THIS IS MY story.
I’m told that as a baby, I was left in a freezing cold car during a Cincinnati winter while my caregiver worked an 8 hour shift at a factory job. When I was found, I was dirty, cold, hungry, and had worn myself out from crying. As an adult, my first reaction to hearing about that incident was to hurt for how that baby must have felt. Unseen. Unworthy. Unloved. My second reaction? My second reaction was awe.
When you’ve grown up in brokenness, it’s hard to ignore that brokenness in the lives of others, so in 2014 my husband and I felt called to become a foster family. We diligently went through trainings, house inspections, home studies, and background checks; we read lots of books, prepared our two sons, received our license, and then…waited. We were licensed to be an emergency placement, so we knew that our phones could ring with a life changing call at any moment.
I’m usually a girl who relishes every single minute of sleep I can get, but for two nights in December of 2014 I couldn’t sleep. I woke up both of those nights with an unexplainable heaviness that physically hurt my chest. I quietly slipped out of bed and tip toed up the stairs to the bedroom we had prepared for our foster child/ren. The room had bunk beds with brand new, gender neutral sheets and comforters. Every toy, every book, every wall hanging was chosen so carefully with healing and hope in mind. For those two nights, I kneeled on the ground and I prayed. I prayed for a child I had not yet met, a child I knew nothing about. In tears and with an intensity that surprised me, I prayed for protection over that child. I prayed that he or she would know how deeply and inherently worthy they were, that they would know that they were loved beyond comprehension by both the King of Kings, but also by us. I prayed that God would cover this child, shield him or her from lasting harm, and that as I was praying, that child would literally feel the comfort and the presence of God. I prayed, “God, you tell that child, you tell them that there’s hope. Tell them that I’m here, that I’m waiting, and you tell them that they are loved, they are seen, and they are worthy.”
Within days, CPS showed up with a 19-month old girl, two diapers in a tiny diaper bag, and a bag of goldfish crackers. A year later, we began the process of adopting that precious child. For adoptive parents, part of the process includes receiving the child’s case file. It holds everything CPS knows about the child, their family, and the circumstances that led to foster care. To read the details – so clinically described – of what the child that you rock to sleep every night went through, is … devastating. One night, I read an entry that took my breath away. I jumped up and grabbed my prayer journal, flipping to the dates from the case file. There before me was proof of God’s everlasting love. Those two nights that God woke me up and called me to fight a spiritual battle on behalf of a child I hadn’t met were the same nights she was left by herself. Scared, dirty, hungry, and cold.
But. She wasn’t alone. I was with her, crying out in pain for her pain and battling spiritual warfare in the heavenly places for her. Abba Father was with her, attentively protecting her from physical harm and carefully orchestrating her discovery by strangers and police. He surrounded her with officers who were tender and kind, and with a CPS worker who was gentle and trustworthy. God reached down into her broken world; comforting and protecting her.
As I think about that baby left in the car and that little girl in foster care through the lens of Scripture, I catch my breath in awe. I wasn’t alone. She wasn’t alone. You are not alone. Maybe you’ve experienced something that has markedly shaken you, and you’re wondering how God could ever enter into that brokenness. Let me just remind you: He’s already there. You have heavenly warriors who are fighting for you, and you have a Father who is recklessly chasing after your heart and moving mountains on your behalf. You are so much more seen, worthy, and loved than you may ever know on earth. Your worth is guaranteed by the blood of Christ and anything else has no bearing on your worth. My dear friend, you’re worthy because you’re His.
Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;I have called you by name; you are Mine!
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
And through the rivers, they will not overflow you.
When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched,
Nor will the flame burn you.
For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.
Originally published January 11, 2019 on firstchristian.com. © 2019 First Christian Church.