In this past week, my Michael and I have rumbled through thoughts of foster care. And it hasn’t been pretty. I have lost my cool. I have judged. I have wanted for more. In the rising and setting of the sun, I have acted unkind in my own home — and for this I ache. I have struggled the tight rope of being submissive and saying my hearts cry. I have dug my nails into feminism and my walk with Him and my heart for justice and I have practically spat on other ideas.
This is not the first time that a woman could have ever lost her mind, either.
How do I know — where were the men when Jesus hung on a cross? Hiding. Where were the women? At His feet.
So dear woman, you are not alone in this battle. And dear woman, there are reasons the Bible says what it says. And dear woman, together we can see submission as beautiful.
I mentioned foster care. About one week ago, a dear friend lost her babies to the state. Even as I write this I know she is reading all the words. And I love that. She knows I am for her. She knows I love her kids. She also knows that this is for the best right now, so everyone can get back on track. I hope for restoration and miracles and life-change. Hope changes everything.
One year ago, I met this woman and her family at a trailer park nearby and we were bound almost instantly. The trailer park become much more than a place to go for me – it became a part of me. I fell in love with all the kids and eating hot dogs and playing games with marshmallows and listening for running feet on pavement. I adapted to the name “mamabear” and it rang through the dry, hot evenings. I drew lines and boundaries and places of love with this family.
And then choices settled in and we are here now. The kids are scattered across my city.
I instantly wanted to take them all in. “Let’s just love them,” I thought. Let’s be practical Jesus. Let’s do it because we can. So Michael and I sought and we sought and we sought. We prayed separately. We prayed together. We gathered resources. We have held the right meetings. We did it all and then something odd happened – in all of our seeking we ended up on two very separate pages.
So how could it be? How could it end up this way? We both love God, we both know Him, we both want and desire His will — so HOW?
I fought hard for a week. I fought silently. I fought ugly. I didn’t do it right, friends. I wrestled to get my point across. I used scripture to cut and scar. I thought if we believed — we would. Period. End of story. If we were submitted, our house would be filled with tender hearts and hurting souls.
And it will — it will just look different than I originally planned.
The good about being on separate pages is that it made me not give up. I have never been more desperate for Jesus. This morning, I sat on my back porch and prayed unashamed because I couldn’t continue to rip my family to pieces any longer – because that isn’t biblical, either. I asked for God to speak to my heart. To align it. To speak tenderly to it. To trust that His ways are better than my ways.
As I sat and worshipped and wept and locked eyes with my God this morning, He showed me our way; my family’s way. He gave me clarity. And it didn’t look the way I originally planned it. My original plan had a home full of kids that have a lot of needs and a simple faith of just give ‘em Jesus.
As I have sought Him more, and have submitted to my husband — I actually have seen the more beautiful plan. The fuller plan. The way to honor both. The way to know I am exactly in the middle of God’s beautiful place for our life.
The thing about this is some of you are reading this right now thinking — of course they should foster —- they need to meet the need. Well, yes. And then others of you are thinking — no way should they ever do such a thing. That would be foolish. Well, yes. But the thing about God and our families and about seeking Him is that He has a specific plan for your life. And as for me right now that is knowing this as truth —
“For this is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, by submitting to their own husbands, as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord. And you are her children, if you do good and do not fear anything that is frightening.”
I will not fear anything that is frightening. And sometimes that means not fearing that the plans I have created for my family may not be the plans God has.
I love my Michael. I love how he seeks God. I love how God uses us both to sharpen and encourage and bring into wide-open spaces through narrow sharpening of souls. I love that he has listened. That he has held to his convictions. I love that he has allowed the battle. I love that we are a covenant love, not a conditional one. And I love that because we both know God, He has plans to prosper us together – not against us.
So girl, don’t fear the plan if you are on different pages. Seek more. Ask the questions. Fight when you need to – with kindness. Ask the questions – with boldness. Work through the hard things – together. But let’s not settle until we can beautifully submit to the man at the head of us.
Let’s hold true to all of God’s Word – even the S word. It is absolutely the bravest place we can be.