Tuesday, February 27, 2007

A Little Girl's Life

The family situation has been somewhat rocky and uncertain for several years now, particularly since that unforgettable phone call when my brother broke the news that his girlfriend was having a baby. Now, seven years later, I have a stunningly beautiful and bright niece whom I often wish I could see most now living so far away from Dallas/Fort Worth. As with most circumstances as this, things have not gone particularly well for my brother. He has not yet received any kind of custody rights for Isabelle, and although he has somewhat tried to consistently pay his part of child support, he is pretty dependent on his ex-girlfriend as to how often he gets to see his daughter. Recent news and events have led to a huge decision for my brother to make, and really for the entire family involved. His ex-girlfriend also has a daughter with another ex-boyfriend, Isabelle's 3-year-old half-sister. He spoke with my dad recently, informing him that he had made the decision to go to court and receive full custody of his daughter. We have all seen evidence for years now of the manner in which she raises her daughters, and I would not be crossing a line here to say that it definitely falls into the category of unacceptable. We were not surprised in the least when he told my dad of his decision. But now, apart from him and his daughter, my brother is now faced with a very real, very sobering question: what is going to happen with Isabelle? Even if it is a long shot, my brother COULD make some drastic changes in his life in order to prepare himself and a home for raising Isabelle himself. There are so many questions running through his head right now, he is rather overwhelmed with what is at stake. This other man is not responsible for Isabelle--not that he doesn't care for her, but she is not his. Apart from my brother's ex-girlfriend, we are Isabelle's family, and my brother now has a responsibility. Clearly, if the courts agree that she is an unfit mother, then something must be done with Isabelle. So, what will that be? The question is still open-ended at this point...

What is my role in all of this? Not just as a concerned aunt, but as one committed to the mandates set forth in the Word of God, what is my role as one speaking truth to my family? While talking to my brother on the phone last night, I found myself running through these questions and realizing that I don't know the answers to them at this point. This is one of those moments when you realize the weight of such circumstances, and the Lord presents you with the truth of His Word--especially in regard to anxiety and faithful intercession. The principles, admonishments, commands, and encouragement are set forth in Scripture, but how does this look practically? What is my responsibility, and how will my speaking the truth of the Gospel to my niece, to my brother, to my entire family look from 800 miles away?

I rest only in His perfect peace and in knowing that nothing is impossible apart from Him.

You keep watching the rain come
Pretty princess, broken crown~
And your dreams have all burned out~
But don't you know that they
brought you
here somehow~ all you need to know
You're home, where secrets are told~
See a new world unfolding~
Where hearts are one, the pain's
And your finally
you need to know you're home~
So take your coat off and stay
What made you cry can make you
smile again~
You can hold your head up high~
Cause don't you know that you
oh, girl you were born to fly
When you realize.......
You're home~ where secrets are told~
See a new world unfolding~
Where hearts are one, the pain's
And your finally belonging~
And you need to know you're


Panda-Mom said...

She is soooo adorable and totally looks like YOU!

Laura said...

Hey, I have been such a bad friend by not commenting on your blog!! Though my brother's situation is dissimilar in a lot of ways, it's also similar in a few. This last year, as he started dating and subsequently got engaged to a young woman with two young kids, his maturity level has skyrocketed. His number one concern is how to be a godly father to those kids! This is a pretty amazing transformation, given some of the irresponsibility of his youth!

I think the Lord knows how humbling His gift of children really is, and often uses them to change people's hearts and lives. If God's purpose for our lives is sanctification -- well, you better get sanctified quick if you're going to be a good parent, right?

I'm praying for your brother and your (completely adorable) niece, that God's will would be accomplished! In fact, if you'd like someone to pray WITH, come on downstairs!! :)

GloryandGrace said...

Thank you so much for the encouraging comment! I'm really excited that you live downstairs, and I've been thankful for our little random conversations everytime we've had a chance to talk - whether it be our random talks of homeschool vs. public school, food, what chores we loath (haha), I'm really glad that you're down there now.
And thank you for letting me know that you're praying for my brother. If it pleases the Lord, may He call him to Himself~

Gretchen said...

Hey, just stopping by to say HI~

Come see me in the bookstore sometime! I am allowed to chat if I have visitors!

Panda-Mom said...

Update, please, Geek.

Panda-Mom said...

Um...helLLLOOOO. There is a blog world waiting for an update....puh-leeeze.

Panda-Mom said...

OK~This is totally ridiculous....get your booty on this BLOG!