Picture by angelasheart
This week one of our Etsy team shared her heartfelt struggles with family members. Each of us have pain, frustration, sadness that is unique to ourselves. But God has given us the ability to share with others to let them know they are not alone and give them hope for the future. Below is a true story (published by Baptist Press) I wrote 12 or 13 years ago of how God carried me through a particularly tough time.
So this is room 108. This is where he said he wanted to "settle it." "If we could settle it in room 108 and not have to go to room 109, I'd be happy." He being the lawyer and "it" being my son's future.
I'm perplexed by the idea that one courtroom would make a difference to another. What's the magic of room 108? The lawyer goes on to say that if it goes to room 109 or beyond that, then "we'll" have problems.
"We'll" is a kind word for him to use. It's as if he is sharing in the pain, grief, and fear we are now facing. But he isn't. He hadn't raised my son. He hadn't been there for his first smile. He hadn't felt his pain as he told of the bully who daily stole his dessert by punching him in the stomach. Nor had he watched him grow and develop into an individual. A person with much intelligence, deep sensitivity and many un-used gifts.
Now was he feeling the anguish of knowing his son had made very wrong choices? Wondering if somehow as a parent he missed doing something... maybe just one thing that would make a difference. Was this my fault as a parent? Had I not listened? Did I lecture so much as to close his ears? What could I have done to change these events to keep us from being here now in room 108?
Room 108 is a good size room. Upon entering the first third of the room, facing the judge, are wood benches. The accused sit here with their loved ones and friends. Dividing these simple benches from the rest of this room is a wooden rail. The rail seems to stand in judgment of the people who sit behind it. It seems to silently accuse and to purposely not allow those who sit behind it to be a part of the inner workings of room 108.
Beyond this rail, in the middle of the room stand two podiums equipped with microphones. One is marked "states attorney" and the other "defendant". To the right are rows of comfortable looking chairs in which police sit smiling and chatting. I assume they are the arresting officers. Across from them, to the left of the podiums are two large desks for the lawyers to work from. The podiums face a large long bench at which sits the judge who is elevated above all. And to his side are various court workers busily shuffling papers and working on computers.
Up to recently, I had never been in a room like this. Now they are becoming more familiar than I'd like to admit. I sit on my bench motionless. I want to plead with God, but am unable to concentrate. Inside I find the turmoil is hard to control. As I imagine do most of the others who sit on these benches. There are small barely perceptible indications of their nervousness. Such as a tapping of feet or a frequent shifting of their body. But on the surface they too appear calm. They too are waiting for their futures to be decided. I suppose that is an incorrect statement. They all, including my son, made choices that decided their futures. Now they await to hear what it will be.
Soon the lawyer returns to us. Gives us reassuring words. There's a smile in his voice and a glint in his eye. He obviously loves his work. I suppose it's much of a game to him. Manipulating the rules, figuring the ins and outs of the law to make it work for his clients. He seems right at home here in room 108. He, like everyone else who is beyond the rail, is very cordial and relaxed. The judge and lawyers greet one another as old friends while the court workers make little comments, exchanging smiles and knowing glances.
But I am not a part of that world. I sit on the accusing side of the rail. I wait. Glancing at my son wondering how this is effecting him. He too sits motionless except for an annoying rapping of two fingers.
I once again try to focus my thoughts on prayer but am interrupted as the lawyer approaches again. He motions us to leave the room with him. He explains there will be a continuance. This does not disturb him. He will not spend the next 30 days waiting and wondering. He is happy with this turn of events. After all, he explains that it will remain in room 108.
The lawyer leaves. I wonder will it, my son's future, be decided in room 108? Will room 108 be merciful? I look at my son, he has not spoken any thing more than necessary. I wonder if he has any comprehension of what might be in store for him. I see no fear in his eyes... I wonder if he can hide it that well? Or possibly he too has put his confidence into this room that almost has a life of its own. And I think what a sad place for one's confidence to lie.
...Thirty days later we are back sitting on the same bench. It hardly seems like thirty days, it seems more like several months. Events in our lives have changed as I never would have expected or wanted. I have come to realize motherhood is not only a beautiful rewarding experience but can be more painful than anything I could have imagined.
This pain has not been all bad but has helped me understand God's love for me. That God loves me just because He created me. That no matter what I do, no matter how bad it is, if I change my ways, admit my mistakes, He is there waiting for me with open loving arms. Not unlike how I feel about my son. I am left wondering if God's pain of my going my own ways, against Him, could be as much as I feel as I watch my son go his.
As I wait, behind the accusing rail, I am no longer in awe of this magical room 108. I am no longer nervous as to the results of what is happening here to decide my son's future. For I have not wasted these thirty days, I have learned from them and have used them to put "it" where it belongs. My son's future is not decided by room 108 or the lawyers or the judges. My son is accountable for his actions but God decides his future. I am reassured in my pain as it reminds me that God loves him even more that I could .
So as I sit and wait out the decision, I do what I feel God put mother's here to do. I hold my son up in prayer. I give him to God so that my confidence lies not in a mere room but in a loving God. A God who knew my son's future before he was even born.<><><><>
Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.
And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen. 1 Peter 5:6-11
Here are some wonderful Etsy shops.
Please check them out and think about Christmas coming!
Brown sugar scarf by donnasdesigns
Fenton glass jug by auntsuesoldnewlovely
Flower earflap by CrochetRUs