It really made me think. How would you answer the question?
My first answer was, "My husband", but that didn't seem like the 'right' answer. It's true that I want him to find joy, to find peace, to be restored to a place with God where he knows how to connect and worship again. To be healed from his spiritual PTSD. Yet, that doesn't seem like enough of a vision for how to live my life.
I thought about it, read the other comments and realized that there's still the same core concern in me.
I wrote this:
Being a shelter for kids who doubt they are loved. Having a home that can be a place of healing and restoration.
I don't know what that looks like or the timing for it, but that's still really deep in my heart. Another blog friend has been posting about her relationship with a boy from her street who's in the foster care system. That's one way this could happen, just loving the kids around me here in the neighborhood.
On a more intense level, we could even become foster parents. There are many, many wonderful foster parents, and there are some who are terrible. I know enough from my work in a residential treatment center to know it won't be easy.
I also know enough that I'd never want a foster kid that's older or bigger than my biological children. Kids that have no record of sexual abuse can start manifesting signs as they get into a 'safe' environment. That acting out can't be allowed to impact my kid for the rest of his life. If he's older, then he will have words to tell me about it, the ability to walk away and the wisdom to be part of creating a loving environment for the kid.
The other way I can see this happening is as he gets older and becomes friends with other kids. With one in four girls and one in six boys dealing with sexual abuse, the odds are high that he'll have friends who need to hang out here and experience a different model for what love looks like.
Our house in Baltimore functioned like a mini-retreat for many people. I'd love to have that here. Until we know more folk in the Dallas area, that's less likely. In Baltimore, friends could drive to our house from many other areas. Driving to Texas? Only if you're crazy! It's a big country down here.
How would you complete the sentence, "I really have a burden for..."?