Wednesday, May 22

I Wanna Be A Superhero.


Abe's good friend, Jonny Batman.
My four-year-old son Abe loves superheroes. He talks about Avengers, loves to wear his Ironman t-shirt and pretends to rescue people. And he is not alone. His cousin Simon, who’s the same age, just had a birthday party where everyone was invited to wear a cape, and his good friend Jonny often comes over wearing his own favorite Batman cape. Little boys love to be heroes. And in the past week I’ve realized they’re not the only ones. I wanna be a superhero, too.

Oh, I know I have no real superhuman powers, no ability to fly or inordinate amount of physical strength, but I find that I want to rescue people just the same. This has been true since I was quite young when my dad lovingly coined me, “Kendra: Defender of the weak.” I’ve always been someone who likes to fight for the underdog, meet a need, or jump on board a cause. And these are not bad things, in fact, they can be very good things. 

The problem for me lies not in helping others, but in the way my identity can become wrapped up in what I am doing and my own desire to be a hero. This became apparent again to me just the other week. Kyle and I have fostered children for five years now, so when a call came a few weeks ago for three boys needing care we decided to say yes, just as we have so many times before. But this time was different: Donnie had just lost his biological mom, our oldest child Mandy was moving back in, and I had found out just weeks before that I was pregnant (surprise!) and was really not feeling very well. At all. In fact, I have felt nauseous and exhausted all day, every day, with little relief. 

Now for someone who normally loves to just push through, overcome, and do the hard thing: I found myself hitting a wall. One I could find no way around. And as I laid in bed one night, crying and unable to sleep, my husband looked at me and said, “I’m calling the social worker back tomorrow. We can’t keep these kids; it’s too much right now.” And as he spoke I found myself laden with guilt mixed with relief. 

Over the next week as we continued to care for the boys while the social worker looked for another placement I found myself upset, angry for not being able to push through it all. Why can’t I just do it? These boys need a good Christian home. They’ve been through so much already; I’m just adding to their trauma. On and on my thoughts would berate me. 

And then one day I texted my good friend Julie, needing to be honest with someone about what was happening, explaining everything that I was thinking, how I was feeling, and how I just couldn’t do it. And then I ended by simply stating “I feel like such a failure.”

And here was my friend's reply: “Failure? No. That is a lie from the pit of hell. Let's identify it right now. It is wise… Some children are placed with you physically. Some children are placed in your heart so that we can pray for them. Last I checked, God was in control. Let him be their rescuer. Sounds to me like you are the prayer warrior on this one while someone else serves as the hands of Christ.” 

I reread her words throughout the week. Rather than being condemning, they were a healing salve to my soul. A reminder that I am not a superhero sent to rescue others. 

And a little bit of the weight lifted. 

Psalm 68:20 states, “Our God is a God who saves;
                                      from the Sovereign Lord comes escape from death.”

What a comfort to know that our God saves, not me. Sure, at times I can be the hands and feet of Jesus, doing for others, but ultimately I rescue no one. He does. 

And as I said goodbye to those three precious boys last week, hugged them and waved, I entrusted them and their care to the only one who can truly save, protect, and restore their lives: Jesus. 

Lord Jesus, 
 I pray for any person reading these words today who has felt the weight of caring for others. May they realize today what is the work for them to do and then surrender the rest of it to you. May we realize that we are not responsible to hold on to our loved ones, we are not responsible for their choices, we may simply be called to pray. Lord, may we have the courage today to leave them in your care, trusting that you are great enough, strong enough, to hold them and to ultimately save them. And thanks for holding us too. In Jesus Name, Amen.




4 comments :

  1. 1st of all, CONGRATS on the news of your pregnancy, that is so exciting!!! Secondly, thank you so much for your message. I was just thinking this very morning how I am the prayer warrior for my little ones, that I had such a hard time letting go of, and that is where my place is for them. Thank you for your message Kendra, it really hit home to me.

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    1. Thanks Beth! I love your heart friend, and believe God has you praying for those kiddos for a reason!

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  2. I'm just catching up on my blog reading this morning. SO excited to hear that you are pregnant. Praying that you'll feel better soon. Great blog!

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    1. Thanks Nancy! I am starting to feel better!

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