Many of you have been asking where we are at in our current journey of faith through fostering. So I want to take a few minutes on my Storytime Saturday series to update you all on some of the thought processes and things my husband and I have been experiencing since the aftermath of failed expectations.
(For those just joining me and confused about the above statement, go ahead and read these posts in order: (1) Faith in the Waiting (2) Amidst the Rubble of Shattered Faith (3) God, And This Story, Is Not Dead and then come back here and read the rest!)
I don’t exactly know where to start, so I will start with the fact there is definitely a sense of mourning and heaviness on my heart with the failed expectations of where we believed we would be right now. The best way I can explain it is to give you a parallel to refer to.
Pretend you are the car on the freeway heading on what looks like a clear path in front of you. You are rocking out to your favorite songs and feel so confident of the journey the pavement is taking you. Coming around a bend your eyes grow wide. Jerking the wheel down the available off-ramp, you are forced to a stop because of the sudden road closure and construction blocking your path.
Sitting at the light at the base of the off-ramp, anger and confusion bubble up, because the construction was not as planned and now you have no idea which path to take. In fact your GPS said the roads were clear and gave no hint of blockage. Yet, the obvious road signs and blinking lights block any ability for you to get back on the freeway. You look for a detour and find none. You look behind you but don’t feel compelled to go back the same way in which you came either. So you sit in idle. Bewildered.
Your heart feels heavy as the deadline to reach a certain destination point has moved beyond that period in time now. Everyone else also expected you to reach this destination, and yet here you sit shell shocked in silence feeling the weight of it all. Sitting in neutral, wondering and waiting for directions to be given, you notice the smell of fumes—oil—onyx swirls spilling out from under you onto the ground below. Your computer chip begins to malfunction—GPS goes haywire. Even if you wanted to get back on the road now you’d now have no clue which direction to go.
You are broken. You are confused. You don’t know where you are or which direction to go. The only obvious thing right now is to get repairs for your broken-down self (remember you are THE car).
You notice a car shop just around the corner. You inch your malfunctioning self over to it. You feel reluctant though. Hesitant. Because this is the same Mechanic who guaranteed the road in front of you would be free and clear–to which it was not. He guaranteed you were in great condition and had given all the correct preparations for your journey ahead. He said you would reach this destination on time—at least that is what you thought He said. It all seems rubbish to you now in this moment. Failed expectations led to a failed sense of direction, which led to a failed condition of the body. Distrust for His guidance and expertise is now evident in your heart.
Warily, you still go into the shop. You are guarded. Your emotions feel raw. Interpretations of how you used to look at things are not the same as they were before… because it now feels like He steered you wrong. Although you can’t ever recall, looking back at all the situations you’ve been through in life, where this Mechanic steered you wrong before.
This Mechanic knows the in’s and out’s of you even better than you do (since you—being the car—can’t look under your own hood without His help). He was the one who created you and formed you and made a new GPS system for you to follow long ago, once you realized your own self-made GPS system wasn’t panning out so well. Ever since you’d been following His GPS and guidance and going to Him for repairs—significant improvements were made over the years. That much has been clearly evident. You still went off track a time or two in-between away from His guiding hands, but He never gave up trying to guide you back on the right path. You experienced bumpy roads and muddy waters, places where you felt stuck, but again looking back you recognize His hands were always there to help you and steady you and pull you from your muck.
Regardless, there’s still pain there from the recent expected path you were on not going as planned. A failed hope which may never be reconciled to fruition. Especially when the situation in your eyes stems from failed trustworthiness of the Mechanic. In your heart you know that cannot be true, but your head keeps trying to prove otherwise.
As I’ve allowed the Mechanic to begin working under my hood, yet again, He reminds me of the countless times He’s never failed me. The hundreds of hours He has worked on me, when I’ve allowed Him, to bring about positive characteristics (strength, compassion, forgiveness, humility) to my soul. Other cars in His shop begin to share the goodness of what He’s done in their hearts over the lifetime of coming to Him, and even more recently, what He’s been repairing in the nuts and bolts of their insides as they watched me from afar go on this difficult but exciting faith journey. Many attest of His continued goodness and trustworthiness to them, as well as lovingly point out the areas of goodness and trustworthiness to my own life and in this story regardless of things not going as planned. Interestingly, they attest their belief that there is still more to this journey I’m on—that this story will continue to unfold into a beautiful masterpiece of God’s handiwork over time. I sure hope so.
So this is me. Sitting and waiting for God’s story, this Mechanic over my life, to unfold His will over the journey He has brought me and my husband on through fostering. We are processing why and asking Him hard questions; sometimes we get a response, other times not. Nothing is fully clear yet.
The only clear thing that I cannot shake away from my heart is that there is still a girl we are supposed to foster someday. Fostering was NEVER on my desire list prior to a few years ago which gives precedence to me of God’s involvement in this story—among a great number of other things. I’d like to say I’m assured and have faith that other details will still play out like we hope. Yet, my heart and mind war with each other as we seek for the foundational spiritual truths we can be certain of through this, which I believe is the exact wrestling place God wants us to be in. To sift through His understanding by seeking biblical knowledge and truth of what we’ve experienced and what we continue to experience through this by going to His written Word, seeking esteemed theological counsel from others, and of course utilizing the power of prayer.
In all honestly though, we are still mourning the loss of a failed expectation, not obtaining the prayed for girl yet in our home as we had planned, yet we are hoping beyond hope for things to unfold (hopefully sooner rather than later) in a way which God will give clear sense and clear answers of all the questions we continue to ponder. And for those in a similar confusing situation, I’m hoping beyond hope for things to unfold to clarity in your life as well.