A Little Girl
A few years ago my husband and I went through foster-parenting classes. Not long after they were completed, we got the call for a little girl to come and live with us. I’ll call her Allie. She was only six years old and so tiny! I remember when they brought her to us, how she was a total stranger, fragile, and such a mystery. After reading about the abuse she’d suffered, this little girl – a foreigner in my home, I’d never felt so inadequate.
When she climbed into my lap, safe from all the unknowns around her, I felt completely ill-equipped. My shoulders had never born such a weight. I simply was not enough. She looked at me through her little gold-rimmed glasses with wide, searching eyes and relied on me completely. Her needs took me into a dark and hurting world in which I’d never been. With time, we came to know one another and laughed together. I sat beside her as she played in the bath one night. “Mommy!” she called, “I’m just playing,” she quickly explained, but she needed a mommy. As I dried her hair, she told me Mommy’s name and said “I think she misses me.”
How could I provide for all that this little one needed? How could I love her enough to make her hurts better? I wasn’t prepared for the flood of emotions that came with the great needs of this little girl. I didn’t have the answers and I needed someone who did. Looking to God and learning to rely on Him was like living out Psalm 91:14-16,
If you’ll hold on to me for dear life,’ says God, ‘I’ll get you out of any trouble. I’ll give you the best of care if you’ll only get to know and trust me. Call me and I’ll answer, be at your side in bad times; I’ll rescue you, then throw you a party. I’ll give you a long life, give you a long drink of salvation! (MSG)
In the moments that I felt I couldn’t do it, when I wasn’t strong enough, a friend would call and encourage me. I could actually feel the prayers strengthening me. When we went to Allie’s new school, would you believe they supplied every immediate need that we had? In the closet was a brand-new jacket, just her size. She needed a backpack, they had that too! There was even one new pack of undies! Everything there was so specific to her needs, I could see God working right in front of me. He worked through many people to give me support, so that I could give love to a little girl who needed it.
Before long, we learned that she’d be moving to a family that wanted to adopt Allie and her brother. I was happy at the thought of a family for her, but heartbroken at letting her go. My heart had attached to hers. We’d just gotten our new family routines down and were making such progress, so it was hard to understand. But from the start I’d prayed for God’s will to be done in her life, so I had to trust that this was a part of His plan.
I knew part of God’s plan was for Allie to learn about Him and His love for her. Each night I helped her get ready for bed and we’d choose a few books to read before saying goodnight. I found a children’s Bible on the shelf that had belonged to my kids and we’d end with one story from it each night. The evening before she left, we reviewed the stories we’d read, and then came to the last story in the book. It was the account of Jesus dying on the cross.
“Why did Jesus die?” she asked. He died because He loves us, and so we can be forgiven when we do bad things. She remarked, “Jesus lives in your heart.” Yes he does. Do you want him to live in yours too? I asked. “Yes!!” she said, with the BIGGEST smile, and I got to lead my little foster-girl in a simple salvation prayer to God. After our prayer, we shared one of the best hugs I’ve ever had! Allie, this is forever, we are family forever now! I exclaimed.
We were both so happy. It was a joy that was pure and deep and absolutely beautiful. I am so thankful that God allowed me to be a part of the story of bringing her to Him.
It was all for her and now she knows Jesus, and that’s forever!
She doesn’t live with us anymore, but she’s forever in my heart and in my prayers. I stand amazed at our great-big God who cares for each of us so intimately. I’m in awe at the length that He went to to bring Allie to Him. So many lives were touched along the way; I know I will be forever changed because of this great love that I got to experience first-hand.
God stirred my heart to do something for the orphaned. My reaction was obedience, and fear, and insecurity, and He used me anyway! What has God put in your heart? If you obey, you risk going to a place that you’ve never been. It is possible that you, like me, might feel overwhelmed and afraid. But, it’s in the moments of our utter dependence on God that we experience His provision.
I encourage you to be brave and take a step towards obedience. God will not leave you in uncharted waters alone. He is always there with you, and it’s likely He doesn’t want you to accomplish His task by yourself anyway. Keep in mind Philippians 4:19,
And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.
He will supply what you need to be a part of someone’s story. It may be just a piece, but it’s important and a part of His plan. The same God that brought Allie into my life wants to work in and through you. You may feel ill-equipped, but all you need to do is say yes! He will take care of the rest.