I have been thinking of writing this post for many days now but I am still not sure if I have found the right words. But here goes...
We are all so quick to put labels on things as to whom they belong. I think it is normal. We say this or that is ours or theirs or whoever's. Today alone, I probably claimed something as being mine at least 5 times. But when it comes to these boys, the boys that I love so incredibly much, the boys I would do anything for just to make sure they are happy and cared for, I struggle with saying they are mine.
I love them so much it hurts sometimes. I would give anything for them to be safe without thinking twice. I love them just as much as people love their biological children. When they are sad, my heart breaks. When they are happy, I feel like everything is right in the world. At the end of each day, I cannot imagine loving anyone more, until the next day when I fall even more in love with them.
But I know they do not belong to me. They are God's, not mine.
The amazing thing here is that God doesn't need me to do this work. He is mighty and able and could do it on His own. They are His children and He is more than able to care for them. But each day, I get to be a part of His work, with these 8 kids that are so incredibly amazing.
People frequently ask me how I chose the boys for the home and I tell them I just knew. The truth is,I didn't choose them, God did. He opened my eyes to what He saw when he looked at the boys. He didn't see a boy with a drug problem or a boy that liked to gamble and fight or a thief. He saw His precious children, hurting and broken, patiently waiting on Him. He saw a boy with an incredibly soft heart. He saw a boy that covered up his pain with a tough exterior. He saw children the world had thrown away, but were still so eager to praise Him for His goodness.
Thankfully, that is what He let me see also. Every day, I am so grateful God decided to use me for His work here with these boys. I am so grateful that of all of the people in the world He could have used, he chose me. The other night the boys were giving testimonies. One boy said that he drank too much and did too many drugs, but God knew he could be somebody and sent him me who knew he could be somebody. Another boy, said how when I chose him, he was still a thug but I still gave him a chance. I of course knew those things. I paid to get the one out of prison, the other I saw drunk many times. But it never mattered to me. I loved them regardless and knew God had called me to them.
I am so undeserving to have these kids love me. Their love has made my life complete. Their love has taught me what true love is. Their love has given me a home and a family that I have longed for for almost 13 years. Their love has changed my life forever. God knew my heart and knew that I needed these boys more than they needed me. And so He called me to move across the world, to love His children, just like He loves me.
I know nothing about parenting, especially to 14 and 15 year old boys that have lived on the streets for years and are so broken, hurting and traumatized, anything can trigger them. I worry about things any parent worries about plus some. I fear if I love them too much, they will get scared and run because they don't know how to be loved because no one ever has. I fear if I don't love them enough, they will run because they think I don't care. I worry about people hurting them when I know they can't take any more pain or loss. I fear that I will lose them or they will never change. I worry about doing and saying the wrong thing, overreacting to a small situation, not having enough patience, failing them in some way, not being able to provide for them, the list goes on. But then I remember...
God gave me the wonderful gift of having these boys in my life. AND IT IS A GIFT! A gift I wouldn't exchange for anything. He started this work and I know He will finish it. He loves these boys and brought us together for a purpose. I realize that I cannot do any of this on my own. It is only through God and His mercy, that I have any chance.
Although He has given me this gift, one day, I know He will take it back because they are His children, not mine. In the meantime, I give Him thanks, for entrusting me with 8 of His most precious treasures. I pray that I will never forget or take for granted how truly special and perfect they really are. And I pray that I will always mirror the love to them that God has shown me.