The Positive Side of Vulnerability
This past week was a tough one for our family. Our foster daughter went back to be with her birth mother after living with us for two years. She was our “pandemic baby.” She arrived in February 2020 in all her 16-month glory just as the world was starting to get very familiar with the word Covid-19. She supplied lots of laughter and hugs during those two years. She was a great “snuggle puppy.” Hugging a toddler just seems to make the world right even when she and you are dealing with some tough stuff. While we hope and pray it is best for her to be with her biological mother, it stung our hearts and I am sure we will always be grieving her departure from our home.
Revealing Ourselves to Others
The response we usually receive when we tell others about our journey as foster parents is, “I could never do that. I’d get too attached to them.” I am quick to respond that I cannot do it either. It is only by God’s grace and strength through our family that equips us to love these children and then surrender them. A piece of our heart always goes with them and the sting to the heart never gets less dull. We struggle just as any family would struggle.
The day we had our final court hearing I debated about letting a group of coworkers know about her impending departure. They knew about our foster daughter’s story because we were working together when she arrived. We are no longer working together, but we still have a group chat that usually involves jokes or aviation news. Many of the group members aren’t Christians. I was hesitant about whether I should share with them.
Our culture seems to encourage not revealing our emotions. Whenever someone asks how we are doing, we always put on a smile and say, “Great. How about you?” As Christians, I think we sometimes put even more pressure on ourselves to make sure we do not show cracks in our armor. We mistakenly think we always need to show we have it together and exhibit the joy of the Lord no matter how we really feel. I did not want to be an Eeyore in the room, but I felt like God was nudging me. I told the group and asked them to pray for our family during this difficult season. I was humbled by their responses. They were all so encouraging and said they would be praying for us.
Jesus As Our Example
Jesus showed vulnerability, and it is why people could connect with him. He showed vulnerability by leaving his perfect heavenly home to dwell with us, fully God but fully man. Jesus is fully man amidst all the pains of this sinful world, grief, heartache, loss, rejection, and suffering. You name it and he has experienced it, so now we have a heavenly priest that can come by our side and comfort us. When we are vulnerable with our coworkers, it is an opportunity to connect with them and to point them to where our hope comes from. SW
“Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and may find grace to help in time of need.”
This article was written by Stephen Watts. Stephen is a pilot with Delta Air Lines and also serves on our FCAP Board of Directors.