God designed our hearts to turn toward hope. No matter the depth of darkness or how deafening the despair, the human heart still longs to be hopeful. So it’s no wonder that, as a foster mom, it sure is hard to push back against that “getting your hopes up” feeling.
We might get a placement today. But don’t get your hopes up. Birth mom is doing so well; little man might be able to go home soon. But don’t get your hopes up. They are supposed to file for TPR [termination of parental rights] at the next court date. But don’t get your hopes up.
I’ve been a foster mom for almost a decade and still my heart cannot help but hope! And sometimes those hopes are conflicting. We have a little foster baby right now. Half of my heart sincerely hopes his mama will be able to care for him forever, while my other heart-half dares to hope we may get the privilege of seeing him walk and talk and grow up. It’s exhausting to hold both of these seemingly-opposite hopes within me for months, even years!
Yet I have learned to be less insistent and a little more peaceful in my hopes. I try to hold them loosely and place less trust in them. One never knows where the winds of change may blow in a foster case! So I am learning to rely on the only Hope that will not ever disappoint me.
We also rejoice in our afflictions, because we know that affliction produces endurance, endurance produces proven character, and proven character produces hope. This hope will not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.Romans 5:3-5 HCSB
Foster care sure feels like living in the midst of affliction—an affliction into which I knowingly stepped into and continue to subject myself to! And yet, Jesus is surely here and I trust His promise that He will turn this affliction into endurance. As I learn to endure, He will refine my character. In turn, this godly character will produce an eternal hope. What a relief that God’s brand of hope will never fail or tease or torment me. God’s hope is as secure as His love for me, which is poured out abundantly directly into my heart and sealed by the Holy Spirit.
Even though it may feel like a curse that constantly lets us down, the heart’s propensity to hope is actually a gift. We hope for the future of our foster sons and daughters. We hope for their birth families. We hope for our forever children. We hope for the cases that are the most maddening. We hope for our homes to be places of refuge. We hope for Jesus to do something amazing.
When we ultimately place our hope in God, then our hope is secure and good because hope placed in Him will never ever be disappointed.