Thursday, June 21, 2012

His Timing

My name is Lauren and I have recently joined the Lifeline family. I am serving as a foster care recruiter and trainer for new foster parents in Lee County, Alabama. I am so excited to have joined in with Lifeline and that I am able to be a small part of witnessing Christian families serving as the hands and feet of Jesus Christ. Through God’s provision, we will be able to witness these foster families making an eternal difference in the life of a child by teaching these children God’s love for them. Although I am very excited to have this opportunity, I should forewarn you that I am not a blogger and that this is my first experience in blogging so bare with me.

I have been thinking of what I would like to share for sometime now and I keep coming back to God’s timing. I have always thought of myself as a very patient person. Through my many adventures to get to Lifeline, I have begun to realize that I am not as patient as I thought I was. Before I started with Lifeline, there was not a Lifeline ministry in Lee County. I previously worked for the Department of Human Resources completing Child Abuse and Neglect Assessments. This job was extremely hard, but very rewarding. There were many times where I felt like I could not go another day, but I am well aware that Jesus led me through those trials. In November, I left my position at the Department of Human Resources and took a huge leap of faith. It was very scary, but I felt that God was leading my path. I was no longer able to serve as the mother and wife I wanted to be due to the stress I was experiencing at the time. This is where I lead into God’s timing. He led me through two amazing years at DHR that gave me so much experience and knowledge into Child Welfare. When I left, I knew that I still wanted to work in Child Welfare in some way, but I was not sure how this would look. I prayed constantly that God would find me a place that would allow me to continue to serve children through social work, but would allow me the time to be the mother I have to be. It is amazing how God answers prayers. Almost immediately after leaving DHR, I was told at church one Sunday that our church was working with Lifeline Children Services to start a foster care ministry. At the time I thought this was very interesting and that I might be able to volunteer, but never considered they might be hiring. I should add that my family had recently moved to the area two years before and had tried several churches to see which church God was calling us to. Cornerstone Church was our first visit and even though we visited several other churches, we always felt pulled back to Cornerstone.
Shortly later, I was contacted by an employee of our church and also a foster parent who I had previously placed children with, that Lifeline was looking to hire a foster care worker and if I was interested, this is the name and number that I should call. Wow! I was amazed and I think I sent an email within the hour! I knew that this was God’s plan for my life.

I was hired within the next two months and have slowly started making contacts in Lee County Churches to initiate our foster care ministry. I am so happy to say that we start our very first foster care training class this next Monday night. I feel that this is just the first of many amazing things that the Lord is going to do in Lee County. We have amazing support including a wonderful DHR team and an amazing family court Judge who is very dedicated to seeing more Christian homes in our county. We are all thrilled at what we will be able to do in the lives of our families here. It is still amazing to me that God placed my family at the right church, knowing that years later this would church would be called into an incredible foster care ministry and that God would bless me with being a part of this ministry.  I know that God has placed all of these events to take place at the right time, His Timing! This gives me the knowledge to realize that when something does not happen as I expect or want it to; it does not mean that I should be discouraged or give up. It may simply mean that it is not meant to happen at this time.
“To every thing there is a season and a time to every purpose under the Heaven” Ecclesiastes 3:1

“But as for me, my prayer is unto thee, O Lord, in an acceptable time: O God, in the multitude of thy mercy hear me, in the truth of thy Salvation.” Psalm 69:13
“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11

Lauren Penton, Foster Care Social Worker

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