Sunday, July 03, 2011
Some of you have been following the work we've been doing to help Mike and Marie and their 6 week old baby girl, Mikala, from the motel in Santa Ana.
We met them about 3 weeks ago at the motel church when they asked if we would dedicate their baby to the Lord. Ron Wilbur from Saddleback did the honors and wonderfully explained to them that really, they were the ones who needed to dedicate themselves to provide this baby with a safe home and to live as examples to her of what it means to follow Christ. Ron challenged them both to raise Mikala in a Christian home where she would always know that she was loved - by her parents and by the Lord. Marie responded, "Yes" and Mike said, "I'll try." I love that Mike was so sincere in his desire to do the right thing, and yet honest with all of us - and with himself - of how challenging this might be for him to do. Yet, he was willing to be willing and I know the Lord honors this.
Over the last few weeks, our house church has been able to come alongside them and help them with their rent, and more importantly, to help them understand their challenges in raising baby Mikala and what steps to take to make good on their promise to raise her in a safe home and protect her, and provide for her.
We've been very blessed to work with Olive Crest and they have provided invaluable insight, support and assistance to Mike and Marie so far. Wendy and I are very impressed by their compassionate hearts, and especially their dedication to this family.
Yesterday, Mike and Marie did something very brave and made the difficult choice to let baby Mikala stay with another family while they work on their issues and try to get their lives back on track.
I can't possibly express to you how difficult and painful this was for them, but they both knew that this was best for their daughter, and they were willing to show this sacrificial love to Mikala.
After this, we gave them some space to think about their next steps, and we sat with them later in the afternoon to talk about what they needed to do next. They both know that they need to find employment, face their addictions, and move towards stability and sobriety before they will be ready to receive Mikala back again and be the parents they want so desperately in their hearts to be for her.
Right now the best thing you can do is to pray for them. They need jobs, they need an affordable place to stay, they need to work together to overcome their addictions and work out how to cope with their anxiety and stress and pain.
We're doing all we can to support them, to guide them and to point them in the way they should go, but we also understand that we cannot walk this out for them. Only they can take these steps. Only they can change their situation, if they will receive the grace of God being extended to them, and if they will surrender themselves to His perfect will for their lives.
Wendy and I would also appreciate your prayers as well. We're both "the good cop" and sometimes it's hard for us to bring bad news or to rebuke people in this situation. Not that we've not done so, but it's just hard for us to do it. Thankfully, both Mike and Marie have responded to these hard truths and they've admitted that they know we're telling them these things because we love them.
On Tuesday of this week, (July 5th), Wendy will be taking the boys on a long adventure to see family back east and I will be at work during the day, so we would especially appreciate your prayers for this family as they will now have to do a lot of the work without our full support. I will do what I can in the evenings to check in on them and to encourage them, but my better half is soon to be missing and I know that there's not much I can do for them on my own.
This is God's grace to them, I'm convinced. Wendy and I have done as much as we can, or should, to this point, and now it's up to them to ride a bit longer down the road without us acting as training wheels.
Pray for them. Pray that they will not give up. Pray that they will continue to make hard choices for their baby's sake.
Pray for us. Pray that we can coach them from a distance and not try to do it for them. Pray that we will have wisdom from God to pass along to them.
Pray especially for baby Mikala that her parents will be returned to her soon - whole, healthy, restored, and renewed.
I'll try to keep everyone updated as things develop.