Christmas cards, pictures, and letters, I love them. I love getting a family picture taken. I love picking out a card. I love writing a Christmas letter. I love sending them out.
The cards and letters we receive go in a basket for the family to read and admire. The pictures go onto a magnetic white board and stay there all year long.
Each year, we do get a few favorites. I’m sure you do too. Some are hilarious, some are touching, and some are just unbelievable. My favorite this year didn’t come in the mailbox, but was written by Susan Drake and sent to me through cyberspace. I think you’ll enjoy it too.
Merry Christmas Everyone,
Well, it’s that time of year for our family sharing with all of our wonderful friends and loved ones.
It’s been a tough year, to say the least. To start off the year, we had some very sad news. Our daughter, we found out, was pregnant. Yes, our 14 year old was on her way to motherhood. As you can imagine, this was a terrible embarrassment for the whole family. We, as parents, couldn’t figure out where we went wrong. We went to church every Sunday. We celebrated all the religious holidays in honor to God. We taught our children the right path according to the Bible. But, as we all know, kids have their own paths they sometimes must follow.
Of course our first inclination was to find this boy, with shotgun in hand, string him up and ask questions later. Then sanity took over and we realized we would not be free for long if we hurt him. So, we tried another approach. We would REASON with our daughter, convince her to tell us who this young man was and WHAT WAS SHE THINKING. I’m afraid we did not come across as the most caring and sensitive parents at that point. She of course, did not wish to disclose this information right away. I wanted nothing more than to have a sit-down with him, his parents and our daughter and ask him, WHAT WERE YOU THINKING. It became obvious to us, this was not going to happen.
Our next thought was, how are we going to tell everyone. We felt such shame and humiliation. After all, don’t we want our children to be perfect, to emulate us, to be mature and self-controlled at ALL times, just like we? Well, that little fairy-tale just blew up in our faces. Honestly? We just wanted the whole thing to go away.
We went through ALL the thoughts. Abortion, adoption, maybe she’ll miscarry, maybe the test was WRONG. Everything swept through our mind like a crazy whirlwind. It took us a while to “be still, and know that I am God”. Where WAS God in all this? He had deserted us. How could He disappear in such a storm as this? Her dad and I had lain awakened many hours for many nights. What was going to happen to our little girl? She was too young to be a mother. Would her body even bear the physical changes that wouldtake place inside and out? What would we do with the child after it was born? She would lose a child and we would lose a grandchild. Not my dream for me or my daughter. I thought of the stigma attached to a girl pregnant out of wedlock, although that stigma is not as strong as it once was. Still, I looked ahead to some day when she would marry and what would her future husband think? Would he be hurt by the decisions and choices she made at such a young age? Would he refuse to marry her when he found out? All these questions and…….no answers.
One day, about 3 months into the pregnancy, a young man showed up at our door. She was with him. They came into our home and sat us both down. They talked of love, (had to be childish infatuation-after all, she’s only 14) and their desire to marry some day. Some day, I thought, what about now? What was my little girl to do now, today? She was going to be quitting school soon and going to one of those private schools for pregnant girls. She was going to have a BABY. What was marrying her SOME DAY going to do for any of us NOW?
As you can see, my frustration was coming out loud and clear. I don’t think anybody cared about what I thought or what I was going through. It’s hard for a parent to see their child have to suffer through such adult things. But, there was one thing I kept missing. I kept forgetting to TALK to my daughter. What was SHE thinking, what was SHE feeling about all this? She said very little most of the time.
One night, in the dark, she crept into our room. Once again, we were awake, contemplating our situation and trying to figure out some answers to some very scary questions. She slipped in as she had so many times as a small child, scared and whimpering as though there was a bad storm outside. This time, the storm was inside. It was rising up in her. She was afraid. She was afraid of us, she was afraid of what was to come, she was afraid of what others would think of her, she was afraid she would not be a good mother….she was afraid. She crawled into bed between us and quietly wept as we held her in our arms.
The next morning, hoping that all this had just been a bad dream and now it was time to wake up, there we were, all three in bed still in our same circumstance. Our daughter made a declaration that morning. This was really the first time she talked openly about her situation. She had made a decision during the night. She was going to go through with it. Not only was she going to HAVE the baby, she was going to keep it and raise it and marry that young man she had brought over to meet us.
As you can imagine, we were stunned and probably for the first time, speechless. When we picked our chins up from the floor, we began our dissertation about ALL the reasons why she was wrong and would be sorry and how it would ruin her life. How would she finish school? Without a high school education, what would her future look like? What about college-our dream for all our children? What about success in life? How would they live? On what would they live? Where would they live? Our immediate thought-you’re not freeloading here!; then quickly grabbed those words back as we thought of our grandchild out in the cold somewhere with two jobless parents and no roof over their heads. Oh the agony. What was this going to do to US? Not, what would this do to them or their child.
I realized that I was taking this personally. Why had she done this to ME? Why had she let herself get into this dilemma? Why was she punishing ME? Did she dislike her family that much?
And then I thought about what a good daughter she had ALWAYS been. Honest, faithful, true. Never shy about her love for us and her family. Something just wasn’t right. Something in this story wasn’t fitting. I decided to have a sit down talk with the young man who supposedly was the father. He was very shy at first. Quiet, yet calm. He had warm eyes and an endearing smile. He told me of his love for our daughter. How he knew the minute he saw her that she was the one for him. I thought, c’mon, she’s only 14. What could you possibly see that would intrigue you? It was very hard for me to control my thoughts. My first reaction was to think “child molester”, but my spirit would not let me go there. There was just something about this boy….this man. Then it hit me like a huge, gigantic boulder. This guy was not the baby’s father. He was placing himself in that role, but he was not the one. Then who???? Who had been the “child molester”? Who had abused our daughter?
That night, l lay awake once again, trying to make sense of it all. We had asked our daughter over and over, who was the father. She had never really given us an answer. What was she afraid of? Had she truly been abused by some stranger? Had she been raped? Should we have aborted this baby after all? Had a crime been committed? Did we need to seek legal advice? What were we to do?
We never did get the WHOLE story. Just to appease us, she made up some tale that was truly not believable. We decided that maybe she needed some “help”. What kind of help was yet to be determined. Was she just desperate for attention? Going through some rebellious stage? Lord knows, we gave her all the attention she needed.
After the many months of questions and frustration and agony over our daughters situation, she finally delivered her baby. What a beautiful baby boy. His eyes are not like any I have ever seen before. There is warmth and compassion in them. How can that be? He is such a small baby. Our grandson. Oh, how we love him. And how we can feel his love for us. What were we thinking those many months ago? Now, we would never have it any other way. They are right, what they say about being a grandparent, there’s nothing like it. And our daughter has blossomed. She is a perfect mother. She was not being rebellious or trying to hurt her family. She was simply being obedient.
She and Joseph will be getting married this month. We’d like to invite you all to the wedding…And you can meet our grandson and her son….Jesus.
Love to you all…..
I have to say, I hadn’t thought much about what Mary’s mother had to go through, but only about what Mary had to face. What have you read, seen, or done this Christmas season that has brought new light to a very familiar story? I’d love to hear from you!
Have a wonderful Christmas!