I am not a fan of rollercoasters. The whole experience for me isn't enjoyable at all. I commend all of my readers that love this. The adrenalin rush and that feeling you are about to die isn't enjoyable to me. Being tossed around is chaotic, out of my control, and for those two minutes or so, I am at the mercy of this machine, I said "Yes" to. Normally that "yes" is peer pressure, but that is a post for another day. I think the most brain shaking rollercoaster I have ever ridden was called "The Gwazi" at Busch Gardens. (I'm a visual person, so here is a video of someone riding this thing.) This was a wooden rollercoaster that jarred my teeth out. I don't think my body stopped shaking until halfway through the day. They have now turned this wooden beast into an Iron version of itself. I bet that would be more pleasant if pleasant is a word you match with rollercoasters.
Foster care has felt very much like that, but it's been a rollercoaster that I have ridden for almost two years now this upcoming February. The twists and turns that I have been unable to control have been hard on me physically and emotionally. One great piece that has come out of this is spiritually. I have found that my deepest desire is to stay as close to Jesus in this as I can. He is my carrier through this. Just when I think we are about to dock, the ride starts up again. I hold tightly to the one that never changes. My safety harness. My Jesus.
I was once told, "well, you did say yes to this..." one day, I talked about the parts of foster care that are just hard. That line of loving my kids as my own, but also recognizing that they are not. I did say yes. I did say yes to coming alongside these kiddos to help them get through very tough parts of their stories. I didn't realize how much this would change me, how it would change my relationships with people, what I would fight for and advocate for. I didn't realize how broken the system was. Systems are meant to be upgraded. Systems are meant to work together with other systems, but alas, this takes time and effort to keep things running smoothly. Is there such a thing when we are talking about trauma? I am unsure of this one, but I had no clue what lengths people would go through to check a box off instead of really looking at the problem and fixing it.
What do I hold onto when this foster care rollercoaster takes its dips and turns?
"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world." James 1:27
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
"Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” Psalm 91:1-2
I am also currently reading Colossians. This book of the Bible talks about setting your eyes on the things of heaven and not of this earth. When I do that, I can manage things easier mentally. My job is to glorify God in all that I do, love my kids in my home, and point them to Jesus, love my husband that I do life with, and share my love for Jesus where I can. If I stay in that lane, it doesn't matter what twists and turns come my way; I know I am safe.