Do you believe in the devil? I never REALLY did growing up.
As a pre-teen I dressed up as him on Halloween once. Bet he loved that.
Now. Today. I know he is more than that cartoon-like character with horns and a pitchfork I envisioned in my youth. I have seen him. He has been hard at work on me.
I see him stealing my JOY.
I see him rushing me, pushing me, stressing me.
I see him confusing me, discouraging me, filling me with worry.
I see him frightening me & crippling me with debilitating DOUBT.
But you know what? I am NOT going to hand over my life to him. “NOT TODAY SATAN.” (Have you seen people wear that shirt? Maybe I need it too! If only Satan didn’t fill me with so much insecurity, and fear of what others may think seeing me wear it…)
You see…I can NOT let him win. WE can’t let him win. Kids need us, families need us, GOD needs us.
Ever since signing up March 1st to be foster parents, to enter the lives of the broken, DOUBT has clung to me stronger than my 3 year old when I drop him off at church day camp. I can’t get him off (the Devil and his doubt…not the 3 year old ha..though that is not an easy feat either!)
I can’t shake the fear that I am not good enough to do this. I question daily our decision to open our home and our lives to spiritual warfare at its finest. You KNOW the devil is in the details of foster care- ripping apart families, “bio families” AND foster families. His ultimate goal is to destroy us. He does not want successful reunifications, or foster parents encouraging “bio parents”, or children being read bible stories and sung “Jesus Loves You” before nestling into bed at night.
You see, when you say YES to God in radical obedience, Satan comes plowing in to try and cripple you. A line from Lysa Terkeurst’s “What Happens When Women Say Yes to God” has always stuck with me:
“..when you go with God to a new level, you get a new devil.”
Now I don’t think her intention in including that line in her bible study was to scare me (though it did/does), but rather to prepare me. To heighten my awareness & urge me to put on my armor. Before it’s too late. Before the devil attacks and wins the battle. Before he breaks up the dance that has the potential to be a beautiful reflection of GOD’s power.
We need a plan of attack.
“The first step on the way to victory is to recognize the enemy.” (Corrie Ten Boom)
Enemy = SATAN/DEVIL
The enemy is NOT the system, or the bio parents, or anyone else involved. It is SATAN. And it’s ALL OF US against HIM. Let’s not let the enemy get a foothold (not even a toe…).
When we said YES… YES to opening our home to brokenness, we invited “a new devil” into the mix. (If you want to read more about the crazy story that led to our “YES” decision, click here:The Crazy Story of How God Called Us to Fostering: Risk or Paralysis ? )
I saw him coming though. I knew his ways.
And… within 8 weeks of saying YES & signing up for foster care, the stomach bug swept through our home TWICE. As I caught puke from little mouths, lost sleep, and gained laundry, DOUBT GREW…and GREW. I envisioned more little mouths retching, more lost sleep, even more laundry.
There were nights when I finally lay in my bed and just questioned the heck out of God. I was filled with FEAR and CONFUSION, and felt so DISCOURAGED and WORRIED. If God hadn’t been so clear in telling me to do this, I would have backed out during those 8 weeks (side note-there were also issues with our basement, my husband stressed and traveling more due to an unexpected vacancy at work, difficult behaviors with my son, among other little challenges).
BUT GOD. Those 2 little words have been HUGE for us. Because we CANNOT do this, BUT GOD can! When I am weak, He is strong. The devil hoped vomit, diarrhea, never ending laundry, electrical issues, work stress, toddler troubles, and other trivial things would derail us. NOT TODAY.
I know who the real enemy is. And I cannot let him win this. We choose to step forward towards the light, not away from it.
“You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.” (Martin Luther King).
It is daunting to start considering all the what ifs of our future. I can’t let myself go there. But I can take a step, and then another, and then another. I can call the phone number from the foster care sign, I can email and sign up for the orientation, we can take the classes, we can do the home-study, we can fill out paperwork, we can answer the phone, we can say YES- yes we have a bed for a homeless child who needs some love and comfort.
And we trust The One who knows our tomorrows & the tomorrows of the children He brings into our home.
Faith OVER doubt.
Not today Satan.