Sunday, May 17, 2020

This is Why

If you've read my blog or been my Facebook friend for any amount of time you know that I am constantly asking people to join me in my latest missional adventure.  For years I have enlisted and recruited people to dive in with me into whatever the latest thing I have discovered will allow me to fill what I believe God's mission is for me.

You may wonder why I do it.  Am I driven by Facebook likes?  Is it because I want to win competitions (yes, sometimes that has something to do with it, but it's not the real reason.   Do I want to be admired, revered, complimented, praised or thought highly of?  Nope -- that has nothing to do with it.

Let me tell you about my latest adventure this afternoon.  We had some money leftover from a fundraiser we did in honor of my mom to meet CarePortal needs.  Last week we used some of that money to pay the phone bill for a girl who is in an Independent Living Program (independent living is what it is called if you choose to stay in Foster Care past 18 until 21). This girl who was a mom first at 14, was having her second baby any day and her phone was off and she had no money to turn it back on.  I couldn't let that happen --as you can imagine -- so we took care of it and I asked her to text me to let me know.  She did and we exchanged a few texts but I was unsure if I would here from her again.

But yesterday I did with pictures of her and her newborn -- a 4.5 ounce baby girl.   I'm not really sure what happened, but she said the doctors had been wrong about the weight.  We texted on and off for several hours and she finally told me that she was coming home  from the hospital today and when I asked her if she had everything she needed she admitted she had no preemie diapers and that the baby need soy formula but she only had regular.  

So you know where I was today -- I was braving the masses at Walmart -- buying those items, and she admitted to not having clothes or a baby bath either.   Got all that stuff and took it to her.  

And I feel GREAT.

I was telling my family today that I was going to do this and explained that now that the kids didn't need me as much any more I had time to take care of other kids.  Salinda asked if I had a need to be needed and I said -- nope -- I just have more capacity and more time.

Kids aging out of foster care and what happens to them if they don't have a meaningful relationship has been the one thing that has gotten me out of bed every day for the past 24 years -- since I found out this problem existed.  First we adopted kids so that this wouldn't happen to them.  Then I had jobs that allowed me to find families for others.  And now I am working for an organization that is determined not to let those kids get in the system in the first place if there is any way to help their families.

So now I am investing in those kids who did age out -- the ones we failed to help.   Bart and I transport a girl to see her parents weekly  She's a great kid.  And we have taken another kid out to lunch who was living in residential ready to age out.  And today I looked one of these statistics in the eye -- and let her know I cared about her.

I realized this today -- this is how I watched my parents live ... all my life they have been taking care of the ones less fortunate than them -- and they had very little.  But they never had too little that they couldn't share some of it.

This journey they challenged me to take by modeling it in their lives has taken me to places I never dreamed I would be the highest of highs and the lowest of lows.  It has stretched me and driven me deeper and farther than I would have ever gone before.  But I wouldn't trade it for anything.

So that's the answer to why I invite you to join me with every latest thing..   I want you to feel great ... I want you to feel like I do right now. I want you to know that your life matters -- that your life is making a difference in the life of someone else.

 And I want you to go deep -- deep into hard things -- outside your comfort zone.  I want you to do big God-sized things that you can't do without Him.  I want you to truly live... by having the stretching, uncomfortable, awkward, frustrating experiences that result in life change and heart change.

It's not about me, it's about you.    As CT Studd said -- Only one life twill soon be past -- only what's done for Christ will last.

I want what you do to last.

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