Telling JoJo Goodbye

A few years have passed since the day they walked out the door and these words have never felt more true. He asked for her back because He was still writing her story but He has given us so much in return. I pray daily for the girl we had the privilege of loving. Praying she’s safe, she’s happy, and she knows how fiercely loved she is.

Jesus replied, “you don’t understand now what I am doing, but someday you will.” John 13:7 NLT

I picture myself climbing up into the Father’s lap and Him holding me in His strong arms. He’s whispering that He’s got this and allowing me to grieve the outcome I most hoped for. Allowing me to grieve “my way” all while He’s looking at the bigger picture – you know, the one I can’t yet see. The pain is real and He’s offering me a place to let that pain go.

We had to say goodbye to one of our precious foster babies this last week. As I watched the social worker walk her out our front door I realized that I would probably never see this little girl ever again. I sat on my couch that afternoon and thought about the time she spent as our daughter. We worked through things that I thought would surely break us – or at least it would surely break me. She stretched us and grew us. These huge hurdles bonded us and then, in what seemed like a blink, it was time to say goodbye.

I felt the loss of her deep inside my bones. My bones ached, my heart ached, deep inside my soul ached. I saw her wondering eyes as she was walked out the front door. I wondered if she understood what was happening. I wondered if she was comfortable, or God forbid scared. But then I remembered that she may have had a few sets of parents in her short little life so far, but one thing remains the same and that’s that she has always been HIS. He loves her more than I can fathom. He walked out that door with her that morning and walked in the next door holding her hand. That doesn’t eliminate my feeling because I love her so much, but it gives my heart peace knowing the only one that is truly in control was standing smack dab in the middle of this situation as well.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11 NIV

I hang on to this truth. God holds each of us in his hand, and even when we are walking through a dark period of transition we are His and His plan is never made to harm us. There are days when I literally need to repeat this verse over and over in my head. There are days when this plan seems more painful than my plan, but that’s because I can only live a minute at a time. I can’t see what the Father sees. I don’t know the big picture and there are things I may never truly understand. The more I immerse myself in His grace and the more I seek the character of Christ, the more I’m okay with not always understanding, and the more I am thankful for the way He tenderly yet fiercely loves me.

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