Because Jesus did what I couldn’t, I was able to stand and praise Him Sunday – knowing that my praises ring out to a LIVING God. EASTER, Resurrection Day, as I like to think of it, is the crux of Christianity. It is the pivotal, powerful, perfect completion of the work that Christ came to do on the cross.
And this year was especially powerful for us, as we have experienced a resurrection of sorts in our family – a coming back to life – an overcoming of death and destruction to awake to beautiful victory. Almost exactly a year ago, the final court session was held which declared our foster children officially “fatherless” and “motherless,” as the legal parental rights of their biological parents were terminated. Termination. Heart break. Death. Destruction There is nothing pretty about foster care. Its weight is immeasurable.
These innocent, precious babies were completely unaware of the storm they had been in for more than a year and a half prior to that day, and they remained unaware of the uncertainty of their futures – of our future as a family. Termination was not followed by an “end” or a break to the stress. Instead, we were greeted with shocking news that they may be taken from us forever.
We couldn’t do it.
We couldn’t take it.
We couldn’t breathe.
We couldn’t think.
Heart break. Death. Destruction
How could the Lord have brought us so far to let us be drowned in the sea?
We recounted His many protections, interventions, and miracles over the past year and a half of our lives as we learned new terms like ICPC and contested adoption, and we cried out to Him to help us. We chiseled hard at our stubborn hearts trying to make them willing to obey even if our fears were realized.
The thing was, we couldn’t do it.
We couldn’t fix it.
We couldn’t make ourselves submit.
We couldn’t bring beauty from ashes.
There it is again. That life-changing conjunction that started it all: but God. We used to be among the masses of people who “couldn’t” imagine fostering because we “couldn’t” bear to lose a child. We used to struggle to find compassion for people who made foolish choices that destroyed their families. The list of what we “couldn’t” do goes on and on and on.
Mom and Dad used to say “Can’t never did anything”. It’s true.
But God did. He overcame sin and death. He defeated hell. He promised His children the VERY SAME resurrection power that raised Jesus from the grave, and He gave us a beautiful thing called GRACE that floods our veins just when we think “can’t” is going to win out.
My mind flashes back to the day we received “the call”. Two babies – one boy, one girl. Will you take them both? The kind woman inquired. Lots of people are willing to take one or the other, but we want to keep them together.
I raced to call my husband who was far from home in a job that kept him busy for long days, and he met my question with a question: Well, can you do it? Because the reality is that most of it is going to fall on you, at least for now.
My eyes welled with tears because the truth was that I could not do it.
And we said YES not because we were able, but because we were willing and HE was ABLE.
Because He did what we could not, we love two children that weren’t born to us, as if they were.
Because He did what we could not, we love the families from which they came.
Because He did what we could not, we invested every part of us into helping those parents of theirs, into cherishing their original family, into walking through the fire of foster care only to find ourselves compelled to walk it again and again.
Because He did what we could not, we celebrated THIS Easter, Resurrection Day, with all five of our beautiful children and five biological family members worshipping the Lord with us and our church family. Together.
And I stand amazed.
As I watched my children surrounded by the love of BOTH of their families, I could not help but think of how far beyond us this is. We couldn’t fix anything. It was hard, and ugly, and awful, and full of death and destruction, but the resurrection power of Jesus Christ brings beauty from ashes. He didn’t bring us so far to be drowned in the sea. He brought us to the end of ourselves so we could KNOW the work was HIS.
“He’s alive. He’s ALIVE! Oh Happy Day! Happy Day! He washed my sin away. Oh Happy Day! Happy Day! I’ll never be the same. Forever I am changed” We sang it Sunday, and my baby boy’s eyes lit up as I sang it to him again today. This Easter was an especially “happy day” for us because in more ways than one, we got to see the resurrection power of our Savior do what we couldn’t, and we will never be the same.