Wait, wait, wait....slow the information train down.
I hadn't heard from Sweet Mama in over a month; the last few conversations we had were difficult ones. She discovered she was pregnant, again, and waffled between abortion, parenting, or asking us to parent. She admitted it was an uncomfortable conversation to have with me (I agreed), but she had no one else to turn to.
I mostly listened while my insides screamed.
"They put me on a tether and if I don't have a permanent place to live TOMORROW, my PO is hauling my a** to jail. I can't do it. Not again. Not pregnant. I am going to run. Doesn't that seem like the best choice?!?!"
After I was schooled on why she was tethered, what a PO is, and why shelters aren't an option, I asked if jail was the worst multiple choice answer. I couldn't think of a kinder way to say it, so I just went for the punch-in-the-face approach.
She lectured me up one side and down the other for such a suggestion, but all I could think about was dependable shelter, meals, and medical care.
I can't relate to most of her experiences and pretending isn't genuine, but I care for her deeply and do my best to listen to the Holy Spirit so that I can give her godly counsel.
She asked if I would wire money to help secure housing. She was desperate and I could hear it in her voice. But I said no.
I pleaded with her not to run and tried to paint a picture of what that would mean for her and her baby. It was well over two weeks before I learned her whereabouts.
She didn't run. She did go to jail. And she lost the baby.
I felt immediate relief on all three accounts and then I heard (really heard) the shake in her voice and I saw a picture of her heart.
It is so important that we, intentionally, remove our natural lenses in such situations because despite our best efforts to love generously, we are tarnished by experience and influence. I didn't share this story for a long time because I didn't want anyone to voice the same unfiltered thoughts that I had.
Yes. This baby was rescued from a life of risk and separation...but at her mother's expense. Does one life hold more value than the other?
Imagine the loss.
Three babies born to Sweet Mama were removed, brutally, by the legal proceedings in a courtroom - and while I did my best to keep their memories vivid and alive - there was never a goodbye.
Now there is a fourth. The details are different, but the loss is the same. Life on the inside; barren on the outside.
I've spent weeks thinking about the severity of Sweet Mama's circumstances and the mix-match of our stories. Her heart is shredded...yet she doesn't give up. She, stubbornly, holds on challenging others to defy her will. I see so much of her daughter in her. They are fighters; survivors.
I feel the feels when I think about Edith and her story. Named by her mama - reward of war. The truth in it is chilling.
Somewhere in all the darkness, Sweet Mama has a flicker of hope.
She hopes for a kinder life. The chance to love and mother and know peace.
Do you know what her name means?
I only looked it up, today.
God sees her. He knows her comings and goings. When she sits; when she stands. Even when her thoughts are afar, he knows them. He loves her so much that he called me - the mother of her children - to see her, too.
...and I'm doing my best to see her as he does. Whole and worthy and of priceless value.
Who has God asked you to see?