Thursday, March 29, 2012

"Beauty for Ashes"--Susan's take

This is an amazing piece of writing, written by my dear friend and "second mother", Susan. She is so talented and a God given inspiration. I hope you read this and discover that being a Godly Woman does not require your money, your advice, or your judgement.  Sometimes all it takes, is just being there and giving someone your love... And the most precious thing of all: your time. 

Sweet Lesa.  Friend of my son, Spencer. She’s floated in and out around our house for several years from dinner guest to prom date.  A source of frustration for Spencer because he saw such beauty in her that he wished she saw in herself.  Covering up insecurity with a false confidence and a restless, sometimes reckless approach to life.  Romantic relationship was not to be, but they remained friends. 

I knew through him that she was in a dark place, sinking.  Unresolved issues.  Drugs.  Now a pregnancy. I decide I’ll try to connect with her mom, who I recently began teaching in the same building with.  Maybe I can offer some encouragement.  Once upon a time I was young, single, and expecting too.  

Fast forward a week or so and Lesa is at my classroom door.  She falls into my arms and I just hold her there for what seems like a long time.  This is new between us.  She wants to talk.  Plans to come by the house this very afternoon.  I hardly have time to get home from work and she is there, anxious to share.  Who I expect is a little girl lost and broken.  Who shows up is a woman who has found her Savior.  These were not the kind of tears I was bracing myself for, these tears of joy!!

"The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is upon me,
for the LORD has anointed me
to bring good news to the poor.
He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted
and to proclaim that captives will be released
and prisoners will be freed. He has sent me to tell those who mourn
that the time of the LORD’s favor has come,
and with it, the day of God’s anger against their enemies. To all who mourn in Israel,
he will give a crown of beauty for ashes,
a joyous blessing instead of mourning,
festive praise instead of despair.
In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks
that the LORD has planted for his own glory." Isaiah 61:1-3 NLT

Over the next several months we grow closer and closer. I’m relishing being “Mama Susan” and would be lying if I said the prospect of becoming “Grandma Susan” wasn’t tugging at my heartstrings.  But there are tough choices for my girl on the horizon and time is ticking away. 

Sometimes it’s so hard to differentiate “patience” from “procrastination”.  I was with her when she met with the adoption counselor, but things just didn’t seem to click into place.  Tick, tick, tick.  Will she be able to follow through with her plan of adoption if she brings the baby home, has more time to bond?  The days are speeding by.  We are praying for the answer.  God is faithful.  

"You can pray for anything, and if you have faith, you will receive it.” Matthew 21:22 NLT

February 11. Excitement! The text that Lesa is at the hospital! “Do you want me to come up?” “Sure, but only if you want to.” Of course I want to! I want so much to be right there through these next hours, but do I want that just for Lesa or for myself?  If there is anything I’ve tried to assure and reassure Lesa of these past months it’s that “love is sacrificial action”, our family motto—God’s love for us, her love for this baby—it’s so much more than a word or a feeling.  I’m trying to take my own counsel because the truth is maybe the sacrifice I need to make tonight is not in leaving the comfort of my nice warm house to stay up all night at the hospital, but to stay put—step back and allow someone else to step in.  

At different times on this journey she has asked me to be there with her on D-Day, but recently things with her mom are going smoothly… and there’s Jamie now. I’m absolutely praising God for both of those things, but it’s leaving me unsure of my own role.  I don’t want to miss this but I don’t want to take it from anyone else either.  Lesa and Charlie have been one and the same these past months, and being there for one is being there for both but the imminent separation is looming and although I have fallen in love with this baby, my focus must remain on this young woman I have seen blossom before my eyes these past months no less dramatically that a time-lapse video of a flower from sprout to bloom. 

My girl. I decide I’ll go on up and just see how things are going, how Lesa is doing, be a support for her and her mom, make myself available but stay on the fringe.  Halfway there I get another text that they are on the way back home.  Good.  There’s still time for me to share with her how I’m feeling and let her make the call.

With assurance that Lesa does want me to be with her at the hospital, I head on back up Saturday afternoon.    I’m so anxious to meet Jamie and Ben.  I’m excited to tell them what I believe God wants me to share.  “I know you see your prayers answered in this miracle, but remember that the answer to our prayers is YOU. YOU ARE THE ANSWER!”  

As I enter the room, I can see Lesa’s excitement but I can also sense her pain—so much deeper than the physical squeeze of the contractions is the squeeze on her heart.  She’s trying so hard to fight both.   The only thing I know to do turns out to be a huge moment of blessing for me.  I slide over to her bedside. Smooth her hair. Stroke her eyebrows. Whisper a prayer.  Whisper “I love you. I’m so proud of you. You can do this.” We both know what I mean. Not just this delivery, but this sacrifice. With sleepy, tearful eyes my girl whispers back, “Thanks for being here just for me.”  Thanks for letting me.  

"Friends love through all kinds of weather, and families stick together in all kinds of trouble." Proverbs 17:17 MSG

Thank you again, Susan... For listening to Gods voice and guiding me with Patience and Love... And for showing other women what It takes to be a strong, bold QUEEN of GOD that we are meant to be!!! 

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