Amidst the constant turmoil that had become our lives, Lindsay threw her backpack over her shoulder and threatened to “just move out.” I shook inside thinking of all the awful things that could occur if she were to really do that. When that day finally did come, I was much braver than I ever thought I could be. I had grown so tired of the threats and the confusion about her whereabouts. She would tell us that she’d be spending the night with her college friend in the dorm and she wasn’t there. She had started spending the night with her friend, Bill…on the futon. He was her all powerful rescuer from her “oppressive Christian parents.” He took her in when no one else would…she had offers from many parents who assumed because of all the trouble we were having, that we just didn’t love her anymore, didn’t care where she ended up and supposed that we had just put her out. Not one parent ever called us to ask what was going on. One family took her with them on Spring break without ever having spoken to us about our situation. This friend’s mother also put her own daughter on birth control later so she “wouldn’t end up like Lindsay Bloem” --pregnant.
So, when she threatened to leave that last time, I told her (quite miraculously for the coward that I am) that she could step completely out of God’s will for her life, make a terrible mistake in sin and the moment she did, it would turn into God’s will for me to live with. I told her I knew the Lord and I knew what He expected us to do as parents and He would give me grace to deal with her rebellion. I was really very thankful that God gave me that attitude because it did not come naturally.
Not So Fast
She left for a few days and then decided since she wasn’t in school anymore, there was really nothing else that could be done to her, she reasoned, she could come home. There were no rules to follow; she could smoke, she could come and go, stay out all night with no consequences. One morning I woke up around 6a.m. and she wasn’t in her room. I went back downstairs and looked around the house. Going across the living room, I looked anxiously out of the window and fainted. I remember hearing myself in my imaginations saying to the police, “I don’t really know the guy; but he lives a couple of miles down the road and he was the last person to see her.” I was half afraid she’d be one of those stories of being killed by an unknown “boyfriend.” Turned out, he wasn’t a sadistic killer, just an opportunist who took advantage of a situation that had fallen literally in his lap.
She did show up that morning, appearing safe and sound, but we knew that the upheaval she was causing in our home was not even close to acceptable. Steve and I knew that we couldn’t have our family always arguing, fighting, yelling, threatening, crying…scenes that I know are repeated around the United States behind the wreathed doorways of suburban America. The ones that nobody wants to talk about; the rebels of our churches who come to the services on Sunday morning, hung over from partying the night before, dimwitted parents who turn the other way and hope nobody ever finds out what is going on in their lovely, peaceful homes. I know this is true, because these kids were the friends and acquaintances of our kids. Many of them smelled like smoke, and alcohol during their high school years , got in trouble on a regular basis and posted pictures of themselves on social networks in various forms of degradation. Their parents describe them as “doing very well.” I remember the first time I heard the acronym, MIP. I had never heard of that until one of our son’s friends was charged with it. Minor in Possession…not good for the record and dangerously deadly when it happens behind the wheel of a car.
more to come