Falling in Love Again
Stan had faced a lot of tough decisions before but none were as tough as the one he was facing now. Stan had met a young lady who had stolen his heart away. He was hesitant to jump into another serious relationship after being twice divorced.
Trudy was a single mother of a five-year-old daughter with severe developmental delays. At one time, she had contemplated placing her child in an institution that specialized in the care that her child needed. She thought that was the only way she and Stan could get married and live a normal life. Her daughter required round-the-clock sitters now and would not being growing up as other children do to become an independent adult one day. She was unable to walk or talk at an age that other children were learning to read, write and ride bikes. She loved her daughter with all of her heart and that hadn’t changed since the nurse first placed the soft little bundle with curly light brown hair into her arms.
Only now, Cheryl wasn’t a little baby but she still required the care of a little baby. She knew that most men would be frightened to take on a child like Cheryl. Trudy was a strong Christian lady and believed that if God wanted it to be, then it would be. She would turn it over to him.
Stan had been raised by strong Christian parents and had a strong belief in God. That was one of the things that had brought him and Trudy together. He knew that God would help him do the right thing. He also knew that God did things in His own time. In Stan’s mind, that felt like God’s answer was taking forever. It would be a strong test of his faith to be patient while God revealed His plans.
One thing Stan knew was that he loved Trudy with all of his heart but being faced with taking care of a disabled child might be more than he could handle. “I just have to give it to Him,” he thought.
Asking for a Sign
That evening before Stan went to bed, he knelt down and bowed his head and asked the Lord to help him with the decision he had to make. “Lord, give me a sign that I am up to this task. Am I doing the right thing? Can I love and provide for this child?”
It was a few weeks before the Christmas holidays and one evening after eating dinner at Trudy’s house, Stan asked, “Do you decorate for Christmas?”
Trudy looked at him with a puzzled look on her face as if to ask “why?”
“I just thought everybody decorated, especially with children. I’ll tell you what, instead of putting up decorations at my house, I will just bring them over here. We can get a real tree and add a few lights and ornaments.”
The next day, Stan paid twenty-five dollars for a six-foot balsam fir tree. Rosa, the sweet middle-aged sitter who stayed with Cheryl while Trudy worked, answered the door when Stan knocked.
When Trudy got home from work that evening, she saw the tree in the stand when she walked in. She gave a half-smile like she was pleased, but not too excited. They decided they would decorate it the next evening.
Decorating the Tree
Cheryl was taking an evening nap and it was quiet in the living room as Stan and Trudy placed the lights and ornaments on the tree. The tree was almost done when Trudy heard Cheryl wake in the next room. Trudy carried the five-year-old into the living room so she could experience the lights. Stan was fumbling with the plug when Trudy placed the young child on the floor facing the tree. When Stan worked the plug into the socket, the room suddenly lit up along with the eyes of the precious little girl.
Seeing Cheryl’s face, Trudy quickly excused herself so the child would not see how emotional she had become. Stan sat on the floor next to Cheryl. Knowing that he had asked God for a sign, he knew that he had just received it in the eyes of Cheryl.
Sitting by this child who couldn’t walk or talk, but found such delight in the lights on the tree that he had brought, he knew that his decision had been made about whether he could be a good father to her.
Looking up, he whispered, “Thank you, Jesus, and pulled her closer to him. Stan knew that this was just the first of many years that they would be enjoying the Christmas lights together. He put his arm around his new little angel daughter and smiled up at Trudy, who was now composed, walked back into the room. “Honey, next year, I think we’ll get a bigger tree,” he told her.