Remember V? Those of you who read this blog from the beginning--or know us--remember an afternoon when I opened the door of my home to a young girl with a ski cap pulled down over her head, so that I couldn't see her face. Beve had warned me, just moments before that she was on her way, so while I was out on our back deck, crying into my phone to my neighbor, E was calmly changing sheets on a bed so this girl would have a place to sleep. And then I opened the door for what we all thought would be a two-week stay. V. It turned out to be a three month adventure. Sometimes fun, more often than not, difficult and stretching and so far beyond what we thought we could do, it was like all the parenting we'd done with our own three in all those years before had only been the practice runs. It was like we were in a great rock tumbler with V, and with her sisters and mother by extension. The bruising was fierce, and sometimes I wanted very much to run away. The times we were lied to by V, or screamed at by her mother, or cried at by both...well, as I say, a rock tumbler. My stomach was in knots the whole summer and I'm pretty sure I didn't sleep soundly until she left. BUT...that great stretched-out, rock-tumbling summer was absolutely something God meant for us to do. I knew it even as it stretched us, even as it hurt and ripped and made our peaceful home a place of such strife. And we've always prayed that it would reap something in V. Someday.
That day I opened the door was May 30, 2008. Each year since, on Mother's Day, V calls to wish me a Happy Mother's Day. She no longer lives in Bellingham, so even Beve hasn't seen her in the last couple of years. But she called him yesterday, said she was coming to town, and we arranged to see her today. When I opened the same door today that I opened three years ago, her head was thrown back and she was smiling at me. V. A now high school senior V. More mature, more at peace (I think), but still herself, still playing us a bit, telling us what she thinks we want to hear. Ah yes, we thought almost immediately, V. We remember this. Before she'd been here half an hour, we were talking about teenage sexual practices, pregnancies and all of her friends who are moms. When she would have made just a couple of snide comments, we made it a real conversation. Made her talk about the difficulties, the pain, of how the only good choice is to NOT have sex. Even J, who had stopped by, weighed in on the subject.
V always knew what she could get with us. And, even when it was hard, I think that's why she calls me on Mother's Day and why she is glad to see us now. There's a lot in her life that is hot and cold. She neither knows what she's going to get from them, nor is she consistent in how she responds to others. But the Beve is who he is. And I can't be anyone other than myself no matter how much I try. And believe me, I used to think it would be great to be someone else, someone more quiet, a less strong personality. But God made me this way.
And I believe it's the very consistency in Beve and me (with all our weaknesses present as well) that V remembers fondly and is grateful for.
And if we're going to be used by Him, I'd just as soon it be so. If the going is hard--as it was with her, and it may be again with others--it's Beve's consistency that I count on, and my compulsive communicative-ness that he relies on. God uses us as He made us.