It’s the last week of the school holidays. For many it’s a time of joy, relief and “ getting back to normal “.
For some it’s a difficult time. It’s a time when we can feel really empty and alone.
It’s a time when we mark mile stones for the children that we no longer hold.
It’s a tough time and often a forgotten time. The prayer below is for all of those that feel the grief and pain of back to school.
Be with those who cannot sleep and those
Be with those with restless empty arms that cannot settle.
Give rest to the tired and broken hearted.
Calm our muddled minds, realise us from the burdens that we carry.
Tonight lord we hold onto you and trust you.
May we great the dawn with hope and a world full of possibles.
Thy Kingdom Come is a global prayer movement that invites Christians around the world to pray between Ascension and Pentecost for more people to come to know Jesus.
Last year I pledged to pray for families; children in the care system and those involved in adoption. ( Thy kingdom come 2017)
This year I pledge to pray for five people. Praying that they will know Jesus. That their lives will be transformed just as Jesus has transformed my life.
I have decided to buy 5 roses one for each of my special people. A rose bearing their name. As I grow and nurture the rose I will pray for the named person.
Praying for these people starts today. The journey and adventure of sourcing the roses the love and care I give to each rose will be reflected in my prayers. Prayers that will go far beyond the 10 days of Thy Kingdom Come.
SARAH VAN FLEET
PLEINE DE GRÂCE
Rebecca – Patio Rose
Day 40 – Lent Challenge – Begin.
To the little person that asked so much of me, you changed my world.
My faith stated with a silent prayer, that screamed from my heart.
Day 30 – Lent challenge – Friendship
This poem is for a friend. It tells of our journey together.
Love – Faith – Friendship.
Friendship of colours painted on faces.
Blended with glitter and sparkly dust.
Henna flowers on the backs of our hands
Hugs of glitter crafted in love.
Friendship, painted, splattered.
Bold colours blossomed.
So we grow.
Journeying as families
Through tears we said our goodbyes
Anchoring our hearts in pain.
Holding firm you kept us secure.
You understand our pain.
Quietly empty our hearts longing.
Stopped and stunned empty silence .
Intertwined with leaves of children’s laughter
Families standing together.
New beginnings -fresh laughter.
Breakfasts cooked- films watched
Sunrise blocking out our pains.
Nourished by just being.
Nurtured by prayer.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8 Good News Translation (GNT)
4 Love is patient and kind; it is not jealous or conceited or proud; 5 love is not ill-mannered or selfish or irritable; love does not keep a record of wrongs; 6 love is not happy with evil, but is happy with the truth. 7 Love never gives up; and its faith, hope, and patience never fail.
8 Love is eternal. There are inspired messages, but they are temporary; there are gifts of speaking in strange tongues, but they will cease; there is knowledge, but it will pass.
Day 27 – Lent Challenge – Fear.
Children who have experienced instability, frightening events, or inconsistent care build foundations of fear.
Beliefs which come from a foundation of fear tend to be negative, such as:
• I can’t trust adults to take care of me
• I have to be in control to stay safe
• It’s not safe to love or be vulnerable
Children with such negative core beliefs often have concerning behaviours such as stealing, lying, defiance, etc.
As a foster carer it’s our job to understand these behaviours. We look beyond the fear to the child that is hurt, confused sad and afraid.
They are afraid to love. This blog is for one young person who’s fear of love turned my world upside down.
God prepared me for this. In that preparation I understood this child acted out if fear. It was not personal, they were not to blame.
I understood that fear and love could not co exist. I knew the only way forward for me was to trust God and stay with love.
Love came with understanding and forgiveness. I felt so loved. In the darkness it was love that removed doubt, gave hope and purpose.
The fear this young person felt was contagious. It spread to others they pulled away.
Logic and reason was replaced by fear. The fear of making a bad error of judgement.
Those that came alongside us and walked us through our pain held and loved us. Their love came from God not fear. They listened with love. They prayed for us and with us,
held and surrounded by love.
Love does not take away the pain that fear causes. Love does not stop fear trying to destroy your life. Love does not have the answers.
Gods love gave us a future and hope. Gods love stopped the pain becoming fear. Gods love gave us focus through the blur and numbness.Gods love was supporting and always their.
I have learnt to put my trust in God. That trust gave me the strength to cope with the devastation left by fear.
Day 24 – Lent Challenge – Refine.
Trying to find a person that fits the word refine is not easy. The more time I give to this the more I realise the refining that is beyond the human. Refining comes from God.
It’s the hollowing out, the deepness and deaths being refined by God takes us. The tears that flow and keep flowing as God hollows out our hearts.
I’m writing this blog the morning after mother’s day. Feeling totally exhausted by the whole day. My heart is crying and confused.
Mother’s day reminds me the that the pain has a purpose. God uses the pain.
It’s the pain that shapes and moulds us. Theirs no hiding from it, nothing is hidden from God.
It’s a change to the core. God tells us he will take us through the fire to refine us like silver and purify us like Gold. The melting point of silver is 1761 degrees. the melting point of pure gold is 1945 degrees. Pain is that hot temperature that causes pain, melts our hearts.
I am angry and struggling with myself today. Angry that it took pain for me to find God not Joy. That’s why the tears that don’t want to stop today.
Tears full of why. It’s almost as if the tears stop the refining fire getting to hot. Gods way of stopping me boiling over. Allowing me to stay held in the crucible that is Gods love. The crucible that holds my heart in the fire.
Psalm 56:8 The Message (MSG)
You’ve kept track of my every toss and turn
through the sleepless nights,
Each tear entered in your ledger,
each ache written in your book.
Day 19– Lent challenge – Forgive.
Finding faith though the actions of others is powerful.
Today’s blog is for the lady that shared her faith with me: She showed me forgiveness.
A forgiveness that comes from God not us. A forgiveness that does not nag, does not say I remember when. It’s a wholeness a newness that I had never experienced before.
With that forgiveness came friendship and trust. Without her honestly and openness we could have never moved forward together.
In that moving forwarding I gave myself permission to painfully let go .To accept the role of the foster carer was to let go. To facilitate the moving of our foster son to his forever home.
I realised he was never mine to keep. He was a gift that I held and loved. He was someone else’s hopes and dreams.
Adoption is about love and a transfer of trust. The trust came from forgiveness. My pain of letting go was understood. My love acknowledged. Joy and happiness was my pain and grief. Forgiveness allowed me to be part of the joy in welcoming a very special boy into his new family.
I never expected adoption would be a gift for me too.
Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done;
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory,
for ever and ever.