Abiding in Love
By Guest Author on December 13th, 2011

Recently, I spent the weekend with two teenage girls whose family is very dear to me. They are sisters who began in the foster care system and then were adopted by a loving family. They are both on painful yet glorious journeys of restoration and I have been blessed to be a part of their healing.

Throughout the weekend we ate together, played games, took walks, laughed, stayed up late talking before bed, and even choreographed a dance to one of their favorite songs. I felt like trust was built and the labor of my love was met with glimpses of love returned.

Then on the evening of the second night, I asked the younger sister to follow an established family rule and she lost control. In a matter of moments she was yelling at me with “I hate you and I never want to see you again” statements. Though on the outside I kept my cool and was able to stay firm to the family rule, I was broken inside.

As I drove back to my apartment after dropping the girls at their house, I just began to weep and pray, “God this hurts so much. To give, and give, and give of myself and only to be met with cursing and ungratefulness. I don’t know if I can keep opening my heart and giving of my love, my time, and my resources if this is the outcome.”

In the midst of tears, I felt Jesus draw so near and whisper to my heart, “Erica, now you know how I feel. I do not shield my heart from the pain of rejection by those I love so dearly.” Day after day, Jesus lavishes His mercy and lovingkindness upon us with little or no response of love in return.

Our glorious calling to be Christ’s hands and feet to the orphaned and fatherless is a calling that requires full dependence upon Him. In ourselves, we are prone to close our hearts down in the midst of pain an unmet expectations. Though we dream of being “superdad” or “supermom” with everything it takes to love our children, the truth is that we are just as broken and unlovely as they are apart from Christ.

It is only as we gaze upon Jesus who gave of Himself to the point of dying naked and bleeding on a cross that we are empowered to follow Him on the path of sacrifice and love. It is only as we receive extravagantly of His mercy and grace that we can pour ourselves out before others. As we drink of His Word and abide in His love, His Spirit is our strength helping us open our hearts again and again and again until love wins in our hearts and the hearts of our children.

Erica Grimaldi

Erica grew up in a family that has fostered over 30 children. From a family of 8 children, she is one of 3 biological children and a sister to 5 adopted children. Erica is a writer and justice advocate, desiring to see true justice brought to the fatherless unto the glorification of Jesus’ holy name.

December 13th, 2011
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