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Certainty is Overrated

As my family and I have fully entered the world of Foster Care, and celebrate the 6 month time passage that we’ve had the same kid; we’re hit with the reality that certainty is highly overrated.  When the kid first came to us, it was hinted that we wouldn’t have him past Easter.  Then we were told it would be before school was out, then it was late July, then we were told maybe before school started in August, then now we’ve been told anywhere between October and January he will return to his mother.

The returning to his mother part is a blessing for both him and his mother; even if it brings severe heartache to my family.  For that we prepare our hearts, and guard our emotions.  But the part of the experience that has changed us the most is the state of uncertainty that we constantly live with.  There is nothing “for sure” in the world of foster care.

The reality is though, that there is very little  certainty  in life apart from being a foster parent.  Is this news to you?  Really?

When I read Philippians 4:6-7, 1 Peter 5:7, and Psalm 55:22; I am confronted with how I should react to Anxiety, Stress, and Fear.  But nothing is noted about what brings that about in my life.  Why?  Because it doesn’t matter what it is, it’s my reaction to the  uncertainty  that defines me as a follower of Christ.

James 1:27  Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.

Jonathan Cliff is married to his wife Starr and they together live out their days with two sons and a daughter. Jonathan serves as one of the Pastors at Grace Community Church in Clarksville, Tennessee; where he works with leaders throughout the city to help develop Christian community that leads to deep and meaningful spiritual friendships. His journey has been an adventurous one, having served in the local church for 15 years in family ministry developing leaders, building environments for kids and students to belong, and encouraging parents to take big spiritual steps with their families.


  1. Jeff · August 24, 2011

    This was a great minder for me and my wife as we continue to wait in the adoption process. Thanks for the reminder Jonathan.

  2. Jcatty · August 26, 2011

    Very thoughtful and wise insights.

  3. Jon · August 29, 2011

    I can so relate. We ended up adopting 2 of the 3 from our first placement. Even that did not stop the uncertainty that comes with those special needs.

    We also had another that came into our house and went straight to our hearts.   We knew it was best but broke the hearts of all of us.

    Thankyou for doing what you are doing.

    • Jonathan Cliff · September 2, 2011

      It’s not worth it to avoid the hard part of fostering.  Facing it head-on, and dealing with the heartache is sometimes the only option when you have a burden.