We don’t always know what’s best for us…
Last summer our foster daughter wasn’t too sure about the overnight camp we’d signed her up for. Yet now, Princess’s favorite place to be is Camp Horizon or at Camp Horizon’s special activities. This weeklong camp, designed specifically for foster kids, provides each foster child with their very own counselor for the entire week to love on them, take care of them and be there for them. Wow!
During camp, Princess continues to hear the same messages we tell her at home; that she is special, amazing and so talented. And there are no distractions. These are the messages she hears 24/7 throughout all the fun activities like swimming, horseback riding, crafts, campfire and even self-esteem building sessions.
Reprogramming these kids’ views of themselves requires an intensity we cannot imagine. The result after a week of them basking in this authentic love and encouragement; the door cracks open allowing truth to seep in.
Another perk of this camp is that Princess can be a foster child without the stigma of being a foster child. She’s surrounded by children who’ve experienced similar trauma and the “life in limbo” of a foster child. A certain security and comfort come from doing life with these kids. She’s already marked the calendar for this year’s camp in July.
Recently, I attended and spoke at a “camp” for adoptive and foster parents. Actually, it was a retreat called Created for Care. Through the years, I’ve discovered I’m not much of a retreat kind of gal. Retreats overwhelm me, and I feel exhausted when I return home. But God made it clear by His timing and my opportunity to speak, that I should be attending this retreat.
Feeling rather intimidated by some of the moms who’ve adopted the equivalent of a baseball or basketball team, I wondered how I would fit in as a foster mom that only had one child in my care. But, like Princess, I found a security and comfort in the company of such like-minded women who knew the struggles of “life in limbo” and dealing with trauma behavior.
I liken it to soaking in a warm bubble bath all weekend. I’d found my tribe. I’d found a place where women nodded in agreement when I spoke about every challenge we’ve experienced through fostering.
Through worship, laughter and speaking in love, the retreat team helped us bask in the idea of who we are in God’s eyes. They encouraged us and spurred us on to persevere.
They reminded us of God’s calling and how He will enable us to do this challenging work.
For me, the place I felt most at home was during the worship. Perhaps God used the breakout sessions and devotional to soften my heart, so I could hear His whisperings through the music and lyrics. The song, Good, Good Father, echoed in my soul the whole weekend.
Oh, and I’ve seen many searching for answers far and wide
But, I know we’re all searching
For answers only you provide
Cause you know just what we need
Before we say a word
You’re a Good, Good Father
It’s Who you are, it’s who you are, it’s who you are
And I’m loved by you
It’s who I am, it’s who I am, it’s who I am
Like at Camp Horizon, there were no distractions, and I could be loved on and taken care of by my Good, Good Father. He knew where I needed to be and knew what I needed before I could ask! He knew what was best for me.
When I arrived home, Frank was surprised. “Wow! You look great and refreshed!”
Yes, my soul felt refreshed and restored. This retreat was like no other.
Like Princess, I have next year’s “camp” marked on the calendar