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“Each time he said, "My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness." So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me....For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 Paul wrote this letter to the church he planted in Corinth. This church had become less inspired with his leadership because he was poor and persecuted. They were more drawn to teachers with money and better presentations. Paul went from being at the top of his career field to having an encounter with God that turned his world upside down. He went from persecuting Christians to being the one persecuted for planting churches and spreading the gospel. This was a radical transformation. Paul continued to serve this church, but they were still more impressed with other “super apostles.” Paul began to explain to them how the Lord had used him and qualified him to lead. He described the amazing ways God used him powerfully, but also how the Lord had allowed a “thorn in his flesh” to torment him to keep him from becoming proud. Paul writes that he begged God to remove this thorn and each time God said "My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness." He goes on to write “So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That's why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” Doing foster care, adopting and taking care of family is a noble and important work, but it comes with many thorns. We begin with a great vision of wanting to help vulnerable children and people praise that, but when things get hard and trauma behavior starts to show or our own weariness is exposed those who supported us in the beginning can start to lose empathy. “Well, this is the life you chose” is a common response. This venture of bringing kids from hard places into our home becomes less inspiring to others and just more confusing. “Can you just send him back?”

“This isn’t your problem, why would you sacrifice your own lifestyle?”

“What about your own kids?” These tormenting questions expose our weakness and our own questioning. They hurt. We are following Jesus and doing an amazing work so why would those who should support us not see the great things we are doing? Thankfully, God’s grace is enough to cover all the questioning and our insecurities. When we feel like the least qualified to parent a child with big behaviors or we are a single working parent doing foster care God is our strength. In the areas where we look or feel like we don’t have it all together or we aren’t the best trauma informed parent God will step in and fill in the gap. When we keep showing up to follow Jesus He will be glorified in it. Let’s accept our weaknesses and also the grace and strength that comes from God to keep following Him because, just like Paul, “when we are weak, then we are strong.”

Originally posted Sept. 11, 2020

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