Foster parents: God is using you to love in some of the hardest places and through some of the most difficult situations. In the midst of all the uncertainties and unknowns that surround what you're doing there are some powerful promises and truths in scripture for you that are constant and sure and worthy to be held on to. Here's just a few...
1. It won't be easy.
Jesus is not unclear about the implications of what it will mean to follow Him: "Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me." (Luke 9:23) Very little in life that's worth much of anything is easy. If what you are doing feels hard and overwhelming at times that doesn't necessarily mean something is wrong; it actually could mean you're doing something very right. The road to redemption is paved with stones of suffering, and only the strongest allow themselves to be weakened by the cross they must carry along the way. That's you, counted among the strongest. Continue to carry it, daily.
2. It will be worth it.
The Bible never promises that following Jesus will be easy; it does, however, absolutely guarantee that following Him will be worth it. Galatians 6:9 encourages us to "...not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up." Our hope is that our present struggles are not the end of the story, but simply the means to the greater glory that has been promised to us all through Jesus (Romans 8:18). The good news of the gospel in foster care is that, in the end, Jesus wins, even if along the way we wonder why we're doing this and if we can handle it anymore. What you are doing is not in vain. Will it be hard? Absolutely. Will it be worth it? Most definitely. Do not give up in doing good.
3. You can't see everything.
At the core of foster care is a battle that goes largely unseen. We are not merely participating in a broken human story but in a fractured spiritual one as well. We may see signs, but not the whole; shadows, but not the substance of everything that's really going on. It's in that tension of the unseen that Scripture encourages us to "fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal." (2 Corinthians 4:18) You are not merely changing the life of a child today but are altering the trajectory of a human soul forever. You may not see it now - you may not ever even see it in this lifetime - but what you are doing is of eternal significance. Fix your eyes there.
4. God is sovereign.
I'm not sure how you do foster care without an increasing dependence upon the sovereignty of God over all things. If He's not in control over all of foster care then there's really no hope at all in it. Psalm 103:19 declares, "The Lord has established his throne in heaven, and his kingdom rules over all." There are no guarantees in foster care, except one - God is sovereign over all - including the circumstances these kids come from and the "system" they're now caught in. He is good and His kingdom rules, over where they are today and even where they may lay their heads tomorrow. His ability to care for them supersedes anything bad that's been done to them or anything good that we can offer them. He. Is. God. We have to trust that. We get to trust that.
5. You are not alone.
A consistent theme of hope running throughout the narrative of Scripture is the assurance that when God is near, all is good. When He is with us we do not have to afraid, we do not have to worry, we do not have to wonder. Psalm 46:1 reassures us that, "God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble." When He is near, everything changes. He is an always present, always attentive, always engaged God. He weeps over our mourning and sings over our joys. He meets us in our weakness and reminds us in our weariness that He has been there before us and He is there with us now - sympathizing, holding, understanding and encouraging. In the beautiful, sacrificial, redemptive work you are doing of laying yourself down for the sake of these kids know that you are not alone. You are never alone.