• Mandy

fix your focus


Sam Sardone is one of the most faithful, wise and positive people I know. There are a lot of friends who tell you they’ll support you and be there for you in life. Some people follow through, some don’t. Sam, without a doubt, is a follow through friend - she shows up. I cherish her friendship and have learned so much about the Lord through her insight.


Last year, Sam felt the Lord nudge her to begin the daunting process of becoming a foster parent. She walked in faith, and welcomed in her first foster child during the fall months of 2018. I had the privilege of meeting Sam’s foster child (we can’t share her name for privacy reasons) last month, and saw firsthand the bond they both shared. Last week, Sam’s foster child left to live with one of her family members. Sam shared her heart in a post that I’m sharing below.


Although most of you are not foster parents, I encourage you to read this through the lens of your own life. What do you need to say yes to? What is God calling you to fix your focus on?


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F I X • Y O U R • F O C U S


Anyone who knows me knows I’m a deep thinker. I’m incapable of small talk and shallow conversations. I malfunction when I try to engage in it. But a good cup of coffee and a deep convo... here for it. That being said, I’ve been processing a lot as I navigate this unknown territory of grieving the loss of a foster child that I think everyone could benefit from. I don’t claim to have much figured out, but my hope in being vulnerable enough to share this is that someone, even if it’s one person, can draw closer to Jesus. I read a quote that put all of the emotion I’ve felt into words.


“Grief I’ve learned is really just love. It’s all the love you want to give but cannot. All of that love gathers up in the corners of your eyes, the lump in your throat, and in that hollow part of your chest. Grief is just love with no place to go.”


If you’ve ever felt grief before, you know this is true. You also more than likely feel it in the ordinary moments. For me, I feel grief when I’m driving in the car. I look back in my rear-view mirror and see she’s not there. There’s just an empty car seat. For the past five + months, I’ve buckled her in and out of that car seat. I’ve brought her to doctor’s appointments, daycare, church, our house, and a bunch of other places. When she wanted to get my attention, she’d say “Mama!” and I’d say “what?” and I’d look back in the mirror and sometimes all she would say is “I love you.” I really, really miss those moments.


Here’s my point...


If we all spent more time giving away our love, I think the world would be a different place. But does giving away your love mean you’ll have to grieve eventually? Yeah, it sure does. But I think it’s worth it, if we FIX OUR FOCUS on what we’ve gained instead of what we’ve lost.


God modeled this for us through the love He gave and sacrificed through his son Jesus. By saying yes to God’s very specific prompting to foster, I was able to show and tell how GREAT and GOOD our God is through my foster child’s story (Psalm 35:28 — her memory verse from Gwinnett Church as seen in the photo). If you knew her, you know she exuded joy amidst unspeakable circumstances. Her love knew no bounds. She had a childlike faith and trust that I aspire to have for all of my days.


The only thing I can take credit for is saying yes. I listened and obeyed, that’s really it. God gets to take credit for ALL of the rest. Everyone has been extremely kind to tell me how inspired they are by what I’ve done, and that’s incredibly humbling and sweet. I am truly thankful for everyone who has reached out and shared these messages of encouragement.


I want to ask you though, what might God be asking you to do that makes you uncertain? That makes no sense? That requires bravery and courage? That will likely require you to sacrifice something?


Do that thing. And then fix your focus. Because there’s much more to gain than to lose.


#palmsofjoy