Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Dropout (05/12/11)
TITLE: God Is Not a "Dropout"
By Lisa Johnson
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When my daughter was seventeen, she and I had plans to go on a mission trip to Brazil. I think that I was looking forward to the trip even more than she was. It would be a wonderful time for some much needed mother-daughter bonding, and I knew it would be a life-changing experience... for both of us. I was totally unprepared for what happened.
“Mom... I'm going to have to drop out of the Brazil trip... I'm pregnant.”
Of all the things she could have told me, this was the most unexpected. For some inexplicable reason, my beautiful, smart daughter had decided she was “mad at God.” As a result of this anger at God, she decided to date “the worst boy she could find.” I was disappointed and dismayed. I could not understand how God could allow such a thing to happen... how a sweet, Christian young lady could choose to abandon every thing she had been taught. She dropped out of the youth group for obvious reasons. Feeling ostracized by the people in our small-town church, she all but dropped out of church.
I was afraid of losing my daughter and my grandchild if I tried to break up her relationship with the “baby daddy.” Deep inside, I was ashamed of the fact that my daughter was going to be an unwed mother. I allowed her... no, I encouraged her to “do the right thing” by marrying the young man.
She could not handle the stress of school, marriage, and teen-age motherhood. She dropped out of high school in her senior year, and said goodbye to her dreams of college and a career in fashion and interior design. I cried bitter tears for the loss of her innocence and her dreams. I cried just as much for my own loss... I would never get the chance to see her graduate with her friends... my daughter and I would never share the joy of planning a “real” wedding.
My husband blamed me for allowing her to get married. I struggled with conflicting demands to be submissive to my husband, while at the same time being obedient to God's call to “love, accept and forgive” my daughter and her husband. I found myself in a dark place... deeply depressed... subsequently, I, too, “dropped out” for a while. God's grace came in a small package... my precious grandson, who needed me not to be in a dark place.
Five years and three babies later, my daughter is still with this man. He's had too many jobs to count, been unfaithful to her on at least four separate occasions, and proves on a daily basis that he is incapable of taking care of her and the children. I ask her how does she expect “the worst boy she could find” to ever grow up to be a good man? But, she does not want to be a “marriage dropout.”
She takes her marriage vows seriously. She has faith that God can change her husband. She believes in her heart that someday he will choose to be the husband and father that she and the children need. So, for now, she forgives him graciously, and loves him unconditionally, and prays for him unceasingly.
In my flesh, I would see her situation as hopeless. I would say that she made her bed, and now has to lay in it. I would wash my hands of the situation, and be done with it. But, as a Christian... and as her mother... I don't want to “drop out” of her life and the lives of the children. So my decision... my commitment... is to forgive her graciously, love her unconditionally, and pray for her unceasingly. I will trust God to take care of the rest, because we may be dropouts, but God is not a dropout.
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