It’s late October, and many of you are thinking of pumpkins, candy corn, and, well, maybe even dead people. If you’re not, I encourage you to, although my version of dead might surprise you. 😉 Come see what I mean by clicking here.
Today, I’m thrilled to share a story my sister, Jesseca Randall, shared with me. You might remember her. In 2011 she visited my blog and talked about something that is and will forever be very close to my heart--hurting children. Fast forward two years, and this sweet Christian woman began feeling an increasingly persistent nudge to put action to her words. But how? And when? Her days were jam packed as it was!
She’s in grad school.
Raising two young children.
Trains for and runs in half marathons. Has a soldier for a spouse, one that recently returned from a one year deployment in Afghanistan.
Honestly, there are days when making it through the day is enough to do her in. How could she possibly add one mort task–or, more accurately, one more heart to care for, in the mix?
But that nudge wouldn’t go away. In fact, the more she tried to deny it, ignore it, the stronger it became.
Here’s her (and a young boy named William’s*) story:
Running yesterday morning I heard a message about how the definition of faith is to step out and do something impossible expecting God to show up. You know me and my brain so I start to think of ways to do this. “Okay, so I’m going to contact the church about a teen mom group, and maybe I’ll revisit the juvenile detention ministry…yada yada yada.” I do, and then proceed to drive to class. During my drive I turn off my radio and just pray about these possible ministries. In the middle of prayer my phone rings. It’s the call asking us to take in a young boy named William*.
Here’s the deal – this is the fourth time God has put this little guy in front of us since the end of summer. We said no THREE different times. I tell the lady on the phone that we’d love to but we don’t have childcare, and I am 9 weeks from graduating so “I can’t quit now”. She thanks me anyway and we hang up.
Now I’m in tears because I know that God has placed this same little boy in front of us now four times, and we have said no every time. I do not believe in coincidences! So, sick to my stomach (you know the feeling when you know God is telling you to do something but you don’t), I continue through my classes at school.
But then my husband, Rob, and I talk. We decide we will step out in faith and take this child in and expect God to show up with childcare or some other way. That was Tuesday. By the next day, we have childcare from two unknown families for Friday and Monday (unknown to us but not the agency).
Having said all that, I clearly see God all through this but holy smokes this is one of the hardest thing I have ever done. It is hard to see him suffer, and it’s hard to see my kids struggle. He seems to have a love/hate relationship with with my youngest child, and I can’t leave the room because he hits her. He is the most active child ever, and again, you can’t leave the room. He is also the sweetest thing (especially for what he’s been through).
Those who know me know I am a control freak and love my comfort – this is very trying. God is stretching me. There is also a large part of me that just wants to adopt this little guy and take him away from his chaos. But he is not even up for adoption as his mom says she still wants to have him. Turns out though she has used our state’s programs as well so I’m afraid this little guy has clear attachment issues.
I could use prayers and the constant reminder that this is not about me but about him and God’s overall plan.
*Name changed for privacy reasons.
Jesseca Randall is Air Force wife and mother of two who has a God-given passion for helping troubled youth. While stationed overseas, Jesseca completed her Master’s degree in Criminal Justice with a focus on youth at risk. Once she and her husband returned to the United States, she worked for the State of Oklahoma investigating allegations of child abuse and neglect and as a Foster Care Specialist. After the birth of their first child, Jesseca became an independent contractor, certifying homes for foster care and adoption. Wanting to work in a more therapeutic role, Jesseca is now working on her Masters Degree in Social work and has recently completed her practicum at a child advocacy center. If you have questions about foster care ministry, would like to be come involved, would like more information, or would like to be added to Jesseca’s email loop, contact her at Jesseca.Randall(at)gmail(dot)com
Let’s Talk About This! What has God placed on your heart? Does it feel impossible? Maybe too hard or too scary? If so, then my guess is that ministry is exactly where you need to be, because it is when we are weak that God’s power is most seen. 🙂 And like Jesseca said, taking in Isaiah wasn’t about her–her abilities, strength, or comfort. It was about saying yes to a mighty God and allowing Him to work in and through her. The same applies to you. 🙂 Will you say yes? Will you humbly and without hesitation offer up to Him all you are and all you have? Chances are, it won’t be easy, but I can gaurantee you, it will be so worth it.
Join the conversation here, in the comments below, or at Living by Grace