She was always a tough one in my eyes. She seemed like nothing fazed her. She was raising her two children alone, their father left in May. Left her with no car, no income. I saw her as she walked around the neighborhood to deliver food she made. She walked with confidence. I saw her discipline her children with authority. I saw her take care of her household, doing things the man should do. I saw her handle hot foods bare-handed without a flinch.
But Saturday I saw a different side.
As I walked into her house I saw her sitting at the kitchen table alone, staring out the window at nothing, tears streaming down her face. She was silent as I placed my hand on her shoulder. She mumbled something in Spanish and a young girl told me she said, “I just wish things were like they used to be—when we were all happy together.”
It was the son’s 8th birthday and the party was planned. The tamales were made, the rice was steaming, the tomato sauces boiling, the cake was made, the house was cleaned, and the gifts were wrapped. I was at my house waiting on my two kids to wake up from their nap so we could be at the 3:00 party. Grant came in at 2:15 and said, “Right now there won’t be a party. The dad came and took the birthday boy. Why don’t you go over and see how we can help?”
The next few hours were spent speaking with police and pleading with the father to please bring the birthday boy home to his party. The father was being obstinate. He knew there was a party planned. He knew what time the party was to start. He knew he could have the boy anytime he wanted…just not right now when the guests will be arriving soon.
In mine and Grant’s hearts the hours were also spent in continuous prayer. We prayed that he could come home. That the papers she had from the courts were enough. We prayed for safety as we talked with the father who did not want to give the birthday boy back. We prayed for the birthday boy as he cried—wanting nothing more than to come home to his mother and his 8th birthday party. We prayed that God would be exalted in such a tough situation—somehow.
My heart ached to see a child go through this and to see a tough Momma so weak and heartbroken.
“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9
Thank you Jesus that your strength is sufficient. You promise that because of Your great love for us we are NOT CONSUMED. You are the Father who won’t leave us. We are the apple of Your eye. May this family know your love intimately.
The party finally started at 5:30 as the birthday boy arrived back at his house with his smiling Momma.
If there ever was a hard day, that was a tough one.