Monday, March 22, 2004

My Plan for My Daughters

Unbeknownst to her, I had a plan if...God oldest daughter came home pregnant when she was a teenager. She was a nice girl, focused on school, and never really even rebelled much. (She's 27 now and married, and my fervent prayer for her IS pregnancy. But I'm not supposed to nag about that. That's another story....)

Our former neighbors went through this years ago, and my plan is their plan. It worked well, making joyous lemonade out of lemons. I met their beloved granddaughter once. She's an adult now, and a blessing to her family. They all would've been the poorer had she been put up for adoption.

We were going to express our disappointment, of course. Our disappointment that she was having sex before she was ready to be wife and mother. Our disappointment that she was foolish enough to waste one of God's greatest gifts to man, sexuality within marriage, on something less than that. Throwing her pearls to swine. Not disappointment at the loss of a fairy tale, white wedding. Not loss of bridal showers and bouquets and wedding cakes, and our little girl all dressed up in an expensive frock. Those would be our dreams, not hers, apparently, and they're superficial wishes. This is not about us. It's now about a new child of God.

Life is not perfect, and none of us are, either. Confess, repent, and then we forgive. Time to move forward. Wallowing in anger and recriminations would be counter-productive and wholly self-indulgent.

She would live at our home, attend school and have her baby. She would raise her child under our roof, all while attending school and perhaps working parttime. We would only caretake our new grandchild when our daughter was at school or work. The rest of the time, she would be a mother, and we would provide the parenting education and mentoring. And we would love them both, as God loves His children.

What would the neighbors think? Would we be unmasked to family and friends, to our church community, as imperfect? Do mature-in-their-faith Christians really worry about this? Life is messy. Life is imperfect. Life disappoints. God doesn't promise that we won't experience losses and challenges. He promises that He'll be with us when we experience life's inevitable downers. We can lean on Him for our strength. Those aren't just pretty words for church and Sunday School. They're words for day-to-day living.

Separate a new baby from her natural mother when we have a comfortable home and a loving, intact family? Never. Would it be easy? No. Is it the right thing to keep mother and child together, if possible? Absolutely.

God has His plan. Such would be the time for faith in God's perfect timing. "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28.

As I said before, my older daughter is an adult now, and long past these concerns. But I'll still have this secret plan for my 12 year old, should she be imperfect. It seems like the only forgiving, loving response.

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