It’s hard to believe that in a little over two weeks my “baby” will be 13. Placing yet another teenager in my household once again! While her tween years rode alongside her siblings being teens themselves, some of her actions and behaviors have already settled into some of the normal teenage angst. For the most part she is a sweet girl, whom I love dearly. However, there are some days when I shudder (just a bit) at what lies ahead over the next six years or so. She has this sassiness about her that makes me want to lock her in her room with a half charged tablet and see what happens!
All kidding aside, I am learning to enjoy the simple way our lives have become having only one child at home. And as we enter a time where we will get busy again, I am thankful to be a mom, their mom and to be blessed with these four amazing and wonderful children God has given me to care for. I used to think I would miss the busyness that our lives once were and go stir crazy with “nothing” to do. Thankfully that has not been the case at all. As my last two kids have headed off to college, I look forward to getting to slow down a bit more and just relax… I have learned to cook for two a lot better than I thought I would. And I am doing a better job at sending care packages of goodies (sometimes homemade) to my younger two college students, than I have in the past. (Sorry Carrie :)) Most of all, I really do enjoy just being at home, watching my favorite show on Netflix or a maybe new movie. I have more time to read if I choose to do so, and I have built a pretty extensive library on my Kindle so that I can. It has also given me more time to work on my writing, or at least it will, when I have a computer that can be more user friendly on a regular basis.
God has really placed it on my heart in the last year or so to write my life story, especially my own tween/teen years; to put it all down in written form and share it with the world, or whoever would choose to or be led to read it. As I have mentioned before, I grew up in a lot of abuse and dysfunction, and while in later years, some of that dysfunction was self-inflicted, the beginning of the worst of the dysfunction I endured was most certainly not. In fact, it was living through and somehow surviving a lot of really horrific stuff, (which was only by the grace of God) that I adapted to the way I lived my life. Each event, even the undesirable ones, were a part of the path that He needed me to be on. He protected me in a lot of situations from what could have been far worse, although at the time I sure could not have seen how. It is in surviving such traumatic events and in doing so by God’s love and grace that I know I am supposed to share my story; to reach out to others that who like I was for so many years, are in similar pain, that secret pain they are too afraid to utter to another living soul.
So as I am preparing to celebrate my fourth and final teenager, I still mourn a little for my own lost teen years. I wonder what my life might have been like if not filled with all the pain and misery, with all the secrets that I felt forced to keep. I often wonder the different path(s) I might have taken, if I had spoken out sooner, or if the abuse had never occurred at all. Would I have been a better student? Would I have had gone straight to college after high school? Would I have learned how to have an appropriate relationship with a man? Would I have not turned to alcohol to numb my pain? Would I have… But then I stop and I am brought back to the realization that can only be from the Spirit Himself, that everything happened just as it was supposed to in my life. My story was/is already written, from beginning to end; including what has already happened to me and all that will in my future. I can’t change a thing, and today that is OK with me.
Early in the renewal of my relationship with Christ I read Job, a lot. I would read it over and over, associating myself to him and trying to gain his understanding of his suffering and finally being at a point in my life where I too, could accept my life as it was, all the bad as well as the good and to know and understand it was what God needed me to be a part of and experience at that point in time. I was finally able to understand and believe, that I wasn’t a bad person who was continuing to have bad things happen to me. I was just on the path intended for me by the One True Living God. Unlike Job, I could not say that I was faultless or without sin, but for the first time I was able to understand I wasn’t being punished for something I had done wrong. Nor would I magically be reward for my good deeds. I finally understood how all that worked, that it was/is only by the shedding His blood that I can have the comfort that is in my heart today. We are so unworthy of His Love and Grace, even at our best. Yet, He loves us unconditionally even when we are hormonal, sassy teens who don’t want to listen to anyone about how to live our lives. I have also associated myself to the prodigal son, because I did run away and leave my Father and lived my life in many ungodly ways. I then came to that point, when I knew I was in over my head with nothing good around me. So, eventually I listened to what I now know to be His Spirit and I came home. I was still a bit disgruntle, like any unruly teen, but I had surrounded myself with things that were better and people who knew Him and wanted to share who He was with me.
Luke 15:31 says; But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.
I am so blessed to no longer be lost, to have been found again, by my loving and gracious Father. Even for those of us who walk away of our own accord, He never stops pursuing us, not even for a moment. He never stops loving us, and He worries for our well being every moment of every day we are away from Him. I am overjoyed that I don’t have to live apart from Him ever again, and I am looking forward to being with Him one day; wrapped in His loving arms, living with Him in eternity.
Until the next moment,