Currently, I am in a season where I am seriously overcommitted. It snuck up on me and will be over by the end of March...but whew! Yet, in the midst of it all God laid it on my heart to return to lead Bible Study at the group home for adolescent girls in foster care. I had done this for a couple of years, but stepped aside last Spring to allow someone else to step up and into the role. It was becoming taxing on my family. It was at 8pm on a school night when I'd rather be curled up with my laptop and my husband. Occasionally a babysitter would have to tuck my children in because my husband was working.
I reminded myself that service often involves sacrifice and made sure my children understood where I was going and why. (Don't we want them to grow up seeing us put God & others ahead of ourselves?) Yet, I would still feel guilty and conflicted...so I quit.
Christmas Eve night, our family had dinner with a dozen of the group home residents. I realized how few of them I knew by name. I also realized that no one else had taken over the Bible study. It had been 7 months since these girls had been served in that way. I knew without a shadow of a doubt it was time to go back.
I discussed it with my husband and he supported my decision. As the date for reconvening approached I got nervous. I was going to have to start from scratch with girls I did not know. I certainly hadn't earned the right to be heard with them. What if no one came? And then I read an article about serving too much out of the home rather than in it and felt guilty/convicted/conflicted (I am still not sure which).
I showed up tonight to find four 15 year old girls waiting for me. (And after a few minutes they went out to get another girl to join us.) We spent an hour talking--getting to know each other really--and it was absolutely ordained. There was laughter, tears and brutally honest, searching questions:
"Why would God allow this to be my life if He really loves me?"
I attempted to address this with girls who (all but one) do not know Jesus. Girls whose stories include being pregnant at 16 but losing the baby at 19 weeks because her angry Daddy beat her to the point of miscarriage.
A girl who was addicted to meth by 14 because her parents taught her how.
A girl whose mother conceived her at 16 as a result of rape.
A girl who has been orphaned and no one in her family wants her--and they've told her that.
Tonight THOSE girls voluntarily came to hear about a love than cannot fathom from a Savior they have never met. They asked me how they can know Him. They asked me to pray that they will be able to truly escape their addiction. They asked me to pray for the very families that have completely let them down.
And I left with absolute certainty that God called me to THIS--in this season, in this time--even though I have little people at home and it is not convenient. Sharing the Word of God with desperate, needy, hurting (and funny & refreshingly honest) girls is what I was made for. Being a Mommy & a wife doesn't change that. He has called me to all three roles.
Every one's call is different, based on their gift set, their God-placed passions, their season of life. I could not have done this when I had 3 infants. It might not be my call if I worked full time. It may not be my calling 12 months from now...but tonight it so clearly was that my soul rejoiced--even in the midst of those excruciating stories. I could listen with peace because I knew God is pursuing them now and I get to watch Him move.
It is not always so clear in my life--God's Will. It only comes through abiding in Him and seeking Him. It is not a one time quest...but in those moments of clarity, it is so good. I wanted to record this to remind myself next time. Those who seek Him will find Him.