Saturday, April 22, 2006

Vargas

Five years ago we were the parents of teenagers...highschoolers. We also had an extra one living with us. She had some extreme difficulties at her regular school and in her own neighborhood to the point of danger so her parents agreed to our offer to move her in with us for the remainder of the school year. My mom also lived with us so we had a very busy household.

As mentioned before, Bek had quite the gang of school friends who shared drama club and advanced academic classes so they were always in and out of the house too. One night the girls came home from somewhere very upset....they finally spilled to me that one of their friends.... Vargas...had been thrown out of his house and was sleeping in one of the dugouts at the highschool ballfields, just down the street from our house. Now I have to tell you, maybe its because I was the parent of teenagers for only a few short years before Jax...but I have never seen the likes of kids being thrown out of their homes as we saw in Jacksonville, FL. My kids were closely accquainted with at least 5-6 friends whose parents threw them out during the course of their highschool careers. I just can't reconcile that....kids are kids no matter how awful they are and as young as 16-18 are mostly too immature to fend for themselves out in the world with no adult influence...its asking for disaster...in my humble opinion...although I'm sure there are some exceptions.
Anyway......I/we could not allow this kid...headstrong though he was, to sleep in the dugout at the baseball field...what would he eat...how would he finish school? He and Bek were mere weeks from graduating...
After a brief conference with my hubby, we sent the girls right down there to get him....I might mention that we did know him a little as he was one of the kids that Bek ran around with. I can't advise doing something like that blind but to do nothing was not an option either. We had that gut instinct that the Lord wanted this to happen.
They brought him home where we fed him and put him to bed on the couch...every other bed in the house was already full...:)
Vargas lived with us for several weeks...we got through graduation and he started trying to figure out what he was going to do. All his friends were heading off to college in the fall but he had squanderd his good grades in HS and didn't qualify for any scholarships....he applied to Univ of Penn as well as a couple of others and got in but had no money to go...he was a lost soul...wandering what to do next...18 yrs old with no parental guidance at all. Extremely smart, very good looking, talented and charming...but he had blown all of his options and didn't know where to turn. (He was good friends with James and they were often all out together..one day he told Bek...I wish you and James could get together...you are the nicest girl I know and He is the best guy I know...you'd be perfect for each other. I guess he was physic.:))
We knew that the situation couldn't go on forever...so one night my husband sat down with him and talked real straight with him, man to man...much the same way as we would talk to our own son....He talked to him about the Lord and his life and his choices....no threats, no ultimatums, nothing like that, just straightforward and caring...the next day Vargas was gone. Just like that...out of our lives...but not out of our thoughts or prayers...
He managed to find another friend to stay with for the rest of the summer and come fall he enlisted in the Army. He served 4 years, was one of the first teams into Iraq and spend 2+ there. Occsionally Bek would get an e-mail or IM from him just saying he was OK or James would hear from him. Last fall we heard that he was home, living again with his parents in Jax and going to school, courtesy of the US Army.

2 weeks ago at the wedding, I saw Vargas again for the first time in 5 years ....tall (6'5" maybe) dark (Puerto Rican heritage), dashingly handsome. He'd definitly grown up to be a fine looking man. He was a little nervous about seeing us again, but I gave him a big hug and kiss and he put his arms around me, gave me a kiss in return and thanked me/us for "saving his life". He said, "I don't know what I would have done with out you guys". He said "I'm home!" and he meant that in so many ways, . It was a special moment for me. I'm very proud of that kid!

Thanks Lord, for answering our prayers. For not only keeping Vargas safe physically but for making him into a real man, growing him up as only You can!

7 comments:

Tracy said...

What a beautiful story. I admire you and your husband for taking the risk that made the difference.

Bar Bar A said...

Thank God for how you helped this young man.

jayjay said...

Aw, that's just a beautiful story, and it's REAL, Cheryl. Thanks for sharing all that. It has encouraged me as I head out into my day. Neat to see the outcome of those difficult choices in life.

Jeremy Uriz said...

Terrific story. Very encouraging and certainly glad you two were there when he needed you.
"As much as you have done it to the least of these you have done it unto me" comes to mind.

Gina said...

God is faithful isn't He? It's amazing how we can be used of Him. The wedding photos are beautiful Cheryl! Looks like everyone had a blast.

bjk said...

Thanks for sharing this story...we have a 'Josh' and it sounds very similar up to and including the talk w/him by my husband ...I am hoping and praying to see him at the upcoming wedding this summer or maybe even before....

Kimber said...

Once again - CRYING CRYING CRYING...Thanks for reaching out to this young man...and may God continue to impact Him with His love!