Lessons from a Prophet

May 18, 2010
By Beth Kauffman BRONZE, Zeeland, Michigan
Beth Kauffman BRONZE, Zeeland, Michigan
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Lessons from a Prophet
I knew something was wrong when my dad called a family meeting. Previous family meetings included relocation, getting rid of our dog, and the death of my grandfather. As soon as my sister and I were sitting down, my brother broke the silence.

“So….we’re pregnant.” The words nervously slipped from his barely-a-man mouth. An excited squeal uttered from my right, obviously from my sisters mouth. She didn’t realize the gravity of the situation.

This couldn’t be happening; I loved my brother and his cancer-survivor girlfriend, but this couldn’t be happening. They were perfect matches, both dealing with extreme, even life threatening problems before the age of 18. My brother having a disease called ALD, which can result in being confined to a wheelchair; she battling 3 types of cancer, as well as a plethora of food allergies. But they weren’t even married. My dad was a pastor. She hadn’t even finished high school. They had only been dating two months. She was only a year older than me.

I sat there shocked into betrayed silence for the next half-hour while my father and mother, brother and his baby-mama, all explained that it would be okay, and that they were going to be adults and make good of the situation. Total bull. I knew what happened to teen mothers and fathers. The stereotypes are typically true. I got up and walked away too disappointed in the brother that I had looked up to all my life.

Even though I was angry, I pretended to be excited for most of the pregnancy. To be honest I was a tiny bit excited to become an aunt. But I still had selfish thoughts of my brother’s betrayal towards me, and what people thought when they realized that my brother was a teenage statistic. There were some heated battles when I confronted them about their ‘stupid decision.’ They said it was a good mistake, but I still couldn’t trust them. Everything was NOT okay. It was not appropriate to name their son, as we found out, after a prophet from the bible, considering the sin they had committed.

It all changed when I held that 9 pound, 21 inches, baby boy with a full head of dark brown hair, and the cutest fat roll on the back of his neck, in my arms for the first time. When I held that baby, my nephew, little Isaiah Matthew in my arms, all of my feelings of betrayal and anger melted away into this little bundle of joy. This boy, named after a prophet, had taught me a very important lesson, more important than sin….forgiveness. That a second chance is the most important thing one can give.

Soon Isaiah became problematic: when he stopped breathing one afternoon, and thanks to the watchful eye of his mother, was rushed to the hospital and diagnosed with several medical issues that would disappear when he grew up, but required special care now. After that medical drama, it became apparent how adult his parents had become. His mother wouldn’t leave Isaiah with my brother long enough for her to walk to the mailbox and back. And not only were they protective, they became responsible, steady, working adults.

Every time he giggles, or gets into mischief (which is quite often), or throws himself to the floor in a temper tantrum because his mom won’t let him play in the toilet, a little of my anger is chiseled away. Nothing could replace the most important teacher in my life. This 3 ft tall boy with platinum blonde hair, and the bright blue eyes, named Isaiah; who taught me about grace, forgiveness, and trust.

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