Christmas! Oh! It’s Christmas time!
I am beyond excited that this year ALL of my siblings will be home, along with their children and spouses. We will be able to spend an entire day together. A few days before the weekend, I am full of anticipation and excitement at the rare occasion this year brings.
During Christmas, most of us look forward to being around those we love the most. I remember one Christmas, not too many years ago, when I lived in Columbia, MO. I was able to coordinate my work schedule by working overnight shifts back to back with my regular day shifts to take a few extra days off over Christmas. Because my daycare was closed, my brother’s family drove from their home in Louisville, KY to pick up my daughter and take her to Nebraska so that my parents could care for her until I was off work and able to join the family. It was working out perfectly, or so it seemed. During those few days while I was working like a mad woman, a terrible storm was brewing to the northwest. Interstate 29, my road north, was shut completely down. There was no way I could get home safely for several days. It ended up being a lonely week, when I should have been with family I was stuck in my apartment alone. When I finally met up with my parents at a hotel in Nebraska City a week later, my daughter would hardly let me out of her sight.
This Christmas, in Nebraska, there are over 4,500 children who will be waking up in a home with a family other than their own. While foster families, along with their extended families, will be making great efforts to ensure that these children feel loved and cared for, there is no doubt they will be feeling a twinge of loneliness and rejection, wishing that they could be with their own families. They will be missing their own family traditions, their grandmother’s famous recipes, and stories of Christmases past.
Nearly 2000 years ago, Jesus entered a world of loneliness and rejection as a small, dependent child. He was not much different than many of the children we serve in foster care. Although he was born to a single teenage mother in a barn, hope and peace filled the hearts of those in his presence. Jesus separated himself from His Father to endure rejection and loneliness for our sake. He was mocked and tortured to create a path for us to return to God.
All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. 2 Cor 5:18-20 NIV
We are given the same mission and message of reconciliation as Christ’s ambassadors. Foster parents, our job is to create a path so that the children we serve can return to their parents. Sometimes this means a lot of rejection and loneliness, and it most certainly feels like torture at times. As an agency, our job is to point parents in the way of healing and hope for their own lives.
We want to encourage you participate in this ministry of reconciliation. Children to their parents and people to God. Find out more about becoming a foster parent or make a year end donation when you visit our website.
From our family at Compass to yours, we wish you a very merry Christmas!