THE SEVENTH CROSS

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JANICE'S STORY

Janice had never thought of herself as the aggressive sort but here she was asking this guy out on a date! His name was Jason and he had to be the shyest and most awkward guy she’d ever met. But he was also mysterious and incredibly good looking! And that was irresistible.

They had met at a lecture at the University over a month ago, and during a break they had ended up sharing a table at the bistro next door that they had both escaped to. Small talk prevailed as it usually does, and both returned to the lecture together, but alone.

But when the lecture ended, they found themselves once again making small talk which finally led to another trip to the bistro. God, he was quiet! But she persisted and for a brief moment she could have swore that he actually smiled!

He is alive! She couldn’t help but giggle at the absurdity of it. She was usually beating guys off, and this guy was barely giving her a glance. As the night drew to a close she managed to squeeze a telephone number out of him, and texted hers immediately to him so that she was at least in his contacts. Expecting a call or text from him was unlikely but she wasn’t about to give up that easily.

And that’s how it went. She waited. Three days she waited and no text, no call, nothing. So she texted him. And he responded immediately. Once again, life at the other end!

Since he wouldn’t ask her, she asked him to meet her for coffee if he had time. He did, and they met. Three times over the new two weeks, and each time she had to be the initiator. Yet, she knew he liked her. He always accepted her invitations but why wouldn’t he call her?

She had to admit that she was definitely the social butterfly of the two. Her gregarious nature was like a magnet and that attracted a lot of attention, not all of it good. Every guy that thought he was God’s gift to women hit on her. And by necessity she became incredibly adept at putting them in their place without damaging their all too fragile ego.

But this guy, Jason, must have left his ego at home. Not only didn’t he have a line, he barely talked. And man, was that irresistible!

So finally she just asked him out. On a real date. Seriously. And that’s all it took. Nothing too heavy, dinner and a movie would be a great ice breaker, followed up by an evening drink at the local pub down the street. God she liked this guy, and he seemed to really like her as well.

From then on, they were practically inseparable. And he talked! He actually talked and he began to tell her about his life. She was horrified and proved to be equally adept at listening as she was at talking. The more comfortable he became the more he opened up. And the more she began to care, and soon she knew she was hooked. Oh my God, I think I’m in love with this guy!

But she had something to tell him, right now. She should have earlier, but this relationship had taken off like a rocket. So she told him about her daughter. She watched him closely as she lead him further into her world. He seemed nonchalant about what she was saying, so she proceeded to tell him the whole story.

She was the usual defiant teenager who knew everything, except that she didn’t. Suddenly she found herself pregnant and life was about to take a dramatic turn. That’s when she began to understand her parents at a whole different level. She knew that they loved her, even though they were a little pushy on forcing her to go to church all the time, it seemed. She loved going, and was an active participant, especially with the music ministry. But she had an active social life outside the church, and that had finally caught up to her. And now she had to tell her parents.

She recalled that meeting in 1993 as if it were yesterday, not 18 years ago, when she was only 17 and thought the world was her oyster. She had asked then to please come into the living room. That was enough to make any parent nervous but these weren’t just any parents. So with tears streaming down her face, and her mother already weeping and her dad looking stoically on, she told them that they were going to be grand parents. And then she burst out crying, barely catching her breath between sobs, so afraid of what might come next.

She should have known, but she was wrapped up in a rather small bundle at the time, and the only thing she felt was condemnation for herself, and she wouldn’t blame them if they felt exactly the same. But they didn’t. They wrapped their arms around her and they all cried together for what seemed an eternity.

“Honey, we love you, and we’ll love this baby just as much!” And that’s how Joline entered this world! But there are always consequences for the choices we make. Janice’s parents would be there for her journey into parenthood, and they would help her set up her own suite, even if that suite was in the basement of their home. She needed space for her and the baby, and they’d need space as well. They knew they had to handle this correctly; be there for her, but at the same time, not be enablers. Easier said than done. If they could have, especially Janise’s mom, they would have given her the keys to the kingdom right then and there!

This was a couple that knew their Lord, and they knew that despite the way this all went down, God had a special purpose for this child and they fully intended on being involved.

Janice had graduated a month after Joline came into this world but any plans of attending university that fall just weren’t going to happen. So instead, she enrolled in some online journalism classes which only required a few sessions at the University. This turned out to be a win win situation for Janice as she was able to stay home most of the time to care for her child, but allowed some social interaction at the same time. Of course, her mom was the perfect sitter, and when she was busy, her dad stepped up and did the best that he could. She should have known all along what incredible parents that she had, and she probably did, but this would shape her path over the years to follow.

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