Read part one here.
There is a couple in our church that I have a new love for. You see, in May 2009, Blue came to live with the Fosters. They are an older couple, well past their years of parenting teenagers, but God has given them a mission to open their home to teens that have “issues” and need a special kind of love. Blue was one of those teenagers. It’s not unusual to come to worship on a Sunday morning, look over where the Fosters sit and see a new face sitting there with them. I don’t remember the first time I met Blue. I’m sure it was on that first Sunday morning she must’ve come with them. Blue was broad, stocky and mad at most of the world. It was obvious that she had been hurt in her life and was carrying around extra weight that most 14-year-old girls shouldn’t have to carry.
At some point, Mrs. Foster talked to me about Blue coming to youth group. As the youth minister at the time, I was of course open, willing and excited to have one more young person to love and teach about Jesus. Blue became a regular and active member of our youth group. For some reason, she and I took a strange liking to each other. She listened to me, was full of energy and was wise beyond her years. Blue was very different from a “typical” 14 year old girl. She didn’t care about appearances or impressions. She was bold, starving for attention, overweight, hurting and did not like to talk about feelings. (Hmmm… maybe she wasn’t so different…). She loved to eat, so much so, that I even talked to Mrs. Foster about my role in helping develop healthier eating patterns.
As I got to know Blue, I could see that she was a girl with a twisting, winding, interesting story – one that I wanted to know better. She would open up about her past – her family, her mother, her schools – and my heart would hurt. There was one time that our church hosted a community meeting about drug use in our community. One of the presenters had a display box with different types of drug paraphernalia. Blue came to me and asked “Would you like to see all the stuff my mom used to do?” She then proceeded to take me to that box and point and tell stories, one that included her box of Mr. Bubbles.
My belly was growing even bigger with Gorilla’s life and my relationship with Blue was growing too. Little did I know God’s plan in it all. I look back and think how interesting that my heart wasn’t just growing with love for one more child, but for two.
Blue began to be a “youth helper” in the children’s ministry. It was during that time, that Blue and Professor got to know each other. I remember thinking that it was so great to watch them together. They shared some interests, were able to have conversation and even interacted with each other at other opportunities in church. Blue began to grow and slowly, the emotional weight that she carried began to lift. Mrs. Foster would talk to me about the challenges she had with Blue. Most of the time, I saw them as typical mother/teenager issues and would encourage her in her role in Blue’s life. Sometimes, as I learned more of Blue’s story, I could see how her interactions with family were results of life history. I prayed for Blue. I talked with Blue. I loved Blue.
Soon, Gorilla was born. Life became inundated with caring for a newborn and 2 other children. Mrs. Foster and Blue came to my house and brought a gift. I remember Blue saying “We didn’t know he’d be so small!” Gorilla wasn’t really that small, Blue had just never been around babies.
Then the Fosters took in a teen mom and her baby. Blue was NOT happy!
To be continued…