I don’t know what kind of Bible you use for your daily quiet time, but I have been using a “Year through the Bible” edition for two years, now. I read some Old Testament, some New Testament, some Psalms and Proverbs. I enjoy this format very much. Sometimes the Old Testament can be pretty depressing, so it’s nice to be able to jump to the New Testament for some encouragement! As I was reading yesterday, October 11, I came to a passage that had been underlined. (I always write the year when I underline in my Bible and sometime the circumstance.) I was reminded yesterday that a year ago, I was struggling with S&J’s case. (We are still struggling, but it’s a different struggle, now!) For those of you without some DHS knowledge, DHS has a new program that they require foster parents to participate in: Bridge. Basically, we are to be the “bridge” between the bio parents and the children. In a perfect world, this MIGHT work. But, in a perfect world, I wouldn’t have your kids, now, would I? So, I did my best with both Jacob and S&J. I had such high hopes for S&J. Their bio mom is very likeable…when she is sober, not manic, etc. etc. It was about this time last year that the bio mom was making things miserable for not only S&J, but for the rest of my family, too. I was extremely stressed out trying to protect everyone involved, dealing with the aftermath of a visit, the phone calls cussing me out, etc. (I had to change my phone number about this time and break all contact with the family for safety concerns.) (And just so you know, I still believe the “Bridge” program is just a way to get foster parents to do a caseworkers job…go ahead…you can quote me on it!)
So, I was reading my Bible 10/11/07, having been praying about the circumstances, and this is what God told me: “I heard an unknown voice that said, “Now I will relieve your shoulder of its burden; I will free your hands from their heavy tasks. You cried to me in trouble, and I saved you; I answered out of the thundercloud.” (Psalm 81:1-6-7) The relief was almost immediate. The circumstances did not change overnight, but at that point I knew God was in control and I did not have to be. Just as I was finishing the verse “I answered out of the thundercloud”, it thundered at my home! God doesn’t always emphasize His Word with something so clear, but on that day, I suppose I needed a little clarity!
I did receive the packets for S&J and they are ready to be mailed back. I was told the paperwork was due to DHS on 10/25, which is before our court date, so maybe we really will see a miracle in the DHS offices and S&J will be final in less than a year. I am really hoping to be finished by S’s 5th birthday, in March. If that is the case, S&J will have been in the system for 2 ½ years without permanency and without bios doing ONE item on their case plans. That in itself is criminal. God told me again yesterday “The Lord stands beside me like a great warrior. Before him they will stumble. They cannot defeat me…” as He has told me before. And then, He always ends with something like this: “I have committed my cause to you. (think DHS babies) Now I will sing out my thanks to the Lord! Praise the Lord! For though I was poor and needy, he delivered me from my oppressors.”
This past week has been a good one. God and I had a little discussion. I reminded Him (you know…because he forgets, right?) that Ashlee is almost grown. I do not have a year or more to be in mourning for Jacob. I cannot be in this mind numbing state that I was in week before last because my family needs me. I am also quite curious to know how much of our sadness and mourning is actually of Satan? Don’t get me wrong, I am sad that my baby is gone. So sad, but just Friday evening, Patrick and I were on a date. The entire day was fabulous, our date was great, we were both happy (and not guilty because we were happy) and on the way home, this wave of panic fell over me. “My baby is gone…MY BABY IS GONE!” I felt the emotions coming on but also heard this voice telling me this was not okay. So I prayed that God would NOT allow Satan to have this power over me if that was truly where the panic came from. Almost immediately, I was calm and at peace. I remembered being at the movies that night and realizing that when someone bumped me or did something for us, my responses were natural, not forced. (You know, when I said, “Excuse me.” I smiled and meant it.) For awhile, everything was forced. This was before the panic tried to attack, and I remember thanking God for healing me thus far. So when the panic came, I was quite taken aback. “How could you heal me only to allow me to slip back into the depths of my grief??” But, our God is a loving and merciful God. I don’t know what tomorrow brings, but I do know that God uncluttered my mind enough that Noah now has a school plan for the next week! (Sorry, Noah!)
I will leave you today with this thought: “Always be joyful. Keep on praying. No matter what happens, always be thankful, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.” 1 Thess. 5:16-18
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