No one prepared me for the troubles of having two children going through middle school. I seemed to have forgotten about the hormones, the normalcy of friendship break-ups, and the learning curve that comes with the freedom from being connected to one teacher all day.
The first two weeks of the start of any new school year have always been tough on my kids. The adjustment from doing what we like in the summer months to buckling back down to becoming their best academic warrior selves.
It was of no surprise when I got a call from the principal two weeks into the start of seventh grade concerning an incident with my son. To say I was livid was an understatement, but to have heard my son knew he did wrong after the fact and apologized to the other boy involved made my heart soften.
You see, middle school boys, think differently. They don’t have a pause button. If something in their mind seems cool or fun at the moment, they will automatically do that thing. They don’t stop in time to question the consequences of their actions. If you’re wondering if my husband and I had a chat with him regarding these activities, we sure did! And yet, he still did it.
When my son did this, he likely thought, “Oh, this is funny. All the boys at football were doing this to each other. What do my parents know? Let me do this to my new friend.” That thinking is what got him in big trouble. If everyone else is doing it, it must be done to someone else. So he thought.
The school performed a thorough investigation. The principal acknowledged that my son was a first-time offender, and he received a two-day, in-house suspension. Little did we know, this friend’s parents took this incident far beyond what we could have ever imagined. They stormed the school, asking for our home phone number, and wanted to speak to us immediately. When the principal told them they handled the situation, they wanted more.
These parents took to social media, blasting my son and calling him obscene names. They also reported the incident to the state, who completed another independent investigation and deemed the punishment fair. When that didn’t turn out how they expected it, they threatened to press charges and contact the local news. At this point, my heart was broken. I cried out to the Lord, “How did we get here?”
Then he reminded me of the three years my husband and I battled with infertility before we were blessed with announcing that we were pregnant with a gift only God could give us. And how when he was first born, the doctor announced we had a true miracle within our hands.
Our son was born with a true knot in his umbilical cord. Less than 2 percent of babies born end up with a knot in their cord, and these babies frequently end with complications due to a lack of nutrients and oxygen. My boy had zero complications.
This is when I recognized this baby was a gift given to us by God. He was supposed to be ours and not anyone else’s child. This problem we were facing was set up to point us back to the One who gave us such a substantial gift.
So, in my moment of heartbreak, I began praising the Lord for what He had done for us. I praised Him for the circumstances we were facing because it happened under our roof and it became a teachable moment not only for my son but for us.
Then we received the weight-lifting news from the school: these parents were harassing us. Quite the opposite of what we were expecting. At this time, the school informed us we could contact the police and press charges. We didn’t pursue that, and I believe the parents of this other child realized our family had gone through enough. This is what I would like to believe because their raging complaints stopped.
I am so thankful that God forgives our mistakes and doesn’t pursue pressuring punishments after we commit them. I am also thankful that when we call on the name of Jesus, He responds. Whatever seems impossible for us is easy when God is present.
So today, dear friend, whatever you are facing, call upon the Lord. There is nothing too great God cannot handle. He forgives, His grace is sufficient, and His yoke is light.