So one journey has ended as another has begun.
Yesterday was my last day serving under a foster care agency here in Florida. These last few months have been extremely stressful, and I am extremely weary after 2 years of trying to build family among many people of different backgrounds, temperaments, understandings, etc. However, in my last moments in the house, all the stress of my time spent as an RA faded away, and all that I was left with was overall heart and intention for the house.
I’ve been working for the ministry since January 2011, but it wasn’t until January 2012 that I became a Resident Advisor, or house mom, for the agency. I worked with girls, aged 18-24, and basically equipped them to be independent and stand on their own two feet. My burden and HEAVY desire when I first started as an RA, was for our house to be a place of family. The girls are only supposed to live with us for a maximum of 2 years; and my hope was that in those two years with us, the girls would feel part of a family, that we would impart something special into them, and that ultimately they would get to know the God who cared for them.
One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned throughout the whole process is that love does not shackle a person down. True love doesn’t try to control a person. True love gives people the freedom to explore, to discover who they are, and to learn from their own mistakes. As an RA many times I kind of wanted to step into my girls lives and prevent them from doing things I know would only lead to destruction. It burdened my heart to watch them make bad decisions, to have them leave the house knowing they were going to do drugs or sleep with men, etc. But I’m getting off track…..
I had to learn to let go and that I don’t control anything; especially not other people and their will. And ESPECIALLY in the midst of me being a flawed person, with my own issues and hang ups.
So in leaving the house yesterday; in watching a two year journey, struggle, and project come to an end, the lingering question in my head was “Did I really have any impact? Did I really do anyone’s life any good?”
I’ve learned sooooo much by being a house mom. So much that I definitely can’t write all of it here because it would be a super long saga. But I will say that I’m grateful for the experience. I have a new respect for single parents because much of the time that is exactly how I felt (shout out to the single parents). I’ve got a greater understanding on what it takes to raise children, build your family, and even the relationship among partners raising the children.
I can say though, that if I ever get married, and if I ever have children, that I do not want it to EVER be that stressful. Children change things a lot.
I think I have also learned that when it comes to relationships, resentment should not be allowed to build up and fester. It eventually creates all kinds of other unhealthy feelings. It builds and builds and builds, and it’s just not good. And that’s mostly my fault because when it comes to things that really hurt me I don’t say much.
So that’s it. That’s my free-writing on the end of that phase of my life. I’m moving out of town in August, and I’m kind of glad that instead of staying in the house I’m moving out early and ending this phase now. Maybe having things end all at once wouldn’t be a good thing for me.
That’s all folks.