Monday, January 29, 2018

To My Teenager (As We Walk This Rocky Road Together).


I remember the first time I was DEEPLY afraid for you.

We were coming out of a restaurant and your wild, two year-old body couldn’t escape to freedom fast enough. You bolted right off the sidewalk and into the parking lot towards an onslaught of cars. Your Daddy – he ran after you and scooped you up in his arms and carried you back to safety. I stood there with my hands over my mouth in disbelief at what had just unfolded before me as I watched helplessly and in that moment I found MY LIFE VERSE:

I AM NEVER LETTING GO OF YOU, AGAIN!

Can I confess something to you? Now that you are a teenager, I’m afraid, again. I’m afraid to let you go. I see you growing and changing and ITCHING to let your fingers slip out of mine and RUN TO FREEDOM. I see you pulling away, and my not-so-little one, you should. I know you should. You were meant for an adventure designed just for you. You were created to be SO MUCH MORE than just my son.

I know you think I just don’t get it. You don’t feel known and you feel deeply misunderstood and all of these rules are ruining your life and you have so many questions about everything around here and why it is the way it is. I’m so “old-fashioned” and “You just don’t get it, Mom” and you know what? Maybe I don't get it.

But you know what? I get you.

I know you. I have been your mama through your every joy and sorrow. I know HOW MUCH you want to be seen and loved and LIKED. I know how much you love Pop Tarts and how much hair product you use and that the swoosh in your hair with pristinely buzzed sides is TOP DOG right now. I know that your friends can be BIG FAT JERKS and you don’t know whether to join them or stand up for what you know in your heart is right. I know HOW HARD it is to reconcile being a follower of Christ and a kid who the world sees as cool.

I know because I know you.

I cannot protect you from all of these hard things, even though most days I would if given the choice. I can guard you for a season, but only God can protect you. His hand is the one that will hold tight when mine isn’t the one you want to hold anymore. And I know that day is here. I wish I could answer all of your questions the way you want me to answer them, but I would be robbing you of the ONE THING YOU NEED MOST:

A broken, confused heart that runs to Jesus.

Here's what you'll find in him:

- When you feel misunderstood, Jesus knows JUST how you feel.
- When you feel afraid, Jesus will be your light.
- When you feel like you just wanna do what you wanna do, Jesus tells you to come when you’re weary and he will give you rest.
- When you wonder if your friends are really your friends, Jesus knows this all too well and he will be the TRUE friend you have ALWAYS wanted.

I am such a broken example of ALL of this for you. I am a desperate sinner who needs the grace of Jesus EVERY SINGLE DAY, and running to him is the ONLY hope I have for me and for you. I wish you could see him better in me, but instead, you get a MIXED UP, MESSED UP sinner and the BEST thing I can do for you is try to point you to the one who will love both of us through it all.

SO here’s what I do:

I pray God’s word over you. Because no matter how much I want to protect you or what my dreams and wants are for you, when I pray God’s word over you, I know I’m praying what HE wants for you:

A loving and patient heart. (1 Corinthians 13:4)
A man who runs to Him. (Psalm 31)
A faithful warrior of prayer. (Psalm 55:17)
A true and kind friend. (Mark 12:31)
A man who loves God’s word. (Psalm 1:2)

The Lord. He is your shepherd.
Your shield.
Your refuge.

He will never leave you, even after we survive this crazy we're in and you leave to discover the world without me. He will walk with you through every trial, through every heartache and He will DELIGHT over you as you run to Him with any and EVERYTHING. He wants to know your failures. He wants to know your joys.

He will forever be your Father. And He will love you for every single day through every single thing when you put your trust in Him.

As we walk through the rest of your teenager years together, if you remember nothing else as we shout across the hallway at each other - trying to find our way through all of this, remember that your mama is a sinner who needs God’s grace, just like you do.

We’re in this together, you know? We are more alike than we are different: We BOTH need a Savior.

So when I cry when you go to the dance this spring and say “no” to some things I know you really, really want and yell at you over stupid stuff we can’t agree on and you feel like I’m just a BIG OL' DUMMY who doesn’t get it, know in your heart how much I love you.

That I am for you.

And, that above all else, I want you to know the love of Jesus that will NEVER let you go.

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