Her mom’s black patent leather shoes clicked over and over on the tile as she tip-toed around the kitchen. The quieter she tried to be, the more magnified the clicking was, reverberating through the house like a clanging cymbal.
My mom, a teenager about to become a parent, sat in the living room clenching her teeth, mostly because of her mom’s annoying tip-toeing on blast, but also because of the contractions starting closer together.
Her official due date had come and gone. So, April 22nd became the day both anxiously dreaded and eagerly anticipated by the family. An unplanned pregnancy invites that kind of mixed emotion, I suppose.
Her parents had kicked her out of their house when they found out she was pregnant. Their own act of rebellion to match hers. They tried to ignore the life growing in her. But God was using my life to stir more life in them. A life he wanted them to live in love, not one lived meeting sin with sin, but one responding to sin with grace.
It was a lesson they fought. One rainy day my pregnant mom was walking the streets in Byesville. She saw a truck she recognized and knew it was her dad’s. Maybe he was coming for her! As he stopped at a red light, she ran up and pounded on the passenger window yelling, “Dad! Dad!,” trying to get him to look at her before the light turned green. But he didn’t budge. His foot pressed against the gas, thinking if he pulled away fast enough he could run from what God had him to learn, leaving her standing in the street, wet and cold, because of her expanding waistline.
But God always wins. Those he pursues can’t get away from him no matter how hard they press the pedal to the metal.
In time, Mom was back at her parents, sitting with her dad, as he invited her to give me their last name since Mom would not be marrying my biological father. Most parents struggle over a first name for their baby, but Mom had to struggle over a last name for me. By grace, I would became a Neuhart, taking my maternal side’s last name.
Maybe it was the aggravation of the clicking patent leather on the tile that accelerated the contractions, or just nature taking its course. Whatever it was, my mom got a seat in her parent’s vehicle that day, April 22nd, no pounding on the window required, as they sped, pedal to the metal, to the hospital for my birth.
My life certainly did awaken more life and grace in my grandparents’ heart. They lovingly provided a roof over our heads. But even more, Grandma gave me, her originally unwanted granddaughter, a front row seat to the wonder of a life transformed by the power of the gospel.
How is someone else’s sin affecting your life right now?
How are you responding to this unwanted and/or unplanned trial, circumstance, or relationship?
What would it look like for you to respond to sin with grace instead of meeting it with more sin?