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Sunday, March 23, 2014

March 23: THE FAMILY WAY

      Dr. and Mrs. Holwood came to the apartment after church, bringing chicken stew and fresh bread, fruit salad, and a card signed by everyone in Lisa and Todd's Young Marrieds class. Lisa managed not to hesitate or stutter as she thanked them, but her thoughts kept circling back to the same questions while they visited for a few minutes: Was Todd in class when someone passed around the card for her? What was the story going around the church, and especially among their friends? How many knew she had left Todd? Lisa had welcomed the quiet and lack of visitors, except for the small circle of those who had supported her from the beginning, meaning Bekka and her roommates, and her sisters-in-law. The enormity of what she had done, the thought of the division she was probably causing among her and Todd's friends in church, struck her with enough force to make her feel as hollow and dizzy as she had just before she slid down the post office steps.
      It didn't help as much as she had thought, when Dr. Holwood and Doria both gave her tentative support in her decision. Their reasoning came from the viewpoint of being part of the foster parenting system, and considering the needs and rights of the children.
      "There is a lot of good in Todd, and we've spent quite a bit of time in prayer, trying to see beyond our problems with his father," Doria admitted with a deprecating little shrug and smile. She reached across the shallow trunk that served as a coffee table in the cramped living room-office. "But we've also seen too much hurt done to children by parents who stayed too long. The ideal is for children to be raised by two parents who work together, who put the needs and the good of the children above their own. Unfortunately, in this sinful world, that doesn't happen, even in Christian homes."

      "Sometimes it's better if the family is dissolved, or at least temporarily divided, until the parents can grow up and heal from their wounds," Dr. Holwood said, taking up the line of thought. "Sometimes it's better if a child has foster parents, or only one parent, rather than subjecting him or her to the constant tension, the battles, the toxic environment. It's not your life anymore, Lisa. The moment the Lord entrusted that child to you, your life changed. It's up to you to trust in him, and obey, and make sure that change is for the better. For you and Todd, as well as for your baby."

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