Sometime in 2012 I came across a book written by Bob Goff called Love Does. I was immediately captivated by his humor and perspective on life. In this book he encourages readers to live a lifestyle that fiercely seeks out ways of showing love. I highly recommend this book… if nothing else, you will laugh a lot. While I thoroughly enjoyed the book, bought multiple copies to give away and recommended to anyone I could, I was also challenged. I was challenged to consider the ways that I am showing love – not just to those I love – but to those that God loves. In Matthew 25 Jesus talks about the sheep & the goats, and the King saying, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”
We had casually discussed the possibility of getting involved in foster care but had been overwhelmed by the reality of what it would require of us. We kept saying we would be ready later.
In 2013 my brother recommended Donald Miller’s book A Million Miles in a Thousand Years which is based around the idea of your life being a story. When you look back over it you see what was important to you… will you be pleased with how you lived it out?
“A story is based on what people think is important, so when we live a story, we are telling people around us what we think is important.”
“It wasn’t necessary to win for the story to be great, it was only necessary to sacrifice everything.”
Donald Miller, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: What I Learned While Editing My Life
Between these two books and our simply comfortable life, I began to see God was calling me to more. How am I going to live out love in such a way that reflects what is important to me and also points others back to Jesus?
So in the fall of 2013 we embarked on the major task of becoming licensed foster parents. Then life threw us a lemon and we were both involved in a crazy car accident that shook my little world. We took some time to regroup and finished up our licensing in early 2014. We received our first call at the end of February… it went something like this… “Abby, we are calling to see if you would be willing to take a sibling group of 2? They are 2 and 3 years old, girl and boy. … oh by the way, you’re licensed.” What? Wait? Don’t we get some kind of warning? We’re licensed for one, between the ages of 4-10…. do you even pay attention to what we say?
Panic set in. This was no joke. People were really going to give us children. Fortunately, I had to say no. I was leaving that week for a work trip and knew I couldn’t pull this off. Then I realized, I better get some things together because this is happening, whether I’m ready or not.
I wanted to pull back. This seemed so risky. What if I mess everything up? What if I fall in love. What if my heart gets broken? What if it hurts?
What if Jesus pulled back at Gethsemane… when he saw the pain that was to come? What if he decided I wasn’t worth it? What if He chose his comfortable life, instead of playing the part that only He could play? What if the way of suffering, crucifixion and death was too much?
This is where the Spirit was leading us…. it felt dangerous… and it still does. There is pain. It isn’t always easy. But it is always worth it. Love is.