I first met author Lindsay Franklin through some friends who love great fantasy and science fiction, and love writing it too. Lindsay is so funny and witty on line, and when I heard her story as a teen mom and stresses from raising a special needs child that would have shattered many people, I wanted to know more. To go deep. I’m so excited to introduce you to her today as part of the #LetResilienceArise series and I hope her story will encourage you too. And I’m waiting slightly impatiently for her two books coming out soon!
By Lindsay Franklin
I listen to the rhythmic beeping of the hospital machines. They’re my only company right now. They’re the only ones speaking to me, as we both stand guard over the lethargic infant in the hospital crib with metal bars. The one that looks like a cage.
Beep. He’s sick.
Beep. They don’t know what’s wrong.
Beep. They can’t stop the seizures.
Beep. He might die.
I silently wish the machines would stop talking to me. I wish my brain would stop talking to me, too. But I can’t seem to help plotting out all the likeliest scenarios, imagining game plans for each, preparing for the worst, not quite daring to hope for the best. Because frankly, there’s nothing “best” about this situation. Constructing responses to the “worst” seems to come more naturally.
Beep. Get ready.
It’s my first Mother’s Day. I’m nineteen years old.
I just picked up that baby boy from school. Pre-calculus, actually. He’s sixteen years old now—just a year shy of how old I was when his dad and I found out we were pregnant. And still I don’t feel like my story as a teen mom is complete.
I’ve finally realized it never will be. It’s part of the tapestry of my life, my husband’s life, our son’s life. “Teen mother” is not a designation I can shake, and at this point, I have no desire to.
Because while my story isn’t complete, God has given it a theme. I used to believe that theme was shatterproof strength.
Pregnant at seventeen? Okay, we can do this.
Teen marriage? We’ll figure it out.
Special-needs child? Sure, why not.
Bring it on. Because I’m strong. Invincible. Shatterproof. It could have just as easily been half the girls in my high school who got pregnant. It could have been anyone else’s baby who got the one-in-a-million random genetic mutation in his brain tissue. But I experienced these trials because I’m strong enough to take them. Shatterproof. Bring it on.
This was a narrative I clung to so tightly, I didn’t even notice myself repeating it over and over as I swept up the broken pieces of my heart time and time again.
And now I know my ever-incomplete story as a teen mom and mom of a special-needs child has little to do with being strong or unbreakable. It’s about not staying broken. It’s about resilience.
It’s about learning to let God glue my broken pieces back together, because His glue is stronger than mine.
It’s about accepting that some things in life are going to break your heart. Because they break God’s.
Lindsay Franklin is an award-winning author, freelance editor, and homeschooling mother of three. She is a member of the Christian Editor Connection and has edited manuscripts for clients ranging from a New York Times best-selling author, to Amazon bestsellers, to brand-new writers just starting out. Her first book of devotionals for young women, ADORED, releases October 2017 from Zondervan/HarperCollins Christian Publishing. Her debut fantasy novel, THE STORY PEDDLER, releases in 2018 from Enclave Publishing.
Lindsay has taught fiction writing to wildly creative homeschooled junior and senior high students and serves on faculty at writers’ conferences, offering workshops and mentoring appointments. She is the Faculty Director for Realm Makers, an annual conference for speculative fiction writers of faith. Lindsay may or may not be addicted to full-leaf tea and organic coffee. Don’t tell anyone. Connect with Lindsay on her webpage, HERE, and also on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. You can also follow her stuffed wombat on Instagram. Yeah, you read that right.
What is the Let Resilience Arise series all about?
Elizabeth Van Tassel is a wildfire survivor who lost every possession and her home in 2007. Since that time, she’s been cultivating fiction and nonfiction projects of her own to inspire kids and adults alike with her lessons. But she’s also developed a wonderful network of amazing authors in all different genres and professions who have compelling stories to boost you or perhaps a friend you know who’s struggling with a similar challenge. Subscribe to this blog (on the home page HERE) for these articles and a monthly newsletter to come to your email or stop by again for more amazing stories. Also have your teens and tweens check out their own page and posts HERE. Want to share your story with others or have Elizabeth share hers with your group? Contact Elizabeth HERE and she’d love to discuss bringing lessons of hope and new beginnings to your group too.