In Grand Rapids, Michigan, the evening of September 11 was beautiful. The weather, which could be very inclement at times, was warm, dry and calm. Lindsay told us that she wanted to go to church to pray. She said she thought that the Lord would use this catastrophe in our nation as an opportunity for her with her friends at work. She wanted them to know her as a Christian who would trust the Lord in these difficult times. Her new husband had to work that night; since they shared a car, she would pick him up when his shift was over at eight o’clock p.m. Our youngest son, Tyler, rode with her to church. It was so good to see her interact with her brothers. We had been estranged for about 14 months.
Lindsay had gotten into trouble in her junior year of high school. She had actually gone to summer camp and confided in her counselor about some issues in which she was involved that did not honor the Lord. The following Sunday night, her youth pastor called us into his office and told us, “I don’t think people in the church should know things about your daughter that you don’t know.” He proceeded to tell us the things that Lindsay had been doing. I remember telling him that we knew something was wrong, but it was like we were swinging a bat in the dark. Her attitude was very rebellious and not only was she spending an excessive amount of time with her friends but also being cagy about her activities. We were quite saddened that Lindsay had gotten into trouble and we were worried about her. When she came home, we told her about our conversation with the youth pastor and confronted her with the facts. She denied everything the pastor told us. Steve told her, “Look, Lindsay, this is just like my job. I deal with clients lying to me all day long about their drug use. We find out what they’re doing with a urine drop. Obviously, I am not going to do that, but I know you’re lying.” After awhile, she finally admitted her wrong. We had a moment of prayer with her, affirmed our love for her and we all went to bed.
Her senior year was upon us in no time. We laid down certain parameters we expected her to follow and set up some guidelines for her after school job, etc. Things seemed to be better for quite a while. Toward the end of her senior year, we started having some very familiar scenarios with her. She became evasive; she smelled like smoke again and her whereabouts were always a little vague. Her anger was getting out of control and her behavior was upsetting everyone in the family. Night after night we had contention. The phone would ring after eleven or eleven thirty and if I answered, the person hung up. The caller ID was always marked “unavailable” and the calls persisted. More than once, Lindsay picked up her back pack and threatened to leave with her friends for an unknown length of time to some unknown destination. As a mother, she was scaring me to death. I knew the dangers that lurked out there in the world for a couple of high school girls trying to prove their independence.
A fleshly person is not a fun person.
It doesn’t matter if the person we are dealing with is a son, daughter or best friend, when one is “in the flesh”as the Bible calls it, it can be an ugly mess. Lindsay reverted to some real nastiness when she was on the run. I have a friend who calls her daughter’s rebellion, “her time with the donkeys,” a reference to the bad behavior of Pinocchio and his cohorts. Lindsay had some donkey friends that were a real source of grief to us.
As her senior year was drawing to a close and she seemed to be repeating some of the old patterns, we had to have one of those talks with her. We were saddened again at her return to the old ways of the previous year. We gave her the ultimatum: either forsake the sin or else. She stood in stubborn opposition to us. The phone kept ringing, her support system egging her on to the wrong things over and over again. One day, she announced that she had made her decision and she would not graduate if it meant she had to give up her boyfriend and her other “friends.”
They supported her decision, of course, what was it to them? They had nothing to lose. It reminds me of a game show where the contestant looks for advice from members of the audience. He stands with thousands of dollars in the balance while the mob screams for them to risk it all in some maneuver of the game. What do they have to lose; and yet the contestant listens to them and many times takes a ridiculous risk. That was Lindsay; she stood listening to people who had already graduated or were about to and let them decide for her; the risk taker listening to the mob.
After that decision was made, the tenor of our Christian home ratcheted downward. Lindsay felt and stated emphatically that she had nothing to lose, there was no longer any reason to obey the family rules and she felt “that was that.” She began staying out all night; we didn’t know where she was going or who she was with. But we believed strongly in what we required of her and we were trusting in the Lord for His guidance.
Robyn Bloem, Author, Co-Founder, Heartfelt Ministries.
The portion above is part of an unpublished title which we are submitting to
publishers. If you interested as a publisher please let us know. (We do not wish to self publish it), thanks.
Our other book, Broken Minds Hope for Healing It When you Feel Like You're Losing It,Grand Rapids: Kregel Publications can be found on our web site and many others which will yield to a google search, bloem,broken minds