However, I feel it is time to share details and share my story of 2014. It was not the "NEW" I ever would have picked. It's not the way I would have chosen my year to go...but this is how it went...and with her permission...this is our story.
Sarah is my oldest child. She has a radiant personality. She has also been the one to give me the most gray hair! We have had struggles in our relationship for several years. She is a very "determined" girl and we butted heads often.
Everything came to a head though in February, when after some bad choices she made, I put my foot down and told her if she didn't want to follow the rules in our home, she was free to leave.
And she did.
And I was devastated.
I walked through it at first with my feet firmly planted on the truth of the word. God gave me the word "No matter how today's page in my book of life looks, the enemy does not get to write the final chapter". And I was trusting God that He would bring my prodigal back home. I knew it could be long. I knew it could be painful. I knew it could be hard. But I also knew He was holding her.
But...then in March...the grief hit. And it hit hard. I sank into somewhat of a depression over her. This was her Senior year and I was missing everything that I as a parent, who had raised their child, should not have to miss. I would sit in my van at the bus stop and she would walk by me like I was invisible. Knife to the heart. There were choices made that shattered my already broken heart into even more pieces. It was a HARD season for me.
I then started to question God..."WHY?? After all I have been through, why this?? Why now?? Why her?? I am not Superwoman. I am human." My faith was rocked at it's core this year. I was angry. I was alone. I was rejected.
In July, she came home for about 2 months. I was walking in the hope that we were on our way back to being mom and daughter again.Things went well for the first month, then we started having some of the same issues again. Choices were being made that I could not tolerate in my home. And so I spoke with her again and told her that if things didn't change, we would need to make some decisions. So she left.
She chose what I would not choose for her. Now what?? Jesus, help me get through this process.
Around the end of October she and her boyfriend came over one Sunday afternoon to visit. She then told me she had some news for me and showed me a picture of a pregnancy test that was indicating positive. I was going to be a grandmother. She was going to be a mother.
Emotions all over the place. Thoughts started spinning.
She is 19. Her whole life is ahead of her. And now a baby.
They left and I went outside and did a LOT of crying and thinking and talking to God. I sat for over an hour and poured out my heart.
This is not what anyone would choose for their child. But it is where I am...now what?
As I sat and cried and prayed and cried and cried some more, the Lord spoke two things into my heart and mind..."Stephanie, I breathe life...I gave that life..." and He also reminded me that "My ways are not your ways...trust me!"
That helped, but my emotions were so raw and my thoughts were all over the place. So I did what I knew I had to do...I plugged into truth. I scheduled an appointment with my counselor and dug in deep to what God promises in His word. I was blessed that this happened to fall during the week of two special services at my church.
On Wednesday, I attended Fan into Flame. My first one to attend in the five years I have been at Fellowship. And the first word spoken was "If you are facing disappointments in life, raise your hands and then those around you will pray over you!" Ummm YES!! ME ME ME!!! And several laid hands on me and prayed! And I could feel the peace of God being released. Then the last word shared was "You need to be thankful for something...start thanking God!" And so I did. I thanked God for the gift of a sweet grandbaby! The gift of life! She could have chosen an abortion and no one would have ever known. But she didn't. And so I did. I thanked God that I have a sweet grandbaby to look forward to holding.
By the next evening, I was doing better with it all. There was a worship and prayer night planned at our Springhill campus and I attended that as well. I went with a much different heart and mindset than I had even the morning before. God was filling me with peace and love. And I was able to go, pray, and worship my Savior.
I have had the privilege of being at Sarah's doctors appts with her. The last one, I saw my grandbaby...the little hands by the little face! I have heard the sweet heartbeat twice and twice my heart has skipped a beat!!! FINALLY...one I can spoil then send home! Or pass off when they cry...or have a poopy diaper...
Sarah is now more than my daughter. She is my friend. Our relationship has transitioned and it is fun and many times beautiful. I got to buy her, her very first maternity outfit...she looked so cute with the baby bump that is forming! Such an honor for me. And when I looked at her standing there, I was in awe. Not just over the fact that I saw my daughter who is going to be a mom, but I saw the gift of God's restoration of a broken relationship.
Sarah has been open with my kids about her choices and that they need to choose better. She is seeing and I am thankful! This road could have been so much longer...and so much uglier...
She gave me a card for Christmas and I want to share what she wrote...as I read it, the tears poured...Thank you God!!! You are so good!!!
On January 1st this year...when I knew what my word was, I though I also had an idea about how my year would go. I had done the hard stuff....for a long time. So the "NEW" was going to be a year filled with good stuff. Smooth sailing. Happiness. Contentment. Joy. Maybe even love?? Then February hit and the "NEW" was not what I anticipated. It was more of the hard...really hard...faith rattling hard.
But when I sit today and reflect on the 361 days that I have called 2014, I see "NEW" and lots of it. As I walked the path, I didn't see the turns, twists, and destination. But God did. His ways are not my ways. And His ways are good...I don't just have my daughter back, I have a friend.
And that my friends is "NEW"!!!