Patience in Foster Care
– “not just the ability to wait but how you act while you are waiting”
I saw this definition a while back and it broke my heart because I realized that God doesn’t really care about my ability to wait.
However, He cares deeply about my actions and attitudes while I wait.
My waiting usually looks like thinking about all the “what ifs” or talking to my people about their thoughts on a particular situation or stewing on how to fix my current crisis. While none of these are bad things, when done in excess, as I usually do, they are not helpful to my actions or attitudes and they especially do not show the fruit of God working in my life.
Recently our family has been given an opportunity that has tested our patience. In the past few months, we have waited for a child’s behavior to subside. We have waited on doctor’s to make diagnoses. We have waited on caseworkers to make decisions. We have waited on insurance to accept or deny medical services. We have waited and waited. It seems like a reoccurring theme for the foster parent life.
In this current season of waiting, I see all the similarities to another time, over a decade ago, when God asked our family to be patient. To be patient as He worked in the life of a child in our home, even when it seemed as all hope was lost, Satan had won and another soul was lost forever. But in our waiting, we saw God’s beautiful plan unfold. We saw God change behaviors to strong reliance on Him. We saw God use doctors to bring healing. We saw God connect caseworkers with families that were the right fit. We saw God go around insurance companies to provide for a child’s every need. But none of it happened over night. It didn’t even happen in a matter of days or weeks. It took years of waiting. It took years of God adjusting my attitude. It took a long time to see God’s plan worked out.
So in our new season of growing in patience (again), I remember God’s faithfulness and surrender to His Spirit and rest in His promise to always be there. No matter how long the waiting takes.
Before I go, I want to leave you with a scripture, some questions to wrestle through and a prayer for your heart.
Hebrews 13:5 — I will never under any circumstances desert you, nor give you up nor leave you without support, nor will I in any degree leave you helpless, nor will I forsake you or let you down or relax my hold on you.
Are you allowing God to change your actions while you wait?
How is God growing your patience?
How has He proven Himself faithful to you in the past?
I pray for the families currently playing the waiting game. Fill them with your presence and peace. Let them trust in Your plan as it unfolds. Help them wait well. Help them remember the many promises found in your Word. In Jesus Name ~ Amen.