, the next time a guy says something nice to me, could he please mean it? There is so much water under the bridge, can I even find the bridge? Someone buy me a boat.

All of me is just completely clueless. I have no idea what I’m doing. I’m in a constant struggle between holding on and fighting for what I want or letting go and that was never meant for me. I’ve tried guarding my heart and keeping it safe. I pulled an Eric Church and “put up walls to show the world I’m tough.” I’ve tried letting people in. And I’ve definitely been honest, sometimes to a fault. I’ve prayed for You to close doors if they weren’t Your will.

God, I’m done running from the reason that You sent Your Son.

So, here is my prayer. I might not have any idea what I’m doing, but I know you have a plan. I pray that you lead me. I pray that you guide me. I pray that you light my path. I pray that I let you break down the walls I spent so long building. I pray that I let you in, completely. I know that no man can ever complete me because I am complete in you. I pray that you keep preparing me. I pray that I trust your timing. I know there is a man out there who will love me and all that water under the bridge will be just that, water under the bridge. I pray that where ever he is that you guide him and lead him and prepare him too. I pray that you protect him. I pray that he is intentional. I pray that I lay down my fear. I pray that I stop overthinking. I pray that I let go of my baggage and chose to love. And as always I pray for my family and sorority sisters. I pray for my university. I pray for guidance for our government, church, and school leaders. I pray for protection for our troops. I pray for all of those that need you now and for those that haven’t met you yet. In Jesus’ name, Amen.