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“That assignment of carrying an egg around for two weeks in a Life Skills class in high school didn’t prepare me. Eggs don’t cry.”

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A Mother’s Footprints of Faith
by Angela L. Weaver

    A South Carolina mother drives her car into a lake leaving her boys inside to drown. A Texas mother is convicted of stabbing her young son to death. A teenage mother waits in a New Jersey hotel room while the father of her newly born baby allegedly picks up his son, wraps him in a garbage bag, and literally throws him away. No one may ever know exactly why these unspeakably tragic events happen.

    According to sociologists, however, a feeling of isolation may be a contributing factor to the alarming increases in child abuse, drug addiction, and crime in general. When connecting to a computer halfway around the globe is as easy as clicking a button, connecting to another human being in a time of stress may seem impossible. No one experiences this isolation more than a young mother.

    Mentoring programs, whether in the area of business, such as Junior Achievement, or those common in churches formed to help young mothers, are becoming popular because of their success. Carol Kuykendall, vice president of educational resources for MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) International, wasn’t exactly sure what she had to offer when she first began meeting with a young mother-to-be at her church.

    After raising three children to adulthood, Kuykendall, author of the new book, A Mother’s Footprints of Faith (Zondervan, 1997), knew many of the experiences that awaited the young woman. So she began to share her stories and how God strengthened her faith during the difficult times. This is the strength of a mentor; to be able to guide a younger member of society through the trials of life with actual firsthand knowledge.

    The prevalence of teen pregnancy may be due in part to a young girl’s need for love. She may see a baby as a more lively version of the dolls she once played with. But an older, more experienced mother can tell the teen the messy truth. Babies don’t give love, they take it. And they take changing, and bathing, and feeding, and never when it’s convenient. And no amount of book learning or classes can fully prepare a teen for reality. As Kuykendall says, “That assignment of carrying an egg around for two weeks in a Life Skills class in high school didn’t prepare me. Eggs don’t cry.”

    Many will argue that people will do as they please, in spite of other’s experiences. History proves this is true, but there is another strength that mentors have. They can teach and try to prevent mistakes, and they can support and help work through mistakes. A mentor is the one who can say “Here’s my experience and how I dealt with it, and I can support you while you go through it.”

    Ideally a young person’s mentors are his parents. Unfortunately, in a society filled with selfish interests and broken families, this isn’t always an option. Christians have a God who provides the perfect example of understanding and love. "God walks alongside us and holds up just enough light to help us take one small step at a time," says Kuykendall. If only someone had been in that New Jersey hotel room to share this truth.


Editor’s Note: Excerpted from Learning From Others Can Prevent Tragic Mistakes by Angela L. Weaver (Zondervan Publishing House, 1997), available at local bookstores or by calling 1-800-727-3480.


HEARTLIGHT(sm) Magazine is a ministry of loving Christians and the Westover Hills church of Christ.
Edited by Phil Ware and Paul Lee.
Article copyright © 1997, Zondervan Publishing House. Used by permission.
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