“What are your New Year’s resolutions?”
Oh, the infamous annual phrase that reminds us of the necessity for change in our lives. Well, the New Year has passed, and perhaps, your resolutions with it. In planning goals, there is the great hope of what life could be like, should the change come to fruition. Sadly, we are quickly disappointed when achievement is farther off than preferred. This is not limited to our personal lives; it also pervades our vocations and ministries.
Change is a ‘hot’ topic in the Safe Families for Children program. Our staff and volunteers earnestly desire change to occur within the placing families – change that will foster an increasingly secure and loving environment. Here is the catch: far too often, I find myself wanting that change to happen overnight. When the seeds that have been planted are not growing according to my timeline, disappointment is not far away. The Lord is convicting me of this faulty agenda in a few different ways.
One of these lessons is His admonition that I must cease my attempts to ‘fix’ people. I am not the One who can change lives. It is a complete work of the Holy Spirit and it is done in His timing. This is a humbling, but necessary, reminder that should never be far from mind.
Second, He is challenging me to simply be with someone in their pain. One of the greatest gifts that we can give someone is the gift of our presence. Instead of trying to find the most comforting thing to say at just the right time, what would it look like to just be with that person? This is something that I am seeking to discover.
Lastly, the Lord has reminded me that my minute mind cannot comprehend the mysteries of His grandiose plan. His ways are far greater than my own. I am to surrender my agenda to His will, trusting that He knows what is best for these families.
The disappointment vanishes when I consider these things and when I hear what God is doing through those involved in Safe Families – the staff, the volunteers, and our placing families. The love of Christ is being lavished on those in our community and across the country.
As another year has begun and our desire for change is renewed, may God quicken our hearts to what He is doing in and through our successes and disappointments.
Emily Shaw, Safe Families for Children Hub Manager