One small yes early this year has shaped my entire year and dare I say, the rest of my life.
It's a yes that, as I found out, some aren't willing to agree to but I did and I'm so thankful.
I am thankful for a young girl who found herself pregnant while being at the mercy of others and chose to give her baby life and to keep her. She wants for her daughter what she didn't have and whether that can actually happen, well I'm praying it does.
The odds are stacked against her from what I can tell except for the very fact that she didn't quit school and finished with a full high school degree. As I handed her the commencement program with her name in it, I told her teen moms don't do that. I told her it is a momentous thing not just for herself but also for her baby's future. I am thankful that God has created her to do such a thing.
I am thankful for a school that does not give up on kids like her. There are teachers, administration, nurses and others that handle it all. Plain and simple, I am thankful for our school.
I am thankful for the conversations I've had with my dad. Just like me, he's working through his prejudices. It's not easy work. To step away from the safety of a well-worn thought, dare to believe that this one might be different than the stereotype and stuff the whole thing up with grace, well that's not like us. But here's the deal- we, him, her, me- we are all the same. Broken. And I cannot not offer her what was offered me. And I can't wait for her to jump through some hoop because I couldn't lift my baby toe if I tried. "While we were still sinners..."
I am thankful for the body of believers. A simple email, a couple of phone calls and every need was met. Some were so eager, they gave up their afternoon to provide immediately. Others asked for more and I handed them some dirty laundry. Washing the feet mostly requires a person willing to get down low.
I am thankful to be able to connect with a neighbor. It was just a short conversation but meant so much. When you're in the thick of things, you need to talk your crazy out and you need to listen to other's stories and she did that for me.
As crazy as this sounds, I am thankful for the system. Don't take me wrong, I very much want her out of the system. But from where I look for her, Thank God! She received care and services that she would have otherwise not had. I don't need to highlight the drawbacks because they are self-evident but the fact is it does help.
I am thankful to have this whole thing turn me inside out. I have questions and I want answers. And just when I've pounded my fist and demanded answers from Him and an immediate showing of all this, He asks me how long I've been journeying and healing and, good grief, if I have taken this long, shouldn't I give her some time as well? This stuff- it's for the ego-bursting.
This isn't all. There's more thankful then I can spell out. There's more in almost every conversation with her. There's more when I wrestle with the whole thing. There isn't a simple answer. And just when I've come to an answer, it shifts slightly when settling and I'm back to adjusting my questions. There's thankful when I gather up all the hope I can hold and stick the whole thing back in His face. I'm left with a pile of hope, a mound of grace, a messed up life and overflowing gratitude I didn't know I wanted.