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Stepping Forward in Courage to Become a Foster Parent

Cover Stepping Forward in Courage

This is the [remarkable degree of] confidence which we [as believers are entitled to] have before Him: that if we ask anything according to His will, [that is, consistent with His plan and purpose] He hears us. And if we know [for a fact, as indeed we do] that He hears and listens to us in whatever we ask, we [also] know [with settled and absolute knowledge] that we have [granted to us] the requests which we have asked from Him.

1 John 5:14-15, AMP

It takes a lot of courage to decide to become a foster parent. Undoubtedly, the most important part of praying through this decision to care for children is the understanding that God hears your prayers and listens to you whenever you ask Him to guide you. Stepping into the life of a hurting child as God’s representative—temporary or permanent—will require a lot of courage. It means finding the courage to step outside of your own expectations and needs. Courage to open your home and life to an entourage of case workers. Courage to build new relationships, community, and friendships among others who have or are fostering and adopting. 

True Courage in Becoming a Foster Parent

The good news is that this is the confidence which we have before Him: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. True courage starts with vulnerability before the Lord, laying out your concerns and fears, and asking Him to bring wisdom and understanding to you in the areas where you face insecurity. For me, having to step forward with courage came in the form of admitting that I needed help and that I did have concerns about whether we could actually do this. I needed to be vulnerable with God about my fears about how this decision to parent children from hard places would impact the daughter He had given us by birth. 

Suck It Up, Buttercup

I have a good friend who is famous for saying, “Suck it up buttercup.” When we feel that God is calling us to do something, it’s easy for us to jump in feet first and think that blundering our way through “in faith” is courage. It’s not. 

“Suck it up buttercup” is a great strategy for getting back up when life has knocked you down. However, it’s not always a good strategy for following the Lord—especially when it impacts others. Jumping in with both feet and taking the bruises along the way doesn’t just harm you in this journey. It also affects the children in your care. Unfortunately for our family, this is exactly how we entered caring for children from hard places—with both feet—and we’ve all paid the price.

Have the Courage to Seek God When Becoming a Foster Parent

In God’s great mercy, He ultimately brought us the wisdom, understanding, and community that we needed not just to survive as a family but to thrive. Yet, admittedly, if we had taken the time and had the courage in the beginning before the first child entered our home, we could have saved everyone some unnecessary bruises along the way. For me, courage looked like taking classes, prepping our house, and being willing to bring a hurting child into our home. And, to a certain degree, that is true. But deeper courage is admitting that I was full of fears and uncertainty and acknowledging to God and others that we needed deeper counsel

As you step forward in courage in your decision to become a foster parent for hurting children, take the time to slow down and seek God. Be honest with yourself, others, and God about your fears and concerns. I’ve always loved the saying that courage isn’t doing something without fear; rather, it’s doing something in the midst of your fears. That is true, but that doesn’t mean that we have to hide all of our fears and press forward.

Prayer Starters for Courage in Becoming a Foster Parent

Here are a few prayer starters to help you seek God in a deeper way:

  • Father, we are confident that you have called us to this journey and that your plans and purposes for us include caring for vulnerable children. We need your strength and guidance to do this well and to your glory.
  • We come before you today, Lord, with our fears and concerns. As we lay out the things we are holding in our hearts, we ask that you would help to bring resources, people, and guidance into our lives in these areas. 
  • Lord, we know that you hear our prayers and listen to us. We’re confident in your ability and promise to answer and provide. As we take steps to begin caring for your most vulnerable children, help us lay aside our own ideas of parenting and open our hearts to new ways to partner with you in healing and redemption. 

Ultimately, find the courage not to rely on your own strengths and abilities. Instead, rely on God’s strength working through you with all of your confidence in Him as you become a foster parent.

© 2024 Pam Parish. Used with Permission.

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