For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him. He only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken. On God rests my salvation and my glory; my mighty rock, my refuge is God. Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us. Selah (Psalm 62:5-8 ESV)
I am so thankful that God is my strength and my hope. No matter what I face, I have a refuge—security, hope, love. I love that I can lean in to him, and I will not fall because He is so strong and powerful. Yet He still personally knows and loves me such that I can “pour out my heart” before him. Amazing!
Now, I am not talking about the kind of “Lean in” described by Sheryl Sandberg and others—this is not about any social agenda or about placing my identity in something I control or can accomplish. In fact, I like to avoid the posturing that goes along with the dispute between “stay at home” and “working” moms, and I seek to support my friends, who all face varied challenges and stresses.
I do think, however, that leaning into the Lord is related to “leaning in” in other relational contexts. We absolutely need community, and should accept and embrace the support and help others can give. I have noticed this to be true particularly in the foster parent community we are getting to know here in Yolo County, CA, as we re-license for foster care here. It is a beautiful thing to admit our need for support and help and to find it in like-minded people. It has been great to jump right in and get to know people in this community right after moving to Davis. We are also in the process of deciding what church community here we want to plug into. It is a big decision, because a church family is important, helping one another pursue Christ and serving one another in love.
Yet God is the only one who can handle the full weight of our lives—nothing surprises him/nothing is too big for him/nothing is outside of the realm of his grace and mercy. In many things related to transitioning, I find that I occasionally hit that point where I lack the energy to keep pushing forward, and can feel tired and overwhelmed. Not depressed or wanting to give up, but just missing the known and simple things that come when you have been in a community for a while. When I feel like that, I am glad God is sovereign and that He is my refuge. Knowing that enables me to relax and enjoy the fun that is going on right now around me—the kids jumping in the sprinklers when they come on to water the grass at night; the laughter at Pippin jumping on a grasshopper and batting it around; the conversations with a UC Davis student that our kids already love; a good connection with a neighbor whose kids are close to my kids’ age; watching our kids play with their cousins; getting to know a believer in the Foster care classes who grew up half a world away, and is sharing about her culture and her faith.
God is good, and I will have the strength to face each challenge that comes, because I have a refuge. So whatever happens with the next foster child we care for, whatever energy and time it takes to do the increasing amounts of legal work for Cru that is coming up for me this fall, whatever ministry challenges and joys arise as we serve with our new staff team, whatever studying for seminary classes entails for Jeremiah… We have a refuge. I shall not be shaken. I will worship the Lord!