Since the first day we got B, we have prayed with her every single night. I would like to say this is because we are awesome parents and want B to love talking to the Lord as much as we do, but it's not. Some nights we want to skip it so we can get her to bed earlier, but B won't have it. This has become a part of her routine and she genuinely looks forward to prayer time and having her requests brought before the Lord. If you've spent any amount of time with us, you know fostering/parenting has taught us a whole slew of things. I thought I was pretty awesome before fostering, and now I'm re-realizing just how sinful I still am. The Lord has revealed to me the hidden sins of my heart and just how deeply rooted they are. Every single day is a battle and I am in awe of you parents who have been in this for years. Though many of you have encouraged us on this journey, I feel like a failure most days and know I could do way better than I actually am.
But tonight was different.
Tonight, we went through the bedtime routine like normal: potty, brush teeth, bathe, get dressed, hop into bed, story time, prayer time, bedtime. She's beginning to understand what prayer is and has recently (bashfully) acted like she wants to pray too. She never has and I have never forced it upon her. I always give her the opportunity to talk to God and am usually met with a silent and muffled, "You pray."
But, tonight was different.
She still bashfully approached the subject of praying to God, and I gave her the opportunity. She then prayed the prayer her school teaches them to do before lunchtime, "Thank you God for our food, thank you God for everyone." I told her that was a beautiful prayer and then prayed about the requests she brought up and the thanks and the requests I have as well. Right as I was about to get up and kiss her goodnight she said, "I want to pray one more time." In my head, I thought, "This is just another ploy to get me to stay here longer," and I almost listened to that thought and left, but I believe the Lord asked me to stay and give her this chance. So I did.
And she started to pray.
She thanked Jesus for her teachers by name and each of her friends by name. She thanked Jesus for mom, papa, grandma, and nana. She then thanked Jesus for me, Cameron, and Lincoln (our baby). I am so thankful she continued to pray for the many people in her life because it took those last few seconds to hold back the tears and not give B the wrong impression about her prayer.
B's life has been insane. She went from a home that was not safe at the time, to a stranger's home that had the potential to not be safe. Her schedule changed, the people in her life were now gone, and everything she knew and loved was left at her old house and would never be the same again. We've had so many ups and downs and each day is a new day with how B is handling her situation. I have failed countless times with her and have had to apologize and ask for forgiveness more times than I care to admit. Most days I feel like I'm doing her a disservice and go to bed believing that I've caused more harm than good.
But tonight was different.
Tonight, she prayed to Jesus. Tonight, she was thankful for me and Cameron and for a baby she's never seen or felt, only heard of who he is. Tonight, she reminded me that though I am failing in countless ways, the Truths we are pouring into her are making a difference. The Lord is working in her life. No matter how bad I stumble and fall, God will not. He is consistent. His Word is not returning void. Each day spent with Him is changing B's heart and mine for His good will and purpose.
I write this to encourage all of you. It does not matter how bad you failed today, as long as you are pursuing the Lord, it will all work out. Not because you're making it work, but because God is working through you. He is working in your failures and in your successes. He is working when you give up, and when you try your hardest. He is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. So take heart, my friends. It may take 5 months to see fruit. It may take years or even decades, but God IS working and will continue to work for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.