Today is the beginning of the first step in our journey into foster parenting. It is hard to believe that the very idea only came into our minds a few months ago. Since then there has been much prayer and discussion about what will start today. Our training classes will be every Tuesday night for the next eight weeks. My friend will be coming to watch the kids while we take the classes and we are so grateful that God brought her back into our lives during this time. Good things, people. He is going to do all kinds of good things.
The application is completed. There will be an upcoming home study. After our family vacation to see relatives this spring, we will be coming home to a new chapter for our lives. I expect we will not receive our first placement call until May (when we return). Until then, we will remain in prayer and hope to learn a lot about the process through these training classes.
Pray for us.
I can't help but think about an experience I had with Bundle Boy this week. After getting a new bike for his birthday, he learned how to ride the bad boy with training wheels around the block while we walked the dog. He fell off of it at some point and is now terrified to ride it.
His fear has been debilitating. I will admit my patience has been limited and my understanding of his anxiety has been lacking. But I am stubborn. This weekend I made him get back on his bike (with a helmet, training wheels, my hand holding on, and his full knowledge of how to pedal and brake) and he was stuck in a panic between each revolution of the pedals. It has been frustrating. No amount of encouraging words or reminding of his days riding like the wind faster than I could run would break his fear. We prayed on the completely level sidewalk asking God to take his fear and give him courage to trust him with what seemed scary. He was still crippled. It took him about 30 minutes to "ride" his bike to the corner and back. It wasn't exactly enjoyable for either of us. But he did it.
From the outside, my encouraging words turned to frustration. I have never seen him like this. I was helpless to take his anxious thoughts and replace them with any semblance of confidence.
Then I noticed something. As he was holding on with a death grip hunched over the bike, I realized his head was facing down. He was focusing on the pedals and ground below him. He was putting his faith in his ability to ride the bike and keep himself from falling off. I told him to raise his head. To look up at the road before him so he could see where he was going. Suddenly he was pedaling "faster". We were actually going somewhere now.
We got back to our driveway and he asked if he could get off now. We had made some progress but he was definitely done for the day. He spoke with all pride about how he had ridden his bike when from my perspective he was no where near riding it the way he once had. It was baby steps forward none the less.
So we ride on raising our heads keeping our eyes on what God is doing on the path before us. We are choosing not to put all our focus and faith in our own capabilities because frankly history tells us we will crash. We have to trust.
We pray for the little ones that will come stay with us for a time. I hope we remember that if their fears become debilitating we won't put too much faith in our ability to give encouraging words or reminders of all the things keeping them safe.
It seems all we will need to do is tell them to lift their eyes up. To trust the One who casts out all fear so that he may give them the strength to ride like the wind all on their own.