Today I sat for 8 hours immersed into the life of the abused and neglected children in our country, and what it takes to care for them in our government system called Foster Care. It was not the first time I have been introduced to this life, being a CASA, and being a victim of many of these abuses myself I was not expecting to be astonished...but I was...
My husband and I are looking to be a family ready to adopt when God's timing is right - we BELIEVE these ministries (adoption, foster care, CASA) are for the church to care for children in these situations in life. In order to be prepare to adopt we sit through the foster parenting training; and of course how could one say no to a child in need of a safe home for a period of time??? (rhetorical and pensive question I ask myself)
I remembered back through my own history as a child, and heard the facts that most abuse is cyclical...generational...and a difficult cycle to break. Mom's who were themselves abused more than likely turn and abuse their own children allbeit "not like my parent did to me"...I thought about that...for a person who is the victim of abuse and have not been exposed to love and family...how do they every learn how to parent...what life and coping skills do they have? To them belittling their child, being drunk, and exposing them to boyfriend after boyfriend...to them is not as bad as being beaten by their father... can you see it... your normal is different from their normal....
and how on earth is government supposed to really get in their and deal with the nitty gritty ...the real issues...don't get me wrong it is wonderful to be offered services like counseling, parent aide (to help teach parenting in your own home), etc.... but how on earth did I make it though.....without "government intervention"?
Thinking back to my own childhood experiences of domestic violence, abuse, etc... how did I "make it out" sane? Many times I read the cases of these children and I feel so deeply for them, and then I realize that is me, I went though that...and I begin to realize just what I was rescued from...what cycle has been broken in me is nothing short of MIRACULOUS! Don't get me wrong I have accomplished nothing in this world that would bring accolades ; but the overcoming of such trauma... the only answer I have for this broken child is JESUS. Not the stuffy religious type, but the - come in to my home and be a part of my family...let me inconvenience myself to love you...to take you in, to show you you are valuable, to hold you when you cry to teach you forgiveness.... JESUS.
To me, when I became a distraught and suicidal teenager, JESUS, came in the form of the Godbold Family. This family took me in night after night when the cops were at my house breaking up domestic violence situations, or when my mom was drunk and angry, or her boyfriend wanted her to kick me out...so many memories.... This family loved me, by taking me in. On any given day I wanted to be with them at their home; It was my safe place. Laurie would even let me go to the store with her - oh she loved me...she listened to me talk and told me i was funny; it was the kind of love that made you feel ...worthy..and like life was going to be okay..even if just for a brief moment before you had to go back to chaos. The funny thing about the Godbolds is - they were not licensed foster parents in a system..they were simply Christians willing to open their hearts to a neighbor.
I guess my point is while sitting in a training room again I hear the call that THE CHURCH needs to wake up and get involved in the lives of their neighbors. Single moms need help, widows, orphans...my life was forever changed by the influence of this ONE family - the SEEDS they planted were watered and God made them grow...now I am a child of God... I have a new life, I am a mommy to 4 precious children, and cherish the gift of family. None of this would've been possible without CHRIST and without open hearts to be the love of God to a hurting person.
It is not government's job to care for the down and out- it is ours THE CHURCH. The individual members of the body of Christ on earth...not a church program per se...the people.... a program would not have deeply affected me... a person did...a person and a family who loved Jesus.
We are not sure what that looks like for our family of 6 yet, but we are open to the whatever God has for us.
I truly do not know what I would be today without the personal touch of someone reaching out to me beyond their comfort zone and being JESUS to me.
"The greatest of these is Love.."
Saturday, January 22, 2011
Hello out there is the land of blog! I am very new to the blog world. Recently I have read some blogs that have been so encouraging to me in my walk with Christ and the direction of our family that I felt I would start blogging our journey as well. It is so encouraging to learn from others! So welcome to our family blog!