I have a small problem with reality. I’m a dreamer, an optimist to a fault, a high-hoper. I expect the best in most situations and have to adjust along the way almost every time. But when my hope becomes intertwined with fear, when every flash of a good future is suddenly met with a desire to shut down, when my excitement seems nearly painful, how do I cope with that?
Finding ourselves hoping for the future in foster care can be terrifying, to say the least. Birthday plans, holiday gifts and travel arrangements all come with a major heart check. “Am I willing to go there right now? Can I trust that this child will still be here next month? Is my heart ready to commit to this hopeful future?” Suddenly trying to order a sweater in a size that will fit in 2 months for Christmas photos turns into three frantic texts to your mom, a teary voicemail to your husband about how you “don’t even know how to deal,” and you’re right back down that road of fear from hope.
My husband and I have had two “easy” foster cases back to back, yet we still find ourselves in a situation of uncertainty, of waiting, of being forced to trust a broken system almost daily. What if someone comes forward before this adoption happens? What if something changes in our boy’s biological mom’s heart before our next court date? What if, what if, what if? When I get to those moments of paralyzing fear, the only thing I know to do is breathe, talk to someone who understands, and choose to trust God’s plan.
Does God’s plan sometimes include something that’s not my plan? Absolutely. Does God’s plan sometimes take me down a path I NEVER wanted or thought I could handle? Absolutely. I’m walking that out in my life right now. But I can say with certainty that sometimes living a hopeful life in the face of fear is the only thing that keeps my feet moving forward.
So I hope high. I dream. I make a Pinterest board for 1 year old birthday party ideas. I live my life hoping because I know that my heart will be fine, that God’s plan will carry me through time and time again, and that living a life of fear is not living.