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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Mother (as in maternal parent) (04/24/08)

TITLE: Out of Wedlock into Grace
By Coleene VanTilburg


He was conceived long before I ever came into the picture. They were young but not innocent. They were tough but not careful; they were in lust but not in love. His name would be Fabian. He would live with his mom and be raised by many. Eventually, the couple would no longer be. Dad continued down a looser path, ending up homeless and estranged from his own family. Mom and son moved about an hour away and the visits became more infrequent. He barely would bond with his son.

Years passed by. The father would learn through his twenties, some difficult lessons. He would find his heart though, and return it to the Lord, his Creator. He would find forgiveness of sin, forgiveness from his own family as well, only to lose his own mother to cancer. He would find an "adoptive" family, who encouraged him towards further growth in the Lord and maturity. He learned about brotherly love, fellowship and support. He felt the love of His Heavenly Father and he longed to be a real father himself, but he had no idea how or if it would ever happen.

Then I came into his life. Whatever was still broken, I "fixed." I knew he was the one. We would continue on this path together of healing the past and "growing up." I am seven years younger but mature for my youth. His son, Fabian, is now twelve.

The mom was not on the friendliest terms with dad, but since he was now being "responsible" and paying child support, tensions began to ease. The mom on the other hand, had not evolved into the role she chose. Shirking responsibility herself onto others, choosing bad relationships and bad habits led her down a destructive trail.

A phone call came to us that evening, rarely initiated from that end..."Dad?...It's Fabian...Mom's been arrested..." That phone call changed my life.

Convincing the extended family of Fabian, that Dad needed the chance, that Dad would be the best choice for the care of Fabian, was most difficult. Many phone calls, paper work, patience, and prayers later, Fabian came to live with us. I became an "instant Step-mother. Wow! Here I was self-confidant, smart, responsible, but feeling pretty scared that I could do this "mom thing" to a pre-teen with some major issues in his own life right now. Fabian, he was so cute and oh so hyper! What do I do with all this energy? How will it affect our relationship between his dad and me? Will he like me? Will I come to resent him? Is this God's plan? Can we make a difference in Fabian's life or has his past already been engrained? As he grows older, will he get angry or will he be happy? Can I love him Lord? Will he love me?

A new "Mother's" prayer: Dear Father in Heaven, Lord, we have sacrificed much to give Fabian a real home. His dad now has the chance to be a Father. We love sitting at his baseball games, helping him with his homework, tucking him in at night, spoiling him. We long to teach him about Jesus; to give him a chance to exit a "gang legacy" and begin a new legacy of hope. Father God, as his Step-Mom, I pray for continued wisdom at my young age to do what is right. I pray for this son and his dad whom I have come to love so much, for us to be a family who mirrors You Lord. This child may not have been planned, but Lord, we know you have a plan, that all things work together for good for all who love you and are called according to your purpose. Lord, Fabian's real mom needs your love and guidance in her life as well. As difficult as she has made things, her son loves her and I must pray for her too. This will be my first "Mother's Day." I pray I am worthy of the title. Thank you God. Amen

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Member Comments
Member Date
Janice Cartwright05/01/08
This is a real challenge and one that will need the Lord's help daily. I heard about a christian family counselor who gave standard advice, applicable to most any situation: "Be tender." Thank you for sharing your story about how Fabian came to br your step-son. I know you look forward to your first Mother's Day.
Yvonne Blake 05/03/08
There are so many "Fabians" out there in the world. He is blessed to be given the chance to live in a home where he can be shown the love of God.
Good job. Keep writing.
Rita Horten05/26/08
Wow! I felt like I was reading parts of my own life story. I am a step-mother of two girls and two boys and a mother of two daughters of my own. They are all grown now, but we have been down the trail of drug abuse, grandchildren in foster homes, you name it. God's grace covers a multitude of sin. He truly is our strong tower and a refuge in times of trouble. I am so glad you shared this story. We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. Thank you and God Bless. Rita Horten