Wanted: Parents Willing to Get Too Attached

*It has been one year since I wrote this post and it ran on The Gospel Coalition and CBMW blog. At the time, we were preparing to say goodbye to our son. Now, one year later, we are finalizing his adoption into our family. We are grateful to God and amazed by his faithfulness, provision and working on our son’s behalf! I pray our story would encourage you and cause you to ask whether you too could risk getting “too attached” for the sake of a child in need. “Part 2” of this post coming soon!

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It has been almost one year since my husband and I brought our sweet baby boy home from the hospital. Memories of life before his arrival are faint. We can’t imagine our day-to-day without his crinkled-nose smiles or excited shrieks of delight. Life with him is our new normal, and while being a mommy is more exhausting than I thought possible, it’s also more joy-filled than I ever imagined. This deep joy of motherhood, however, is mingled with sadness; the time is soon approaching when our days will no longer be filled with this little one’s sweet shrieks of delight. My heart aches knowing that while we have been able to enthusiastically cheer on his first attempts to crawl, it is unlikely we will be able to experience his first steps, first words, or first day of school.

Our son is not terminally ill. This sweet baby we took home from the hospital nearly twelve months ago is our foster son. In the next month or two he will likely leave our home and be adopted by his extended family members. We are grateful that our foster son has family members who want to raise him as their own. Still, deep grief fills our hearts knowing we won’t be able to make this son we love a permanent part of our family. It is overwhelming to think of the day we will have to strap him in his car seat for the last time, kiss his big, soft cheeks, and say our goodbyes.

At times I wonder if we were crazy to get ourselves into this situation. Foster care is a messy, complicated process, filled with messy, complicated emotions. When we tell people he is our foster son, they usually commend us then quickly add, “I could never do foster care—I would get too attached.”

But that’s the point. We are “too attached”.

Worth the Risk

My husband and I don’t have any special ability to be foster parents. Our hearts are not unbreakable and detachment is neither feasible, nor desirable. Attachment was our aim. Parents willing to get “too attached” are precisely what children in foster care need. And the need is enormous:

  • There are more than 510,000 children in the foster care system in the United States. Of those kids, more than 100,000 are waiting to be adopted (1). Nearly 19,000 will age out of the system every year before they have the chance to be adopted (2).
  • The kids who leave foster care without being linked to “forever families” are highly likely to experience homelessness, unemployment, and incarceration as adults (3). Thirty percent of homeless people in the United States were formerly in the foster care system (4).
  • The issue of attachment looms large. Having never learned how to attach to people or places, they struggle to find healthy relationships, stay in school, and hold down a job later in life (5).

Though our hearts will never be the same, by God’s grace, we will survive the grief of giving up our foster son. The pain will be great but we have the coping skills and resources to deal with loss. If our foster son, on the other hand, were to go without the love and attachment he needs at this point in his development, he couldn’t simply catch up later in life (6). It is critical at each stage of development—infants, toddlers, young children—to learn how to attach (7). Even if children don’t get to stay with the person they are attaching to, it’s better for them to go through the pain of loss than to never attach to anyone at all (8). It is crucial therefore, for our son’s sake that we risk the pain of getting “too attached”.

Jesus says, “Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it” (Matt. 10:39). We want to lose our lives for the sake of our foster son—not only because he needs us to, but because Christ met our even more desperate need. Every dirty diaper, every nighttime feeding, every heart-wrenching visit with his birth parents, and every court date and call from his social worker remind us that we are losing our lives. We are giving our hearts away to this little boy we have no promise of keeping. Still, no matter the sacrifices we make, they pale compared to all that Christ sacrificed to save us.

Giver of Life and God over Foster Care

Children are a gift. They are never ours to possess. That seems obvious with foster care but it is no less true with biological children. The Lord numbers the days we have with our children whether biological, adopted or fostered. We are never promised to keep any of the children entrusted to us. Whether I become a mother biologically or through foster care, my children belong to God, not me. After suffering a miscarriage in the fall of 2013, we were delighted to find out we were expecting again four months later. A week after the positive pregnancy test, we received the phone call for our foster son. It has been a crazy season caring for the two children the Lord has given us within eight months, but I am beyond grateful and seek to remember daily that they are gifts given to me for as long as he sees best.

Contrary to what people may think (and have even expressed to us), the arrival of a new baby, a biological baby, doesn’t make the loss of our foster son easier. We love are son and our daughter with the same intensity—they are ours regardless of how they came into our home. The thrill of a new baby and the sorrow of anticipating the loss of the other don’t cancel each other out. Deep joy and profound grief mingle together in our hearts. In the midst of these muddled emotions, my husband and I have found much instruction and comfort in the book of Job. Though the giving and taking did not happen at the same time for Job, he blessed the Lord for both. He recognized that the same God who had given him everything was the same God taking it away and in all of his suffering, he “did not sin or charge God with wrong” (Job 1:22). He continued to acknowledge the goodness of God both in the joyful blessings and in the painful takings. We too must join Job in blessing God for who he is and acknowledge that whether he gives or takes, he is a good God who can do all things and whose purposes cannot be thwarted (Job 42:2). He is not only the Creator and Sustainer of life but he is also God over the foster care system.

I don’t claim to understand the why in his doings and every fiber in my being would do anything to be my foster son’s mommy forever, but the same God who gave and took our first child through miscarriage is the same God who brought our precious foster son to our home a few months later. The same God who gave us our precious daughter in the fall of 2014, is the same God directing the number of days our foster son will spend in our home. Daily we are trusting that God is good in all of it. “He gives and he takes away, blessed be the name of the Lord” (Job 1:21).

Opening your heart and home to a foster child may seem risky but in reality, opening your heart to love any child is risky and requires a loss of self. But in losing ourselves, we gain. We grow in understanding how Jesus loved us and gave himself up for us. In seeking to love sacrificially, a picture of the Gospel is painted for all to see. We pray many would see and put their faith in Christ. We pray too that our love, though imperfect, will lead our foster son to one day trust in Jesus, who gave him far more than we ever could. Lastly, our prayer and hope is that many would join us and risk becoming “too attached” for the sake of the children in need and the glory of the One who alone makes such risk possible.

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  1. “Foster Care Statistics.” FosterClub. The Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System, 2014. Accessed online, October 8, 2014. https://www.fosterclub.com/article/foster-care-statistics.
  2. Tim and Wendy (last names not provided). Foster Parenting Podcast-Episode 50: “Forty Reasons We’re Adopting Through Foster Care,” http://www.fosterpodcast.com/2008/11/05/episode-50-forty-reasons-were-adopting-through-foster-care/
  3. Ibid.
  4. “The Hard Facts About Foster Care.” Alameda County CASA. Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children, 2014. Accessed online, October 8, 2014. http://www.casaofalamedacounty.org/District/1226-The-Hard-Facts-About-Foster-Care.html.
  5. Tim and Wendy, Foster Parenting Podcast, Episode 109: “All the Dirt on Foster Care and Why You Should Still Do It,” http://www.fosterpodcast.com/2011/10/26/episode-109-dirt-foster-care/
  6. Ibid.
  7. Ibid.
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Happy Birthday to our Sweet and Spunky Finley Grace!

My dear little Finny,

There has not been a dull or quiet moment since you entered our world and we wouldn’t want it any other way. Your happy, high pitched, prolonged squeals have filled our home for a year now and as we celebrate your first birthday, we praise God who answered our prayers by giving you life, sustaining it and bringing you safely into our arms on November 13th, 2014.

You are a delight my precious daughter, a wonderful balance of sweet and spunky, feisty and fun. You smile and blow kisses to anyone who will look your way for more than 2 seconds, you eagerly clap and wave (backwards) on command, and you love to show a captive audience where your nose is or how big you are. You will snuggle in close when it is time to eat or if you are extremely tired, but the rest of the time you are too busy to cuddle out of fear that you may miss something. You don’t miss a beat and are eager to learn all that you can about the world around you. You are close to walking on your tiny (3-6 month size) feet, you insist on feeding yourself and you just recently learned (from your brother) how to say “baby” and “football”.

You keep up quite well with your big brother and hate for him to be out of your sight. You don’t seem to understand that you are smaller than he is and fascination fills your eyes as you watch every move he makes and ambitiously seek to follow him, no matter how risky the endeavor. You are a tough little sister. It doesn’t take long for you to get back up after being knocked down by his overbearing hugs or his clumsy but lovingly delivered kisses upon your forehead.  He loves you and you love him but the concept of sharing is currently proving difficult to grasp for both of you. You have zero tolerance for him taking something from you and you loudly and clearly inform him of your disapproval. Despite the fact that your brother often sends you crawling to mommy in frantic rage, he is your hero and you quickly forgive him, moving on to laugh and together explore the world around you. I am so grateful you have each other and will never remember life without the other by your side.     fin and sammy 2-croppedThough little, you have big emotions. You feel things deeply-both happy and sad. When excited, your joy bubbles over touching everyone around you and making them smile. When upset, your frustration can be heard within a mile radius-making everyone that wish they had ear-plugs. Despite the volume of your displeasure, I am thankful that God has wired you the way he has and my prayer is that you would use it to glorify him. I pray that you would feel strongly by loving what is good and hating what is evil. I pray that you would enjoy deeply all the good that God has made but hate darkness and fight against it with the light of Jesus. May you be a woman of compassion, easily moved by the hurt of others and spurred on towards helping and showing the hope found in Jesus. I pray that God will give your daddy and me wisdom and patience as we learn to walk with you in your emotions and teach you. You are beautifully and wonderfully made my sweet and spunky girl. May you be a woman who honors God in what you say, feel, think and do, but also a woman who runs quickly to his throne of grace when you fall short. Your heavenly Father is gracious and offers forgiveness again and again through Jesus’ death on the cross. May you find forgiveness and rest in Jesus, my precious daughter, and trust his goodness and mercy to follow you all the days of your life.

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Happy birthday Finley Grace, we are so thankful you were born!

Love,

Daddy, Mommy and big brother

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Waiting, Praying and Hoping to Make Him Ours

The months continue to pass and life in the Lind household continues on as normal, or as normal as life can be with two babies eight months apart. Little buddy’s vocabulary is rapidly expanding but he refers to most things as Mama, Dada, apple or guck (truck). He is beginning to take steps on his own and his little sister is becoming an avid roller, making it much more difficult to catch or contain them. I am also no longer the only one pining for overlapping naps these days. The babies seem to prefer sleeping during the same time in order to assure that they will be awake at the same time. Finley is much more content to play if her brother is within view. Likewise, if Fin is napping, Little Buddy will linger around her door, occasionally standing up and banging against it. When his sister finally wakes up to play, he dives headlong into her belly and proceeds to roll over onto his back with some portion of her body pinned underneath him. Although perhaps a little rougher than she wishes, sissy doesn’t complain. Instead, she responds with squeals of delight while reaching out to grab as much of his hair as she grasp with her chubby little fingers. Although this usually leads to one or both of them eventually breaking down in tears, they are quite fond of each other. Their sibling love is a precious sight and provides hours of amusing entertainment.

Most of our days fly by and I am so caught up in diaper changing, meal preparing and story reading that I forget that this little boy who feels like our son and Finley’s brother in every way, is not actually our son or Finley’s brother yet according to the state. My heart is tugged back to this reality every time I am contacted by a social worker to set up another monthly visit or every time I bring him to the doctor and write down a name, that though it was given to him at birth, doesn’t seem to belong to him anymore. These moments remind me that our journey is not yet done. In so many ways this little boy is our son, and yet we still wait, pray and hope to make him ours.

Foster care is a slow and careful process involving many steps. Though things are moving forward with our sweet boy and adoption is looking promising, there are still several court dates to be had and documents to be signed. We ask you to please join us in praying. Please pray for things to continue moving forward in order for our home to be little Buddy’s permanent home soon. We ask also that you pray for us. Sitting in the waiting room of the unknown is tiresome and we are feeling it. Please pray that we would not grow weary in the waiting and that our trust and hope would remain steadfast in God. Though this process feels slow, we know that our God is in perfect control and working out what is best. Psalm 115:3 says that “Our God is in the heavens; he does all that he pleases.” Though paperwork, court dates, birth parents and judges feel so out of our control, they are not out of God’s control. He sits above it all working out exactly what pleases Him. He is the One who placed this little boy in our home sixteen months ago and will continue to work on his behalf. In that we rest as we wait, pray and hope to make this little boy our own.

“From of old no one has heard or perceived by the ear, no eye has seen a God besides you,

who acts for those who wait for him.”

–Isaiah 64:4

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Happy Birthday Little Buddy!

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One year ago today, February 25th, 2014, our son was born. We don’t know what exact time he was born or what his first moments in this world were like, in fact, during his first 2.5 weeks of life we were at home, putting the finishing touches on a nursery and praying that the Lord would protect him, comfort him and sustain him, wherever he may be. The Lord heard our prayers, and on March 14th, Joel and I brought a healthy baby boy home from the hospital. The question of how long he would be ours loomed with each month that has passed since that day. However, today we celebrate his first birthday with the possibility that this little boy could become ours forever-a permanent part of our family. For this we praise God and pray that it would indeed be a reality sooner than later.

However, as we joyfully celebrate his life today and I write a letter to him as his mommy, my heart can’t help but ache as I think about his birth mom. One year ago today, she brought him into this world and held him for the first time. Today, he is in my arms, I am his mommy, and her arms are empty. I don’t know whether or not she is thinking about this today but my heart hurts for her and as I thank God for giving me a son, I am also grieving with her over the loss of a son. I ask you to please join me in praying for her today that God would comfort her and help her, and most importantly, save her through His son Jesus Christ.

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My dear little buddy,

I can hardly believe a year has passed since daddy and I walked into the hospital and first laid eyes on your wrinkly little face and your curious little eyes. I exclaimed to the nurse, “Is this him!?”, and as she handed you to me, I immediately fell in love.

IMG_4798              bray and joel

Your daddy and I had been praying for you long before we met you-we prayed that God would keep you safe and comfort you. We prayed that He would bring you to us and that we would be able to have you in our family forever. Little did we know, on February 25th, 2014, the Lord was bringing you safely into this world and 2 ½ weeks later, on March 14th, safely into our arms and home. I wish the time in between had not been so long-you had a hard first couple of weeks in this world. You were sick and cried a lot because you did not feel good but the Lord gave you strength and helped you to get better much more quickly than most babies your size. God is good and hears prayers! You are an answer to our prayers-we praise God for every moment we have with you, yes, even the moments in the middle of the night when you aren’t so pleasant and we can’t figure out what you need. These moments have been quite frequent lately as your teeth come in. You have six of them now and I think number 7 and 8 are soon to follow!

b and daddy

You are a curious and adventurous little boy. Your favorite time of day (besides bath time) is when daddy gets home from work. You instantly turn into a wild man and aren’t satisfied until he is rolling around and wrestling with you on the living room floor.You are into everything and spend most of your days tearing things apart in one room and then crawling on to another room to see what you can destroy next.

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When you tire of exploring the house, you walk your little hands up my legs to be picked up. You are quite interested in anything I am doing in the kitchen, and though it is much more difficult to cook or unload the dishwasher while holding you in one arm, I do my best because I love to kiss your cheeks while you stare intensely at whatever I am doing. As much as I love chasing you around the house, I cherish the times you sit still, snuggling with me to read books. You love to read! Your current favorites are The Very Hungry Catepillar, I Ain’t Gonna Paint No More, and Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear?.

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You are a sweet big brother to your little sister, Finley. You don’t quite understand the concept of being gentle with her yet so you often try to grab her face or poke her in the eye which she doesn’t love but she does enjoy when you play with her toes and give her kisses by licking her forehead. You don’t like being left alone in the living room, but if Fin is close by, you don’t seem to mind anymore.  I love watching you two enjoy each other’s company. I pray you would become good friends and that you would always seek to protect your little sister.

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I love you my sweet boy and I ask God every day that He would let me be your mommy forever. I wish I could promise you that I will be here to celebrate your birthdays in the years to come, to hold you when you tire, to read you books, to teach you to read yourself, and protect you as you discover the world around you, but I can’t. I can promise you though that you have a heavenly Father who, if you trust in Him, will never leave or forsake you and will protect you all the days of your life. I pray that you would grow up to know Him as your heavenly Father and to trust in His son Jesus who died to save you from your sins. He made you, He loves you and He has good and perfect plans for your life. Happy first birthday buddy. You are a deeply loved little boy and we praise God today for giving you life!

Love,

Mommy

The Arrival of Finley Grace

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The Months Leading Up to Her Arrival

June 30, 2014:

20 weeks pregnant; Little buddy- 4 months old

IMG_5838It was a sweet but challenging pregnancy. Not only was I adjusting to being a new mommy to our newborn foster son, but vomiting became part of my daily routine-usually several times a day. I was grateful by week 20 when it went from several times a day to just a few times a week. That was considered a success. An aqua beach pail from the dollar store became a close companion.

       preggp      bb      preggo 2

Despite the sickness, I was grateful to God for sustaining the sweet life inside of me.

August 17, 2014:

28 weeks pregnant; Little buddy 6 months old

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 The Lord gave much grace to both Joel and I in the midst of the challenges, and we stood in awe of His faithfulness as we watched our little buddy grow outside of me, and our even littler one grow inside of me.

September 26, 2014:

33 weeks pregnant; Little buddy- 7 months old

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At this point I started to receive some confused looks while out in public. I grew tired of responding and explaining when people said, “Wow, those two will be close in age”.

November 13, 2014:

40 weeks pregnant

At last, after 9 long months, contractions began one chilly November evening. It was time to meet the newest member of our family-and find out if it was a boy or girl! After laboring at home as long as Joel (and my mother) would let me, we headed to the hospital at 2:00 AM, November 13th, my due date.

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By the time we arrived to our room, I was dilated to 6 cm. Labor continued to progress quickly and naturally-this little one was coming quickly, so we thought. Joel assisted me in staying focused on my breathing and my mother assisted Joel in whatever he needed…it was quite the team. Joel also made sure to brush his teeth plenty so that he could continue to be in my face helping me breathe without me complaining about his breath. 🙂

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Around 7AM labor began to stall. Though our little one was head down, he or she was face up, which was not ideal, and quite painful, especially without an epidural. However, by God’s grace, the help of an amazing nurse, and Joel and my mom on each side of me, after 3.5 hours of pushing and repeating Isaiah 41:10 in my mind, “I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you”, I gave one final push. After 15 hours of labor, our sweet little girl entered into the world on November 13th, 2014, at 12:35 PM.

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Finley Grace Lind, 7lb 10oz, 21inches

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November 23, 2014:

Finley Grace- 10 days old; Little buddy- 9 months old

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Little buddy loves his new little sister. He enjoys trying to eat her toes and giving her kisses by licking the top of her head. Finley is a feisty and talkative little girl. She has added much noise and joy to our home!

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Within nine months we have gone from a family of 2 to a family of 4. Our hands are full and our nights don’t involve much sleep with two babies eight months apart but we are grateful for the blessing of children! We pray that little buddy would be able to be in our family as Finley’s big brother forever.

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“Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them!” -Psalm 127:3-5

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Learning to Bless the Lord when He Gives and Takes at the Same Time

together with B

The months continue to pass and both of our babies, the one in our arms and the baby in my belly, continue to grow healthy and strong. Our precious little buddy, our foster son, is now 7 months old and weighing in at a whopping 17 pounds. This silly little guy, though not crawling yet, loves to cover as much mileage rolling around on the floor as possible. He enjoys reading books, snuggling and rubbing noses with me but once Joel gets home from work, it is loud and crazy play time. He fills our home with so much laughter and delight. The baby in my womb, now 34 weeks, weighs in at approximately 4.5 pounds. He or she (yes-we are crazy and want to be surprised!), loves to wiggle around inside of me and is making it slightly more difficult to sleep, climb stairs and bend over to pick up little buddy. I tend to receive confused looks in public with a 7 month old on my hip alongside my large protruding belly. No, it is not physically possible to have babies this close in age. We praise God for this crazy season and the blessing of children.

The reason there have not been many updates on our blog however is because there continues to be nothing new to update on in regards to our little buddy’s foster care situation. It is still quite certain that he will go to live with his extended family members but their home study and paperwork has yet to be completed by the state. Therefore, we continue to wait and as October dawns, we find ourselves standing on the brink of welcoming a new born baby into our home, Lord willing, in early November, but also losing a precious son who we have poured ourselves into for the last 7 months. To say that we have mixed emotions is an understatement. We feel such joy and gratitude for the new baby we are expecting while at the same exact time, our hearts are filled with sharp pangs of grief and dread as we anticipate the loss of our foster son.

In my years of walking with the Lord, I have experienced seasons of sweet giving from my Heavenly Father’s hand as well as seasons of painful taking from that same loving hand. This however, is the first time I have experienced the giving and the taking at the same time. This uncharted territory has left my emotions quite confused most days. My moments of laughing and playing with our little buddy are often joined by pools of tears welling up in my eyes. The moments of overwhelming fear and dread at the thought of parting with our foster son are accompanied by gentle kicks from inside my belly. Contrary to what some may think or have said to us, expecting a new baby does not make the loss of another baby easier. Though we are grateful and consider it gracious of the Lord to not leave our home or arms empty, the joy of expecting a baby and the sorrow of anticipating the loss of another do not cancel each other out. Deep joy and profound grief are mingled together and co-exist in our hearts.

My soul has found much instruction and comfort in the book of Job. Though the giving and taking did not perhaps happen at the same time for Job, he blessed the Lord for both. He recognized that the same God who had given Him everything he had was the same God who was taking it away. Furthermore, at the end of the first chapter, it says that he “did not sin or charge God with wrong” (Job 1:22). He continued to acknowledge the goodness of God both in the joyful blessings and in the painful takings and so my soul finds it fitting to seek to do the same. The same God who gave and took our first child through miscarriage last October, is the same God who brought our precious foster son to our home a few months later. The same God who gave us another new life inside of my womb, is the same God who is now seeing it best to take our foster son from us and place him with his extended family. Though my understanding fails to see the why in His doings, my soul must bless Him for who He is and acknowledge with Job that we have a God who is able to do all things and whose purposes cannot be thwarted (Job 42:2). He is the creator and sustainer of life and He is God over the foster care system. He is good, He is wise, He is all powerful and His timing is perfect. Whether you find Him giving or taking in your life today, or perhaps doing both, seek with me to join Job in saying, “The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord” (Job 1:21).

Too Attached, Yet Unafraid

joel and bray britt and bray

The paternity test results have finally come back confirming who our foster son’s birth father is. The process will now continue to move forward with a home study of the birth father’s family member who wants to adopt our foster son. It is becoming more of a reality that a day is likely approaching when we will have to say good bye to our sweet little buddy. Our hearts are grateful that our foster son has family members who love him and want to raise him as their own. This is a good thing! However, our hearts also ache knowing we will not be able to make him a permanent part of our family. We won’t be able experience his first steps, his first words or his first day of school. We won’t be able to tell him about Jesus and teach him what it looks like to follow God. It is overwhelming for me to imagine the day when Joel and I will have to strap him in his car seat one last time, kiss his big, soft cheeks and say our good-byes. Tears run down my face now just writing about it.

A common response we receive from people is, “I could never do foster care, I would get too attached.” But the reality is that Joel and I can’t do this either. We do not have any special ability to do foster care. Our hearts are not unbreakable. We are “too attached”. We love this little boy that we brought home from the hospital nearly 5 months ago. We love him as our own and can’t imagine day to day life without him. To be honest, at times I wonder if we were crazy to get ourselves into this. We are far, far “too attached”.

But that was exactly our aim and we would do it all over again. Even though our hope was adoption, God knew that this little boy would only be our son for a season. He is not surprised by the fact that this little boy will most likely leave our home and go live with his extended family members. Nor is He unaware of the pain that this will cause our hearts. Somehow in God’s perfect wisdom, this is what is best for our little guy and for us. I do not pretend to understand how this is best-it deeply grieves my heart. But I trust Him with the life of our foster son and I trust Him to take care of Joel and me in our grief. We love and serve a God who is good, all-powerful, perfectly loving and infinite in wisdom-a God whose purposes cannot be thwarted. “I know that you can do all things and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted” (Job 42:2). He is worthy of our trust, even when we don’t understand His ways. “Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!” (Romans 11:31).

Although I don’t know that there is a way to actually prepare our hearts for the waves of sadness that will flood our hearts in the days ahead, my soul is fortified by remembering who our God is and the sacrifice He made for us at the cross. When I am tempted to feel unloved by the working out of His plans, I need to look no further than the cross. “God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). “He who did not spare His own son but gave him up for us all, how will He not also with Him graciously give us all things?” (Romans 8:32). God proves His love for us by giving us His one and only Son. He is a God who withholds no good thing from us-not even His own Son. We can rest assured that all that comes to us has first passed through His sovereign, good and loving hand. Furthermore, we can trust that as a loving Father, He will not leave us to ourselves in our pain. He is a gracious and compassionate Savior that we can draw near to and find grace to help in time of need (Hebrews 4:16). He promises to strengthen and uphold us, to daily bear us up and to be a rock of refuge to which we may continually come (Isaiah 41:10; Psalm 68:19; 71:3).

These promises are relatively easy for me to call to mind and speak to my soul now but I ask you dear friends and family, to please remind me of them in the days ahead when they don’t seem so clear and when I don’t have the strength to remind myself. In the giving and the taking, our God is good and worthy of our trust and praise. We need not fear becoming “too attached”.