More than we can handle

Recently while I was in Ohio, I was able to see one of my dear friends, Kate.  She makes me laugh.  No, I mean she really makes me laugh, like roll in the floor, pee in your pants kind of laughter!!  Little did I know what would happen in Kate’s life four days after I left Ohio.

Before I share her story with you, you need to know Kate is  absolutely crazy.  A little over a year ago I walked a half marathon and Kate decided on a whim to walk it with me….no training and I think her baby was only just a few months old. While the rest of my sane friends and I walked the half marathon, she decided to run it, with no training.  About halfway through she caught up with us and decided to walk with us.  The last mile, I seriously thought Kate was going to pass out.  And when we finished the race, we promptly called a paramedic to check her out….She’s a little nuts I tell ya.

half marathon

Half marathon crew – Kate pictured far left

Oh, another thing you should know about Kate, she and her husband have six children, birthed from her womb and have felt God leading them to foster children.

Here’s her story of how she and her family are alleviating the suffering of children…one bite at a time (well maybe a REALLY LARGE BITE!!!)

Last Wednesday as I was fixing lunch for the kiddos, I got a phone call that has permanently changed us. I sat and stared out the patio window as our social worker described a placement that she “for some reason felt like she needed to ask us about”. Even though it wasn’t really what we were waiting for, and even though it was a lot to take in, she said something was “telling her to call us”.

It was Him.

Eric and I chatted and prayed and talked of how we weren’t sure that this was something we were prepared for. It would be a lot, 8 kids seemed kind of crazy right off the bat, and when on earth would we shower? We thought about all the hard stuff, and we came up with one conclusion: we had no good reason to say no.

 The 1st night was mostly what we thought. They came running in and absolutely loved being in a home with lot’s of kids. They laughed, and cried a bit at bedtime, and eventually talked of things that should never be on the lips of a 3 or 5yr old. 

 I tried to be a trooper, but then all the sudden I was like: Wait. This isn’t going to be even a tad easy, is it? I’m not going to be picking up a baby that I can carry in a wrap and bond with immediately like I had planned in my mind, am I? I have to build trust and relationships with these girls who are hurt and confused, don’t I? Ok, good feelings are gone.

 The first 48 hours was a blur, and by the end of the 3rd night I found myself in the kitchen at 9pm having a meltdown which included the full on ugly cry. Your motherly instinct to love them immediately kicks in when they wrap their sweet arms around your neck, but the underlying stress of the unknowns weighs SO much, it makes your heart ache. I started asking myself, “How can I do this?” and  “How can I love them fearlessly when I have no guarantee of keeping them?”

But this is the thing.

He gives us more than we can handle, and more than we can understand.

 I know that goes against the saying “He gives us only what we can handle”, but I’ve never really believed it. Scripture doesn’t tell us that. I have learned that He reveals Himself the most when you are trying to carry something that is too big…too intense…too deep. I really believe He gives us things we can’t handle so we constantly realize our need for Him.

This season? This tough situation? This love that I feel for them? The underlying fear I have now about losing them? I can’t handle it on my own.

I can’t. I will face the court dates and all the meetings. I will advocate for my girls and I will stand up for what I know is right. But I need Him to put us on His shoulders and carry us, or we’ll never make it through the valleys.

 It’s only been a week. And all of the sudden, after a wild intro to the system, there is a love surfacing here that only God can give. There are walls breaking down and there are hugs. There are 2 girls that are surely making their way right into our hearts. There are 8 sweet little loves playing duck-duck-goose that reminds me that this whole situation is bigger than we are. And there are many reminders of what called us here in the first place.

kate reffit duck duck goose

6 months ago I said we were ready for anything. But honestly, we could have never been prepared for the journey that He had waiting for us. They say that the girls are here to stay for a good while, that we have a long road ahead (I pray the staying part is true). From my eyes, I feel that there is a 50/50 chance of things going either way. Of course, He already knows what restoration looks like for this situation.
I just pray that He prepares us for what that is.
He sometimes leads us into something that we never expected, but He stays while we find our way. Its been beautiful a midst the uncertainty. He is here in each moment and every detail. And that is what makes me KNOW that we can do this. With Him, I think we’ll be ok.
We just love them. It’s been a tough transition and it is definitely a tad crazy still. But the beauty that lays right beneath the surface of it all is what makes it totally worth it. They are the best gift we could’ve received this Christmas, and we are so excited to spend the holiday celebrating Jesus with all 8 of our little loves :).
I don’t know about you, but I sure would like to be a fly on the wall at Kate’s house Christmas morning.  Oh the JOY!!  Pray for Kate and Eric and these precious littles that have been snatched from the pit and placed in a home where LOVE abounds. 
Two little girls whose lives just took a dramatic turn…

kate reffit
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