A friend of mine that I work with and his family today is going through a really tough day. They have had a little boy in their home that they have been fostering for the past 6 months, and today he is leaving their home. It may be something that we as foster-adopt families technically signup for but it doesn’t mean that there is ever a time when a child leaving doesn’t hurt.
Their tough day takes me back to the week before we first lost our little foster daughter. Aliza had been with us for almost a year and we were in those last days when the fight was over and we had come to grips with the fact that in a soon we would drive her to the airport to leave our lives forever.
It was a Wednesday night. I was preparing to stand in front of our student ministry to lead out in worship. I can’t describe adequately the bitterness and anger that I had welling up inside of me. I was hurting.
I stepped up to the microphone and dismissed my usual candid chit chat and simply stood everyone. I might as well have heard the bell of a boxing match ring because was happened next was nothing short of as fight between God and myself. It was really one of the most memorable moments in my life as a worship pastor. It wasn’t my choice to stand and sing the true and unshakable truths of God, but I did it anyway.
There was a particular moment when we had reached the end of the song “The Stand” when we got to the lyric
“I’ll stand with arms high and heart abandoned
in awe of the one who gave it all
I’ll stand my soul Lord to you surrendered
All I am is Yours.”
The music crescendoed and I sang my guts out. I sang that truth through gritted teeth with as much anger as I could contain…
and as I did…I honestly did believe the words I was singing. I would love to say that night an incredible peace from God washed over me and let me know that everything was going to be ok, but that isn’t what happened.
The song ended, the bell rang, I left the ring. I walked off backstage and wept. That night was only one piece of the months of deep pain that would follow, but looking back now and it was a deep lasting reminder that God never left us in the whole season; that God was just wrapping me up while I was throwing punches.
Tonite my teeth again clinch and my eyes fill with tears as I see my friends, The Barnes, walking a similar road.
It took almost two years for us to understand God’s “No” that we got in that time. It turned out to be three times he’d say “Yes”. But I was never promised that, we were just told to trust.
I’d covet your prayers for the Barnes family today and in the days to come.