Well it happened, I became a mom again or maybe a friend I don't know what you call me when they come fully grown. Pained at the world and full of judgment I got placed with my first teen a couple weeks ago. I have no illusions about teenagers, I was one. I was an angry one, rebellious in all ways, hate spewing, bitter, the stuff of parents nightmares. I remember the feelings of being trapped by expectations that I could never fulfill and connections I could never make. I remember… So what was I doing with a teenager.
It has been a ride. As many foster parents have warned me teens are a whole other deal especially in foster care. They are something that should not come out in daytime. So here I am a mom or just a grown up to this very grown up young lady who for all intense and purpose has her whole world put together. She has a plan, a plan to escape all she needs is that magical age where the government gives her wings and she gets to fly or at least that's her fantasy.
I remember that feeling, when I turn 18 my whole world will be different I will be free. Yet there was another side to her that many would not see if they tied her down to strict rules and regulations. This need for family, for love. No matter how much she wants it from her significant other she's still missing that mother and most of all the Father in her life. Just by being here in my atmosphere she sees a life that's possible.
When I restarted my journey of being a foster parent that Lord told me clearly that this would be all about redemptive justice. Redemptive justice is a fancy term for bringing Gods original plan back to form. With a broken family being completely restored all the pain caused healed and redemption being gloriously displayed through deep family reunification.
With the newest member of my house I didn't see how that was going to happen. With her short stay in my home and her non-communication with her birth family I didn't see the redemption, until one day. "I've never seen anyone parent the way you do. You're so patient with Bella you never yell at her." As I heard those words come from this beautiful young woman I knew instantly that justice was being released in that moment.
No one had ever demonstrated peace through parenting moments in her world. The Lord told me in that moment that she would always remembered how I parented Bella and it would break the cycles that had gone on in her birth family. Redemptive justice, redeeming what the enemy through fear and pain had stolen from her. Maybe she will never talk with me again after she leaves my home but at least she's seen love in action.
As I've aimed radical kindness at her and those she carries close I can hear the Father calling her heart. Maybe not today or even tomorrow but someday she will remember the moment she saw love and felt safe. If that's all we can give to these teens who have been tossed aside they will remember Jesus because He is the kindness they are looking for the fulfillment of their deepest desires.
So as a mom or a friend to a teen who is on her path to her true Love here I stand in the gap. Praying in the moment where Love breaks through, where hope rises, and where freedom rings.