Whatever May Pass and Whatever Lies Before Me…

Kids in #FosterCareWhen the boys came to live with us back at the end of February, they came with a pretty colorful vocabulary (hello? 3yo’s and the f bomb?) but also this one song:

Bless the Lord, O my soul
O my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before
O my soul
I’ll worship Your holy name

The sun comes up, it’s a new day dawning
It’s time to sing Your song again
Whatever may pass, and whatever lies before me
Let me be singing when the evening comes

Bless the Lord, O my soul
O my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before
O my soul
I’ll worship Your holy name

You’re rich in love, and You’re slow to anger
Your name is great, and Your heart is kind
For all Your goodness I will keep on singing
Ten thousand reasons for my heart to find

Bless the Lord, O my soul
O my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before
O my soul
I’ll worship Your holy name

And on that day when my strength is failing
The end draws near and my time has come
Still my soul will sing Your praise unending
Ten thousand years and then forevermore

Bless the Lord, O my soul
O my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before
O my soul
I’ll worship Your holy name

Jesus, I’ll worship Your holy name
Lord, I’ll worship Your holy name

Sing like never before
O my soul
I’ll worship Your holy name
Jesus, I’ll worship Your holy name
I’ll worship Your holy name

============

I’ll never forget the day we discovered they knew this song – it was our first time taking them to church with us and it just so happened to be one of the Sundays our church played a version of this song at the end of the service. Little boys who sat silent through all the other songs suddenly burst out singing. They exclaimed to us, “HEY! This is OUR song!” We were just thrilled they knew one. I went home and downloaded this song so we could play it some more for them. It became the siren song of their time here. R3 would belt it out at random times during the day and he especially loved yelling it out during nap time, as though singing songs about God would exempt him from his need for sleep. Granted, he often changed some of the words – he was quite fond of singing, “Bless the Lord, oh my booty, o-o-o my booty…” And yes, we laughed.

The boys left us in June to go live with a family member, but this song has stuck around. It truly became THEIR song, so much so, that whenever we hear it we immediately tear up. This song will forever and always remind us of two sweet, yet stinker, little boys who stole our hearts for four months in 2013.

I’ve been preparing a hallway for our upcoming foster care tree project. The walls have been painted and I just need to finish the doors (there are six in this hallway) and then get the trees painted on. After that I can hang the (so far ten) green hand and foot prints we’ve taken of every child we’ve cared for since we began this journey. I’ve been wanting to write something on the wall to go along with it, but just couldn’t nail down exactly what. This week, it hit me. This song isn’t just the boys’ song. It’s all of our kids’ song. I now know what I’m going to write. Read this again:

The sun comes up, it’s a new day dawning
It’s time to sing Your song again
Whatever may pass, and whatever lies before me
Let me be singing when the evening comes

Whatever may pass and whatever lies before me, let me be singing when the evening comes. Whatever may pass? Why do children end up in foster care in the first place? Because of something outside their control. Whatever lies before? We have no idea what is in store for these kids as they pass out of our care and into the hands of another. Will those hands be gentle? Will those hands point them to Jesus? Will they grow to repeat the sins of their fathers?

And so we pray for them as they come and as they go – The sun comes up, it’s a new day dawning. No matter what, it’s time to sing Your song again. No matter what has happened or what is yet to happen, let us have hearts that praise God through the midst of it and remain singing when the evening comes.

For our baby today who left our home: whatever lies before him…

For the two boys who snatched our hearts and moved 10 miles south of us: whatever lies before them…

For the untold names and faces of children we have yet to meet: whatever may pass, and whatever lies before them…

Let them be singing when the evening comes.

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A Sad Day

Hard Stuff
A juxtaposition from today: Preparing to say good-bye to Baby A while simultaneously preparing for a weekend visit from my parents. My mom has ALS and now requires a hospital bed for sleeping. Sweet friends arranged for us to borrow one for the weekend and even while the reality of this, a hospital bed in my living room, lie waiting for one effect of the fall (my mom’s illness); the diapers, formula, onesies, teddy bear, and hospital paperwork being tucked in a small bag awaiting pick up along with a small babe was evident of yet another (the need for foster care).

And as I type this I’m still wearing the same shirt I’ve had on all day and I still smell like the mother of a wee infant – eau de spit up – and my arms are empty. We pray for the future for this little one and wonder what will be and can only hope God hears and that He cares.