A Simple Step toward Justice and Mercy
God shaped Kelsey’s heart for foster care.
By Bennett Rolan, Editorial Manager
Kelsey Anderson silently prayed as she held 18-month-old Jayden* for the last time.
“Lord, protect this little one. Help me to trust You with his future. Surround him with Your love, protect him, draw him to You.”
For nine months, Kelsey worked with Jayden as his BSF Children’s Leader. As a foster child, Jayden struggled to make personal connections. Kelsey watched him grow from a terrified infant into an eager toddler – with a heart softened by BSF songs.
“Almost every single time he would come in, he was crying,” Kelsey said. “He was so scared, so confused. He just didn’t want to participate in anything. We would sit and hold him the whole time. When we started singing, he would settle down. It was his favorite time.”
After 9 months, Jayden’s foster placement ended – and so did his time in BSF.
“We got a quick chance to say goodbye,” Kelsey said. “That was really hard. I wanted to control the situation. I wanted to know that he would be OK. I was full of questions.”
On her knees, Kelsey called out to God. “I prayed for the seeds that had been planted. No matter how much I wanted that little one to know Christ, I had to remember that Christ wanted that more. I had to rest in the knowledge that Jesus was ultimately in control.”
Kelsey continued as a BSF Children’s Leader, but she never forgot Jayden. For years, she continued to pray for the boy who discovered God’s peace through simple worship.
“No matter how much I wanted that little one to know Christ, I had to remember that Christ wanted that more.”
God’s heart for justice and mercy
Kelsey stayed in touch with Jayden’s former foster mom. Though they couldn’t know how he was doing, both women continued to pray. They held fast to God’s character and His heart for justice and mercy.
Six years later, Jayden’s former foster mother had news: through a church connection, she learned that Jayden had returned to the foster system and was placed in a Christian home. As a young child, he continued to struggle. Early in his new placement, Jayden was inconsolable. His new foster family was desperate to help, so they began to sing. To their amazement, one thing calmed Jayden’s troubled heart – BSF songs.
When Kelsey heard the news, she immediately knew that God had heard her prayers.
“They were the same songs I used to sing to him while I prayed. These were the seeds that God planted.”
But there was more. Jayden’s former foster mother shared that by the time he was 8 years old, Jayden had accepted Christ. A short time later, Jayden returned to a family member’s home. He knew that the Holy Spirit was with him. What Jayden didn’t know was that his family member had also made a commitment to follow Jesus.
“These were the seeds that God planted.”
Justice and mercy in action
During the years Kelsey prayed for Jayden, God worked. In a situation that seemed out of control, God extended justice and mercy. “God was sovereign. I learned that I could rest in His goodness. This little one was taken care of, even when I couldn’t see it.”
For Kelsey, Jayden represented thousands of children who still needed homes. When she prayed for Jayden, she asked God for direction. Finally, God confirmed her desire to foster and adopt.
Kelsey’s decision to become a foster parent wasn’t easy. Her conviction was clear, but she struggled with doubts. Kelsey often works night shifts, and her husband has a busy schedule. Would they have time? Did they have the financial resources? Was their home big enough? How would this affect their biological children?
But God’s call was undeniable, so Kelsey and her family responded in faith. This year, Kelsey and her family are fostering a child for the first time.
“God was sovereign. I learned I could rest in His goodness.”
“There were times when I didn’t think I would have the strength to do this,” Kelsey shared. “I’m resting in Christ to take it one step at a time. He has been so faithful.”
Micah 6:8 defines what the Lord requires of His people, “to act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” For Kelsey, that call was realized through the foster system. But God gives each of us unique opportunities to respond.
Where is God calling you “to act justly and to love mercy”? Through humble steps of faith, we can walk with God in confidence.
“It doesn’t have to be something big and grand,” Kelsey said. “We simply have to say, ‘Yes, I will follow you,’ taking one step at a time. We can release our fears to Him because He has been faithful before. Just because the going may be tough, that doesn’t mean it isn’t God’s calling. Our reliance on Him is measured in small steps of faith.”
* name changed for privacy
Bennett Rolan joined the BSF staff in 2017 after working for several Christian ministries and non-profits. She loves to combine her passion for God’s Word and her journalism background to share stories of God’s work in and through BSF. As a wife to a busy college football coach and a mom to four young children, BSF studies keep her relationship with the Lord grounded and focused. She loves to learn from fellow believers as God faithfully grows her each day.
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