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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Advocate Wednesdays: Finding My Calling

Today I just wanted to share a recent experience that has taught me an important lesson—that we are not responsible for everything.
God has called us each to different ways of serving Him.
Several months ago we went through the process to be approved for foster care. We had signed up for emergency short term care or respite.  That’s what we felt called to do and what we thought our family could realistically handle.
We then received a request to take a baby in. long term. I wrestled in my heart.
How do you say no? What would Jesus do? It’s a baby! Why doesn’t anyone else say yes? How can we say no?
I talked to my husband and he wasn’t quite sure but said to do what I felt was right.  So I said yes.
( a lesson to be learned right there!)
I went down to pick the sweet child up and as soon as I held them in my arms, I knew. This was not the plan for us.
The child was beautiful and sweet as could be.
But I knew that I was so far outside of God’s will that I was physically sick. I prayed. I called friends who foster to help me work through my feelings to make sure that I wasn’t just emotional or overreacting. I prayed some more.
The next morning I called our social worker (who also happened to be a Christian) and just completely shared from my heart how I was feeling. That I said yes because I just kept asking myself what would Jesus do and how could I not say yes.  Her response?  “Charisa, you are not Jesus”  No, clearly I am not. :) 
My lessons? 
A lesson in humility for one. It was a very humbling experience for me.
God calls us all in different ways to help the children that He loves. My calling (for now) is through respite and support of those who are called to foster.  If I fill my plate up with stuff that He hasn’t called me to do then I can’t do the things He has asked me to do—or I can do them but not do them well. 
Just because He has called others to serve in one way doesn’t mean that’s how He has called me.
It is so easy to compare and measure ourselves against others.
Every single part is important and needed—whether it’s offering respite, encouraging foster parents, filling journey bags, loving on social workers or praying. It’s all worthy!
What has He called you to?
P.S.  One of my best buds has that sweet child and it is clearly where they need to be. I see them often and am loving watching them grow into a family. Now I can do what I am CALLED to do---provide respite and support to a family who is called to do the actual fostering.

Forgotten Advocate: Augusta County, VA Charissa Knight Family picture

Charisa and her husband Greg have 5 children (two of whom they adopted from Ethiopia). Charisa’s was first introduced to foster care as a 6th grader, when she became best friends with her neighbor who was a foster child. Her heart for the orphaned and oppressed compelled her to become a Justice Advocate for IJM and to do more for the foster care community but she wasn’t sure how. When she stumbled upon The Forgotten Initiative, she knew that this was her answer.

“I have been blessed to watch the local church community come together and open up their hearts to the children, families, and workers affected by the foster care system.”
Find Current Needs and Events for Augusta County here.


  1. Charisa - I LOVE your heart! AMEN and AMEN! Thank you for sharing this difficult experience and being real. I love you!

  2. So good, real emotions and real life. So glad you were able to share your heart and that you ultimately did what you could handle. R. Yontz


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