After nearly 10 years of marriage and 3 years of prayerful consideration my husband Daniel and I have stepped into unknown territory [for us] as foster parents. Six weeks ago we welcomed a precious 5 year old girl into our home. Everything I’ve worked carefully to control in my life has now been turned upside down.
There’s a song titled Hosanna, by Hillsong United with a bridge that says “...Open up my eyes to the things unseen. Show me how to love, like you have loved me. Break my heart for what breaks yours; everything I am for your kingdom’s cause, as I walk from earth into eternity.” I remember singing this a few years ago, feeling it deeply in my heart and sensing the Lord saying “if you really mean it, you better be ready.”
I don’t know if you can ever be ready. Who walks into something thinking, I hope this hurts!? Certainly not me! I try to avoid pain at all costs. But as we’ve stepped into this journey and experienced the heartbreak of the fallen-ness of our world, my heart is expanding. I am forever grateful for the tools I’ve gained through my few years at Wellspring to help me identify what is happening in my own heart but also see others’ actions through a lens of grace, knowing there’s a deep desire that is driving their actions and an enemy that is hunting them. I feel like I’m living out the 4 Realities on a daily basis…. My territory is being enlarged and my heart is breaking for the pain that so many live in.
What does this do for me? It seems like the need is huge, overwhelming, hopeless but I feel motivated to engage those God brings into our lives and offer love, beauty and rest. When I consider this specific situation my deep desire is that this child know three things:
1. She is worth protecting
2. She is worth loving
3. She has a heavenly father that loves her more than any person ever could.
I long for her parents to succeed, to fight for their children and their own lives. I am incredibly motivated to see the Battle for the Heart reach more people… how can we equip the church to do this well? Each day I see how the church is failing unbelievers – we can be so focused on the body we’re losing the lost. It hurts. God’s heart is broken indeed.
I feel loved, protected and blessed beyond measure to have had the life and childhood that I did. I see God’s gracious hand in every piece of my story. My hope is that even though we don’t get everything right, the people we are involved with will see God through us. I’m choosing to stay engaged…. even when all I want to do is cry. Thank you for being part of our fellowship that loves and supports us, propelling us into this part of our story.
Abby is the Operations Director of Wellspring Group. For three years she has been a part of the all the "ins and outs" of Wellspring and has kept her "finger on the pulse" of what is going on.
Tue, June 3, 2014
by Abby Mandella