JUANITA FLOYD: An unexpected child demands our best response

So when they continued asking Him, he lifted up Himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.”

What do you do and how do you react when your adult son nervously says, “Mama, I really need to talk to you!” Can you imagine the myriad of thoughts that flowed through my brain? My son proceeded to say, “Mama, you have always taught me to do the right thing, you took me to church, you taught me about the Lord’s love, you taught me about making a difference in the lives of people, you taught me about responsibility…” After a few minutes, I interrupted his talking and said, “Son, what is it? Tell me!”

“My girlfriend is going to have a baby! At this point, we do not plan to marry – maybe later in life.” I didn’t say anything other than, “Son, there are two charges that I ask of you; (1) be involved in the child’s life and, (2) support the child financially.” My son later said to his siblings, ‘Mama didn’t react the way I thought she would.’ She didn’t get upset.”

Internally, I was disappointed, distressed and thought about another statistic. What will people say? Will they talk about how I raised my children? Will they say I’m not a good mother? Did I fail in my teachings? Did I teach them enough about living for and serving the Lord? What about Holy matrimony first and children after that? She has graduated from a four year college – how is this going to affect her in applying for a job? For days and months, I wrestled with so many questions?

Later, friends of his girlfriend sponsored a baby shower. I attended. It was a fun-filled and festive event. At the end, the girlfriend was asked to have remarks. She thanked all the people for attending and for giving all the beautiful gifts. She then tearfully said, “I know I didn’t conceive baby Andrew the right way. My parents raised and taught me the right values. I accept responsibility for what I have done. However, I am so grateful and thankful for the Lord’s love, mercy and forgiveness. I thank God for His forgiveness toward me. I know this baby will be raised with love from both sets of grandparents and families. I will do everything in my power to teach baby Andrew the same way my parents taught me.”

There was not a dry eye in the room. At that moment, the baby shower turned into praise and worship. Her sister began to sing a song entitled, “Take me to the King” that reminded everyone about taking your problems, mistakes, heartaches, pains, etc., to the King of Kings. Some of the lyrics are, “I don’t have much to bring; my heart is torn in pieces; it’s my offering; truth is I’m weak; no strength to fight; no tears to cry; we need a word for the peoples pain; So, Lord speak right now; we are desperate; we are chasing after you; I’ve made my decision to run to You for healing that I need.”

As she was singing, the Lord freed me, spoke to me and all those questions dissipated. I thought about my own life and the mistakes I have made – the wrong decisions. I, too, thought about His wonderful grace, mercy and forgiveness. I know that His grace does not give us permission to continually sin; but we do have an advocate with the Father.

They asked me to pray a closing prayer. I was able to pray, “Thank You, Lord, for truly freeing me. Thank You, Lord, for Your grace and mercy. Thank You, Lord, for baby Andrew. Because of his birth – two families will forever be bound together. Thank You, Lord, for baby Andrew’s parents who will love and support him…

Andrew, my grandson, is a blessing and an integral part of my life. My son accepts responsibility, personally and financially, and is very much involved in Andrew’s life.

Have you had obstacles in your life that seemed overwhelming and insurmountable? Have disappointments in someone’s actions caused an internal struggle in your life and hindered you from moving forward? You be the judge.

Juanita Gambrell Floyd is executive vice president for finance at CREATE Foundation. Contact her at 213 W Main St # 100, Tupelo, MS 38804.