The Waiting

“It gives me joy to know that any child who is brought into our home will be loved by our family of faith. I pray that will impact our foster son and the future of any child we foster. Even as I struggle with sadness in seeing him go, God has given me such peace.” – Sarah Fifer

“Trusting God in the waiting – that’s what my story is about,” said Sarah Fifer. “Waiting to be married. Waiting to become a mother. Waiting on the day I’d feel like I had things together. God has used so many things – from the children we disciple in our home and the foster child who we cared for and loved for eight months – to help me see that His timing is far better than mine.

“Growing up in a Christian home, I knew about the undeserved gift of God’s grace. However, it took a long time to understand that it was His grace alone that truly saved me. I’m a ‘Type A’ kind of person, and I had a lot of expectations for the way my life was supposed to go. In being stripped of some of those plans, the Lord began to change my heart.

“When I went to college, I was certain I would meet my future husband there. But the five years after college were the beginning of my first season of waiting. What I did not know then was that during those years, my future husband was beginning his relationship with the Lord. He also married, cared for, and buried his first wife – a friend of mine who went to be with Jesus in her 20s. This was my first lesson in how God does not waste our waiting. My husband, Christman, and I married in 2000, and later we began our own season of waiting when we tried to start a family. After several years of struggling, we were blessed with our daughters, Abby and Kingsley.

“I have been involved in Children’s Ministry since we came to Watermark in 2000. I’ve taught kids in Starting Blocks, and worked with infants. I also teach four year olds during Womens’ Bible Study. Serving kids at Watermark influences my faith by reminding me of the simple truths God wants us to understand as believers. Matthew 18:2-4 talks about the importance of having the trusting faith of a child. I’ve seen my own kids learn very big truths that sometimes seem bigger than their young minds can fully understand. Yet, each year, so many kids at Watermark are growing in their faith in ways that constantly surprise me.

“I was raised in the church, but I feel like my 14 year old is so much stronger, spiritually, than I was at that age. That’s not exclusively because of what we’ve done at home. Christman and I are the primary disciplers of our girls, but God has used Watermark’s Children’s Ministry and their small group leaders in Student Ministries to shape them. Their faith now affects every part of their lives. The faithfulness of my girls challenges me daily in my own walk with Christ.

“When our first foster child, a baby boy, came into our home, our youngest daughter was ten years old. I watched as the girls stepped up and served our little one with so much joy. The girls experienced in a hands-on way, what they had learned in following Christ over the years – that life is not about our needs. It’s about trusting the Lord and using our gifts to serve others for God’s glory.

“It had been many years since I was needed to wake up and feed a baby at night. But because I knew that our foster child could leave our home at any time, those nights with him did not exhaust me. Relinquishing control over my schedule, my needs, and even how long our foster child would be there was a big change for me. I was given the job to love a child for as long as the Lord planned to keep him in our home. Even as I was caring for the baby, the foster care system was working to help the biological family reunite with him. There was no way to trick myself into thinking I had influence over the situation. The truth is that none of us know how long we’ll have the privilege of caring for the people in our family. God is in control of it all.

“God’s call on us to become foster parents was another moment where the Lord confronted my struggle with control. Being asked to love a child, knowing that eventually, we will let them go is the biggest challenge of being a foster parent so far. But God has been faithful even in that part of the journey.

“Our foster son is back with his biological family now, and I don’t know how the Lord will use the seeds of faith that were planted while he was with us. He did have the opportunity to be cared for, loved, and prayed for by hundreds of people at Watermark. It gives me joy to know that any child who is brought into our home will be loved by our family of faith. I pray that will impact our foster son and any child we foster in the future. Even as I struggle with sadness in seeing him go, God has given me such peace. That’s the gift of letting go of control and trusting the Lord.”

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