My People

My People
My matched set of grandchildren - Oliver and Cosette

Saturday, April 23, 2011

finding mercy

Mercy. That's been the recurring theme of my life: a need for mercy. I know that I am fearfully and wonderfully made but this flesh gets me into a lot of trouble. I have made... over the course of my life... a lot of really bad decisions. Yet I have always found mercy from my Maker, family and friends.

So yesterday when I found out that two young kids were in need of mercy, how could I do anything but give it? A good friend of Austin's got his girlfriend pregnant. The boy's mother was livid. She said a lot of things out of her hurt and disappointment that angered the boy... the boy retaliated with a predictable emotional response and their relationship was splintered. She told her son to leave... and he asked if he could stay with us.

Here I am in the midst of a medical crisis... ongoing financial struggle... unable to get my own teenager to cooperate... and I am put right in the middle of a bad 16 and Pregnant episode. Thank God I am fearfully and wonderfully made so that there's not a fiber of my being that shies away from drama. Yes, God uses drama queens like me to jump in with our soliloquies and posturing and emotional responses.

I could paraphrase a verse in the Bible and say, "in this world you will have drama, but take heart because I have overcome that drama"...

Yet... the mama of this teenage boy is my friend. There is this code between mothers... especially single mothers... we stick together... we have each other's back... and I know, because I live with a teenager (and have since 1999, thank you!) that they sometimes take a statement like, "you can't conduct yourself in that manner and live in my house" as "being kicked out". Shape up or ship out means SHAPE UP... .

And I know... having been a teenager who dropped a baby bomb on my family.... that although it breaks a parent's heart for what you will lose by getting on the parenting train too soon... they love their baby and will therefore love their baby's baby (sometimes better than they love you! *laugh*) I also know that the younger the parent, the greater the need for family involvement. Baby mama has a very shaky familial foundation... she is estranged from her mother and has spent most of the past year basically homeless, dependent on the mercy of others. Baby daddy is estranged from his father... I don't think they've spoken in several months. They already dealing with half of a parenting team between them... they don't need to burn bridges to the only real, consistent, Christian parent they have...

This also, once again, proves my theory that teenagers who don't have a family have a tendency to create their own.

At any rate... crisis pregnancy... mother and son estranged... young man with nowhere to go... and me right there in the middle of things. I sought counsel from two of our pastors (my brother and our youth pastor). Both gave me valuable advice and both agreed that I needed to speak with the boy's mother... I tried during the work day but wasn't able to connect with her. The last thing I wanted to do was upset her... but I couldn't let these kids worry about homelessness on top of everything else.

I told the young man he could stay with us on a temporary basis but that my goal was to reunite him with his mother and, failing that, we would need to find a more suitable situation for him.

Finally... late in the day... I was able to speak with his mother. I expressed to her that I was by no means taking sides but felt like I could not, in good conscience, let this child be homeless. I told her my story of having Ryan and how much I needed my parents then (and even now they help to guide my boys) and that I felt I could positively influence the young man based on my past history. She was (fortunately) relieved that he was with us... appreciative of my involvement (because us single moms so desperately need reinforcement) and hopeful that they could work everything out. She loves her kid... she's disappointed... but she still loves him.

Sometimes we just need a timeout... to go to our separate corners of the ring... get a little refreshment... have someone wipe the sweat off of our brow... hear a word of encouragement... and then we are able to get back in the fight.

It's a hard road ahead for everyone. I thank God that I am uniquely gifted to deal with a crisis pregnancy. I thank God that there is enough mercy in our church family and in our community to be able to help these kids pick up the pieces and make a way for their child. There are a lot of options... a lot of decisions to be made and there is simply no easy path for them to take. But I know that the same God who took my bad decision and turned it into a beautiful, smart, productive citizen... will also show mercy to this child.

God has a way of taking what the enemy intended for our harm and using it for our good. I'm believing that for this situation.

Happy Saturday, y'all...


Bookncoffee said...

What a blessing you must be to this family in pain as they work through accepting life in a different way. Glad u spoke with the mother. You have an awesome heart. And God works through you. I read often but don't comment. I am often on my phone and it is harder. Had to comment today. I hope God removes the pain from your back.