Friends, Foster Care, & Mother’s Day
Guest post by Holly Gnuse of The Forgotten Initiative, an advocate ministry of Lifesong.
It doesn’t matter what age or stage you’re currently in:
Having friends to walk beside you is a good thing. A sweet thing.
I’m finding that true even, and especially, in this foster care journey.
I say “journey” because although my husband and I are licensed, we don’t currently have a placement. In fact, it’s been months since we received that piece of paper that gave the stamp of approval, and yet, there have been no placements.
And most days, I kind of forget that our lives could be flipped upside down at a moment’s notice. I’m not waiting for a call, paralyzed to make plans. I can’t be. Life continues to move along.
But that doesn’t mean there aren’t times when it’s forced to the forefront of my mind…
Like Mother’s Day.
I can appreciate the sentiment behind the intentionality of having a day to celebrate moms. But I wasn’t quite sure what to make of Mother’s Day for me.
I received a note from a friend with these words among others:
“Whether this Mother’s Day finds you content or sad or somewhere in between, I want you to know that my life is better because you are a part of it.”
This line stuck with me. Because honestly, I didn’t know whether the day found me content or sad or somewhere in between. I couldn’t sort out or pinpoint the emotion.
She wasn’t assuming I’d be content, and she wasn’t assuming I’d be sad.
I appreciated this, because it communicated that my identity was not tied to my role in life. She saw my value and worth in Christ.
I treasure her friendship because she willingly and intentionally points me to the ultimate Treasure. She reminds me of who I am in Christ no matter what circumstance I’m in. That’s not to say the circumstance doesn’t matter. She saw me on Mother’s Day. But, her focus was on helping me see Christ in my circumstances.
I want you to have a friend like that. And to be a friend like that.
Our greatest need is Jesus. And our greatest need in friendship is to have people who will point us to Him—people that will go extreme lengths to help us see Him, to get a glimpse of Him, and to know Him more.
This reminds me of the men who helped the paralytic:
“And when he returned to Capernaum after some days, it was reported that he was at home. Many were gathered together, so that there was no more room, not even at the door. And he was preaching the word to them. And they came, bringing to him a paralytic carried by four men. When they could not get near him because of the crowd, they removed the roof above him, and when they had made an opening, they let down the bed on which the paralytic lay. And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, ‘Son, your sins are forgiven.'”
The paralytic needed to see Jesus. The four men made it happen. They saw his circumstances and stepped in to get him to Jesus.
It wasn’t easy. When they arrived at the home that Jesus was at, it was packed full. They could have turned away and said it’s too tough. They could have given up at the first setback. But they didn’t; they stayed and came up with another plan.
I’m thankful for friends like that—friends who see my need for Jesus maybe even more than I do, friends who will press on even if it’s hard, and friends who are motivated by Jesus.
I’m praying that for you now, that you would find people who would point you towards Christ in a way that communicates they see you and they know your greatest need—not in a way that minimizes your reality, but in a way that says I will walk with you in the good and hard days, because I know we both desperately need Jesus.
In what ways can you encourage a friend today, or perhaps a mom on Mother’s Day?
Are you involved in foster care or caring for vulnerable children?
Find encouragement like this on The Forgotten Podcast. Hosted by Jami Kaeb of The Forgotten Initiative, this podcast meets you right where you are in your foster care journey.
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Holly grew up with a heart for adoption but didn’t know much about foster care. God used an internship with a local child welfare agency to make her aware. Coupling that experience with knowing the joy of the Gospel, Holly is passionate about connecting the local church to the foster care community. Holly and her husband, Scott, were married in December 2013 and are enjoying the crazy adventure of life together.
Since this post was published in 2019 on TFI’s blog, Holly and Scott have had foster children placed in their care.