Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Romans 12:2 NIV
It’s tough to be a parent! It seems there is constant judgement from the outside world, sometimes from those that are closest to us. We see videos on Facebook and social media of one extreme or the other, either telling us how to do it correctly or shaming us for doing it wrong. Sometimes it seems that we can’t win regardless of which direction we take. It’s an exhausting process that can leave us feeling defeated.
When you become a foster / adoptive parent, you’re stepping into parenting already at a disadvantage. Removal from their birth parents is trauma in and of itself, but oftentimes these children come with far more. Drug addiction, abuse, neglect and memories that they’d rather forget is only a sample of the baggage they can bring. All of these things create a new dynamic to parenting and a new list of reasons for the outside world to place judgement.
When my youngest son came to us, he was addicted to drugs that I can not even pronounce. He shook, he cried, he spit up more than he drank at every feeding. He was tiny, miserable and difficult to soothe. Even with all of that against him, we continued about our day and went to the store, to restaurants and countless other places. I also had an eight month old at the time and the looks we received were less than enthusiastic. We were not the norm and my tiny, crying, inconsolable infant was a “bother” to the world.
The world wanted me to control my crying infant or stay inside my home. The world didn’t know that my infant was battling an addiction that they’ll likely never experience. If I had conformed to the expectations laid out by the world, my child and I would have buckled under the pressure. Instead, I garnered hope from Romans 12:2 and did not conform to the pattern of this world, but rather was transformed by the renewing of my mind. God filled my heart with patience and my mind with the knowledge that my son needed to experience the same sights, sounds and sensory experiences as any other child.
God’s will was for my child to have a “normal” life despite his difficulties. God renewed my mind with the understanding that His will – His good, pleasing and perfect will was for both my son and I to be an active, functioning part of our community.
Satan uses the patterns of our society to try to dictate our lives. He encourages us to believe and follow them, ignoring the transformation God is attempting on our minds. Only when we dismiss the patterns of our world and focus solely on God do we recognize His perfect and pleasing will.
Today, allow God to transform your mind and expose His will by breaking the chains holding you to the pattern of this world.