As a foster parent I spend a lot of time in court.
The family court building in our county is not stately and regal as you might imagine. No marble steps to enter the building. No open and echoing hallways. No dark, solid wood doors to enter the courtroom. The family court building that I frequent is a brown, plain building from the 1970s. It has low ceilings, florescent lights, and not many windows. We enter through a metal detector. No food or drinks are allowed. No coffee. No water. We sit in the waiting room in airport terminal type chairs. The room is always full and buzzing. State workers and lawyers and police walking back and forth.
The weight in the actual courtroom is incredible. The emotional and spiritual weight is thick enough to touch. These are notes from my journal after being in court for one of our cases a few years ago.
On my right only inches away is the woman who gave birth to the little girl who calls me mama. This woman visibly shakes as she talks to the judge. I am confused by the language and codes that the judge and lawyers and case workers throw around. “Continued until August” says the judge. I understand that one and we all file out, back to the waiting area. The waiting area is packed full. I look around and can easily spot who the birth parents are; who the foster parents are; who the case workers are. I am easy to spot too, I am sure. We are all here for the love of the children. She is mine. She is not mine. There are so many other stories represented by the many people in the waiting room. So many other children represented. Most of these stories are seeping with brokenness. Lots of brokenness.
As a foster parent I want to pull "my" child out of the brokenness. I want to bring him or her in out of the storm they are in. I want to stand with each of them and stand for them when they can't stand.
Friends, this is just how God our Father loves us and stands with and for us!
In the midst of our run down, tired, packed, and noisy lives of brokenness He pulls us to Himself. Isaiah 43 says, "For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it?" I love that! God is working to bring restoration! Look around-- He has already begun!
Over the last year the county (maybe the state?) has been building a new family court building right next to the one we go to. It is coming together! I was there last week and it looks like the new building and new courtrooms will open soon. There are lots of windows! It's clean and new! It's not brown! A shiny courtroom will not change the brokenness of the families who frequent it. The windows and light will probably not lessen the emotional and spiritual weight that comes with children's very lives in the balance. But God used this new building to remind me that He is indeed working. He is a God who restores. He brings new!
What is broken in you? What needs restoration? What is God building in you? Where do you see new?
Contact me to walk through these questions with you!