When my little foster sister, B, returned to us right before the Christmas of 2013, it was natural for many of my peers' responses to be similar to "Oh, things must be so much easier now that she's home with you guys." But that wasn't true at all.
My life would be so much easier without foster kids.
I would be able to wake up without the sound of screaming, crying, and stomping feet as a child runs from time out.
I would actually be able to wake up later because there wouldn't be so many breakfast dishes to clean up or children to get out the door.
I would be able to listen to music in the car because there wouldn't be constant fighting and punching to listen to.
I would be able to go outside and read a book without refereeing a kickball game and placing the three year old in time out for cussing me out.
I would be able to sit at home and have a conversation with my mom without being interrupted because a child peed on the basement floor.
I would be able to have a calm meal without fighting with B to eat every single bite.
I would be able to sit and enjoy a quiet evening before eight thirty at night.
I would be able to do school and work more efficiently without all the noise.
Fours years is a long time.
There are many things I would not have had to go through if we never even took these kids into our home.
I wouldn't have been bitten, hit, slapped, kicked, or head butted because the middle boy didn't understand emotions or how to communicate his feelings.
I wouldn't have had B throw up on me when she was mad that I made her eat a bite of her dinner.
I wouldn't have had to hear, "STOP LOVING ME!" from an angry little boy.
My life could be so easy without these kids.
But, I don't want easy.
I want to be wowed.
I don't want God to make my life easy, I want God to show me how big he is through my life.
I dared to ask God to wow me, and that is a scary prayer to pray. When you ask God to take your life and make something completely amazing out it, something I could never imagine, you are headed to a lot of confusion, hurt, and blessings beyond compare.
It's easy to look at Jesus' life and say "Yeah, I know he felt pain on the cross," but still disregard his understanding of other hurt. His life, not just death, wasn't easy. If he was bullied as a child, do you think that hurt? When he made the right decision while his friends ridiculed him for not going along with them, do you think that hurt? When he was telling the truth, and no one listened, do you think that hurt? I don't know everything about Jesus' childhood, but I know enough about His character to know that he probably felt this kind of emotional hurt. Jesus certainly didn't chose the "easy" way by coming to die for the mess of me, and I am so glad he didn't chose easy. He didn't just sacrifice by dieing, he sacrificed by coming, living, growing up. He understands the difference between choosing easy and choosing hard for something so much greater.
I didn't ask God to hurt me.
I asked Him to wow me.
He's worked so many miracles in the past four years that I can't even think of them all. But there are three miracles that I will never forget.
The three oldest kids have given their hearts to God, and that wows me.
God isn't done.
He's not done working.
He's not done wowing.
That probably means that I'm not done hurting.
But there is no way, that I am about to ask God to make my life easier by finding a new home for these kids. They are pain that I accept because of how big my God is.
My pain is big, but my God is bigger.