Have you ever taken a look at the world we are living in and felt overwhelmed by all the brokenness? Do you ever think about our overworked police force, our unhoused neighbors, our abandoned children, our community members plagued with addiction, and think to yourself: “What a mess this world is becoming. SOMEBODY needs to do SOMETHING to help!”?
If so, know that you’re not alone. I, too, can easily become discouraged and angry. I get frustrated with politicians and red tape and general ambivalence. When I recognize a need, I research and ask questions and try to find the correct agency to fill the need. And do you know where I often end up? Either at a dead end or with a rogue group of individuals who are trying to fill a gap without enough time or resources.
It’s at about this time in the process that I come to a familiar realization: when there is a need to be met and there are not enough people to meet it, I have an opportunity to step in and help. The SOMEBODY who needs to do SOMETHING is ME. I wish my motivation were as noble as the famous Ghandi quote: “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” That phrase looks really cool on a shirt (I have one) and I love the sentiment but I’m just not that benevolent. The good that I do is mostly just an antidote against bitterness.
The way I see it, the sad will always be there. Until Jesus returns there will be heartache because this world is broken. I can’t fix it, but I can choose my role in it. I can either settle into the sadness, feeling overwhelmed, discouraged, bitter, and angry OR I can find some small way to help and in doing so, feel empowered. I have found that a feeling of empowerment feels so much better than an aura of disgust. It has taken some time to retrain my brain from thinking ‘how tragic!” to “how can I help?” but the adrenaline rush I get from offering assistance is positively addictive.
Recently, my husband and I were reflecting on our foster care journey. The things that have worked well and the spots where we have struggled. Throughout the entire process we have noticed a huge deficit in resources for other kids in the home. When we began fostering, our biological kids were 4 and 6 and we found precious little in the way of anything tangible to help explain the process to them. We know there must be many families out there, starting their own journey toward foster care who might need help. There must be other parents with biological or adopted kiddos who could benefit from some resources. It seemed like SOMEBODY needed to come up with SOMETHING for them.
I think that somebody is me.
I am excited to announce that I am working on a children’s book!! My hope and prayer is that this can be a tool for families as they open their homes to kids in care. Families who saw a need and, instead of just feeling sad about it, decided to be part of the solution.