We’ve had some big changes in our family in the month of September. Besides school starting and getting adjusted to a new school year, our month has been filled with paperwork, packing, cleaning, painting, yard work, hauling off trash, moving stuff, and babysitting–lots of babysitting! Why you may ask? After many months of research and looking, our oldest daughter, Abby, and her little family bought their first house!
It’s been exciting to be a part of this milestone in their life. They bought a cute little country cottage and have been lovingly and tirelessly fixing it up with all the energy of a thrilled young couple! Before this, they were living in a 400 square foot house with four rooms. Yes, it was tiny–especially with a baby, but somehow they made it work for over a year.
I really can’t help but tear up when I think about how different the story of their lives together could be. God is such a gracious God and this story has His fingerprints all over it. I asked Abby if she would allow me to share it with you and she said yes. 🙂
Let me back up a few years….
Abby and Christian met each other at a Christian Homeschool Co-op. Abby was only 14, almost 15, when she ran up to me by our car and breathlessly reported, “I just got asked out on a date by Christian Masson!”
We had just finished the testing for the Tae Kwon Do class, which Christian was very involved in. I had a vague notion of who “Christian Masson” was but I hadn’t really met him. I knew he was one of the red-headed teenage boy twins that were part of the co-op. I had met his mom and had helped her in a class that semester.
“What did you tell him?!” I fairly gasped as this unexpected news hit me like a Tae Kwon Do punch.
“I told him I’d have to ask my parents.”
“Good answer,” I thought, with a shaky smile.
As we drove home that night, Abby had a mixture of apprehension and excitement as she animatedly told me every detail of the encounter.
I think I mostly felt apprehension (or was that panic?!). My thoughts began swirling and kept on for days after: “I’m not ready for this! Does he even know how old she is? Who is this guy anyway?! What should I do?” I knew this time would come, I just hadn’t expected it so soon! I had thought we had a few more years before having to face the fact that our little girl was growing up.
I called Christian’s mother and told her my concerns and made sure she knew just how old my little girl was! Christian was 18 at the time and had thought Abby was 17! After my talk with her, I felt somewhat better, but this was still scary, new territory for me as a mom. We decided to let them go on a group date with siblings. So, the following week they went bowling with their siblings and I naively thought, “Whew! Glad that’s over!” Haha! That was just the beginning!
That first “date” was the beginning of a friendship that, over time, turned into a boyfriend/girlfriend relationship. It soon became clear that these two had chemistry–something just clicked between them. We enjoyed watching their relationship bloom. It reminded my husband and me of our courtship as teenagers back in the early 90’s. Only this wasn’t the early 90’s anymore….
Caution! Struggles Ahead!
We had always taught Abby (and all our children) that in a boyfriend/girlfriend relationship the physical part should come last. “There are many ways to get to know a person–spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and physically. Physical should be last,” we repeated over and over again. We taught her what the Bible has to say on the subject. We talked about purity and how valuable she was. We had countless conversations in her preteen and early teen years. We emphasized dressing modestly, saving your first kiss for your husband, and of course, the big one–no sex until marriage. Christian was raised with similar values. That’s why we didn’t expect what eventually happened.
As Christian’s and Abby’s relationship grew there were lots of good times together and lots of great memories made. There were also definite moments of stress and tension for my husband and me. We wanted to be able to demonstrate that we trusted them, but also not give too much freedom (and time alone) too early. We set boundaries. They were tested. We set rules. They were sometimes broken. There was discipline administered. There were phone calls between me and Christian’s mom discussing the whole situation. There was sometimes anger (and even yelling) and sometimes late-night, very serious talks with our daughter, pleading for them to be careful. There was a LOT of praying going on from this mama!
These struggles went on for some time. Then one day at the end of Abby’s senior year of high school, in May 2016, she seemed upset. I saw that she and Christian were working something out on paper and Abby had been crying. It looked like a budget with all the numbers scribbled down on the wrinkled paper, so I thought she was concerned about how she would make it next year since she would be on her own and going to college. When I asked about it, they both looked at me and said they needed to tell me something. I could tell from their body language that this wasn’t a small something. I went to get my husband. There was no way I was going to face this news alone….
To read Part 2 of the story, click here