Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Letting Go

A few weeks ago I was watching the movie “Finding Nemo” with my son Jonah (for the umpteenth time J). I was having a particularly hard day. I’m not sure why but I think the reality of our life probably caught up to me that day. Many of you know that we have a foster baby “Z” with us (and have recently taken in a little 3 year old girl “J”) and many of you have asked if we will be adopting him or not. I have explained that this is not how the process goes. The goal always is for the biological parents and their children to be reunited. Sometimes the goal is achieved and sometimes the goal is not. The parent(s) have criteria in which they need to meet depending on why the child is in care (classes, counseling, drug treatment, domestic violence intervention, etc.).  It is not a short process and ultimately it is up to a judge to decide what is best for the child.

Often when people come up to me, they say that they would love to be a foster parent but they don’t’ know if they could give a child back. I understand that reaction. It is one that Craig and I talked a lot about and prayed about. We have now had “Z” long enough that he feels like he has been with us forever. Honestly, it is hard to imagine our lives without him. The day I was watching a movie with Jonah, the enormity of loving someone that much and not knowing what the future holds was clamping down the jaws of fear on my heart. Fear is like a raging river current where you get sucked down into it and before you know it you are overwhelmed by it. I wasn’t really listening to “Finding Nemo” as my thoughts were too loud. But all of a sudden, the movie got my attention and as many times as I’ve watched it, never has this part stood out to me. Dory and Marlin (Nemo’s dad) are in the mouth of a whale and they begin to hear noises. Dory begins to try and speak “whale” to understand what is going on (which by the way ALWAYS cracks me up) and she says that either the whale is saying “Move to the back of his throat or he wants a root beer float.” Of course, Marlin (who is a worry wart and pessimist) believes this is the end, they are going to die. Then there is a big movement of water and the whale’s tongue begins to move them to the back of his throat, like it or not, and Dory and Marlin are hanging onto the whale’s tongue, not wanting to fall back into the whale’s throat. But Dory hears the whale say, “It’s time to let go. Everything will be alright.” Dory…just let’s go. Marlin begins to ask how she knows that nothing bad will happen and she simply replies “I don’t” and let’s go anyway. Dory and Marlin fall to the back of the whale’s throat and it is there that the whale shoots them out of her blowhole and they land right near their destination.

I felt God’s Presence in my living room ministering to my fearful heart. I can’t control what all the future will bring, not only in the area of fostering children but in every other aspect of life as well. I need to let go of that which hinders me so that I can run the race that is set before me (Hebrews 12). What is it that you need to let go of? Maybe it is a fear, maybe it is a grudge or an unhealthy habit. Sometimes we can’t imagine what our lives will be like without holding on to those things but by letting go we can enter into the abundant life that God desires for us. So heed the wise words of Dory “Let Go” and may you experience that which is awaiting for you.
(Finding Nemo's whale scene)

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