Kendra Roehl
About the Author

Kendra Roehl is described by her father as a “defender of the weak” and is always looking for those who fall through the gaps and are in need of help. Her natural inclination towards the hurting segued into a career as a clinical social worker, a foster and adoptive mom,...

(in)side DaySpring: things we love
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(in)side DaySpring:
things we love
& you will too!
Find more at
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Reader Interactions


  1. Kendra,
    First, thank you for being brave enough to step into a parenting role that many, no most, of us would avoid. You have listened to God’s calling and that is good. So true, that when God calls us to something, it often means that we will need to die to our selfish ways or at the very least, step aside…get out of the way, so that God can work. I never thought I was a prideful person. I’m not haughty, arrogant, or rude, but I do rely way to much on “me.” I will often have to struggle and strive until I finally get to the end of myself in order to turn it over to God. Worrying and wondering “what if” don’t get me anywhere, but yet I do it anyway. Anytime I put me ahead of God…that’s pride talking. I think that maybe God allows us to go through the crucible in order to refine us, and part of the refining is removing our prideful and self sufficient ways. Yes, sometimes something has to be “the death of us.” Great post that really hits home!
    Blessings and prayers,
    Bev xx

    • Bev,
      I completely understand what you are saying, and rely on me too often as well. I am learning to trust God more (and let go of my pride 🙂 ). Thank you for your wise words and encouragement.

  2. I’m coming to your words in the midst of reading a re-release of Elisabeth Elliot’s book on self-discipline (a dangerous topic, for sure!). She related a story about her encounters with young adults who came to hear her speak, and then told her afterwards, “I’ll just die if God wants me to be a missionary!”
    Her brilliant response was, “That’s the best possible place to start. You won’t be of much use on the mission field unless you die first.”
    And I guess we can all agree that this is also true in our mothering lives.

  3. Oh, how I needed these words this morning. Our fifteen year old daughter came to us through the foster system at the age of eight also, and she carries some heavy scars with her too. We have been dealing with some trauma issues with her in the last year and yesterday was a particularly tough day with us and her therapist. I have struggled so much at times and have uttered those exact words, “This is going to be the death of me.” I am going to carry your statement, “I will trust in His plan because I know that He is good” with me today as we put one foot forward and keep moving today. Thank you!

    • Marybeth, thank you for sharing part of your own journey. I am praying for you and your daughter today. Blessings to you in your parenting. May God meet you in all the good and the hard places.

  4. Kendra,

    Love your openness & honesty here. Sometimes we get in the way of God working. Things within us need to die so He can remove the dross to make us pure & more Christlike. We can be selfish in some ways. Worrying about the “what ifs” of life do us no good. I know a woman in town that died to self. She had a
    good job & quit. She heard God clearly tell her that foster children need a place to stay before they’re adopted out. With no knowledge of how to run a non-profit or where anything would come from she took off with God as her guide. Thus the Isiah 117 house was born. It houses children taken taken into DCS custody. They give them new clothes & toys. Mostly those children get love & a safe haven. They have loving people to talk with, place to sleep & food to eat. They get to be children once again. It all started with her getting out of the way of God. She quit being selfish & started seeing a need. We must all see the needs & die to our selfish ways. Let God run the show for He knows best.

    Blessings 🙂

    • Beth, Thank you for sharing the story of the woman in your town, what an amazing example of being the hands and feet of Jesus in your community. Blessings to you!

  5. I’ve often said this. I am a mother to not only a special needs child but also another who has some learning disabilities and emotional anxiety issues. I’ve never struggled so badly with my faith like I have now. Some days I feel as if I’m losing it. I believe I really love the Lord but I am struggling!! All I can do is ask the Lord to hold on to me while I hold on to the hem of His garment.

    • Dear Arnesia, You are so right, some days we just need to remember that God is holding us. Praying for you right now, that you would have peace in your parenting, wisdom in all you do and say and a calmness to know that no matter what, you are loved by the Father. (And so are your kids.) Blessings to you in your parenting.

  6. Wow. Thank you so much for sharing. I can relate so much with you and what you shared. It brought tears to my eyes as I read – your transparency and honesty is something that some people keep to themselves. Thank you for not doing that. I’m now starting my day asking myself what needs to die so Christ can live in me. Thank you.

    • Carolyn, Thank you for your kind comments. We all need to know we’re not alone and we encourage one another so much when we join together in our joys and our hard times. Blessings to you.

  7. God placed a very specific and repetitive call on my life to love sacrificially. The last few months have me without doubt in the most difficult and uncertain place. My heart is still full of love for ppl who have hurt me & crumpled up love I have given. I am struggling so much at the moment with lies from the enemy about who I am. Pls pray for me. I know who God says I am but it is so hard right now.

    • Oh Julie, I am praying for you right now. That you would know the deep, abiding love of the Father and that any lie from the enemy would be quieted in Jesus name. Seek truth from His word. He will not leave you or forsake you. You are His. Blessings to you.

  8. Good morning Kendra,
    I soooooo needed this for I too have foster/adoptive children with similar issues.
    Yes, things are frequently painful but like you, God has grown me in ways that only this experience was right for me.
    Please pray for my family as I will pray for daily mercies to finish this race set before us.
    Love, Maggie

  9. Kendra, may you be blessed during this whole process. What a wonderful work you are doing for God’s kingdom and this broken world! I know, if you stay close to the Lord, He will guide you through. Talk about a “road less travelled”! You are an unsung hero. Adding you and your struggles to my prayer list right now. We are all rooting for you!

  10. Thanks for sharing your story. Your message sounds very similar to the one we heard in church this past Sunday.

    How is it that the simplest, most basic Christian message of God’s love for us is one of the hardest to truly understand? So we often need these reminders.

    Lord, help us all to learn to love others the way you do. Through all of the transitions and challenges of life, may we always remember and trust that you are good.

  11. Thank you so much for this! I’m struggling with a situation that couldn’t be more different, but your last 4 paragraphs apply perfectly to it. God’s timing is so amazing!

    • I’m so glad what I said resonated with you! It’s true, our situations may be different, but the truths we gain from God apply to all of us. 🙂 Blessings to you!

  12. Oh my word! Thank you so much for this! I have an only child. A child that we adopted out of the foster care system as well. I have been struggling with the fact that I don’t have the desire to adopt another… anymore. I couldn’t figure out why exactly or put it into words until this devotional. Focus on the people in front of you. Lay down your insecurities, hopes, and dreams, God will take care that.

  13. Kendra, your words hit home. So grateful that God takes us to places that are beyond our own strength where we have no choice but to rely on him. It sure doesn’t make it easy but it does bring peace and hope and that is enough to keep us going until the next moment. Such great word this morning. Thank you.

    • Lisa, Thank you for your kind words. I am learning, slowly, to rely on Him and I find more peace there than when I am working in my own strength. Blessings to you.

  14. Oh my word! Thank you so much for this. I have adopted witching the foster care system as well. I have an only child. I’ve been struggling with the future and if siblings are going to happen for him. However I think God is saying to me focus on the people in front of you and I will take care of the rest. Trust me.

  15. Thank you for this. I grew up with an adopted sister who endured trauma in a foreign orphanage before my parents got her. She died a year and a half ago of a drug overdose and I’ve struggled so much with my memories, with her life, and most painfully with how it ended. But through it all God has affirmed over and over how loving her was worth it. It was often hard and often I failed spectacularly and she acted out in response to her trauma off and on throughout our childhood, but still… worth it. Always.

    • Ashley, I am so sorry for the loss of your sister and thank you for sharing your story. It struck me so much when you said God affirmed that loving her was worth it. I truly believe that to the core of my being, as that is the same thing I’ve heard him say to me in regards to my adopted children. Thank you again for sharing.

  16. As you have honored God with your honesty and humility, submission and obedience, He will most certainly honor you, Kendra (1 Samuel 2:30). I look forward to a future post, highlighting the amazing progress your son has made toward healing and wholeness! Meanwhile, just reading your strong statements of faith makes me want to shout AMEN: “I will remember God’s sacrificial love for me. I will cling to His peace even when I don’t know what the future holds. I will hold onto His promises and the hope that He can change and heal any heart even when I don’t see it with my eyes. I will believe His word even when I don’t feel it, because I know it is truth.” Thank you, Kendra, for a powerful shot of encouragement today!

  17. Kendra,
    Thank you for sharing this.
    Your transparency is such a gift.
    Your words opened my eyes to look at all trails and tribulations from a new view.
    Thank you for the reminder that Jesus loved us first!. Ultimate love, ultimate sacrafice.

  18. Kendra, this was fantastic. As a mom, supporting my children in their trauma healing and anxiety is the dark space where my own trauma is challenged most. ‘Lord, am I really equipped? Why this? How could you make good of this?’ Aren’t those the questions we ask? But as I trust Him in it and continue to move through it, lies and insecurities die. And I’m realizing – that’s what healing looks like. Thanks for writing.

  19. After your whispered response, I had to write it all down for myself. I too am dealing with a completely different situation but still this devotional applies! Although being told by my husband who’s left our family now for the second time, it had nothing to do with me and he had to deal with some issues himself, I’m constantly examining myself. Unconditional/sacrificial love is real and I am truly grateful for who God Is, being the same yesterday, today, and forever more! HE IS SO FAITHFUL! Although my prayer has been for my husband to die to himself and come to himself at the same time, no longer being selfish, I also must be “refined through this process.” Maybe some things as you’ve listed and more need to die in me! Thank you SO MUCH for sharing!

    • There is an Amazing book called “A fierce Love” about a wife loving her husband through excruciating circumstances that He inflicted on his family and her crying out to God who sustained her through the journey…it was an encouraging read

    • Oh my dear friend, I am praying for you–that God gives you wisdom in the next steps to take and brings hope and healing to your heart. Blessings to you.

  20. Kendra, thank you so very much for your words. I am not dealing with anything like you’ve been taking care of at home, this is something I’ve been struggling with for just a short time, and has no real consequences except to a lot of peoples pride, my own included. I have to pin this one so I can come back to it over and over again. I am grateful. You’ve been an answer to prayer tonight. God IS so good!

      • Thank you so much, Kendra. I prayed that night and for several nights for help with removing ‘self’ from the situation and the Lord answered my prayer. The situation was resolved and without hurt feelings. Thank you again for such a timely post.

  21. I am a mother of three I adopted out of foster care and have had them since they were small. Two were babies. The older two are going through a lot of things. The oldest has had a tough time since the begining pretty much and the other has just started going through things. Some of witch is ADHD, anxiety, OCD, mood disorder, dyslexia, ect. You do grow and change when you deal with this. God has all we need to deal with our trials in life though it does like you say take laying our pride down. Hang in there and thank you for sharing! I understand the struggle!

  22. I so applaud your honesty here and I can only hope that bravely sharing your hope during uncertainty will bring the catharsis of knowing that you have a worldwide community behind you, resonating deeply with your words and praying for you.

    With love and blessings – thank you for writing this.
    x Anastasia

  23. Thank you for these words. Our (natural) daughter has mental health issues and behaviours that seem to spiral us all down lower and lower every month or so, and as the months have turned into years it’s hard to keep going and keep giving. This was just what I needed to read today as we work through the current spiral.