(Part 1 of a 3-part series.)
When my wife and I were houseparents our home fluctuated quite frequently. Some of our kids were with us a while and some were only here for a short time. Sometimes we had empty beds. It always seemed odd for us when a bed was empty, like someone was missing…
While the beds were empty, we would pray for the child who left it, and pray for the one who would eventually fill it. During that time there was something similar to a grieving process that happened. Every child that left held a place in our heart. It didn’t matter whether they were with us one day or over a year – each one was special. And now they were gone. Very rarely would we see or hear from our kids after they left, so we were forced to grieve their loss to an extent.
Time was our friend and we would eventually be ready for that bed to be filled. The beds are there for kids and we wanted each one to have a child in it. So even in the midst of that grief and prayer for the child who left, we always prayed for the one who would fill it again. It was just a question of when.
At God’s perfect moment He brought the child to fill that bed. We welcomed them, loved them, and cared for them until they also would leave and make that bed empty once again. We never knew how long they would be here so we made the most of every opportunity God gave us.
That is what our staff is doing today – welcoming, loving, and caring for the children in their care. Then once they leave, we pray that what we did was enough -and we wait for the new child who will come. When we place these precious ones in His arms – He’s always enough!
By Randall Jeffrey