With what I most enjoy contented least…’
Oy, another day! What can I say.
You are journeying through that savage landscape called teenagehood. Each day brings a different conflict/insecurity/anxiety/pressure/fear/despair/uncertainty. It’s like Groundhog Day for the adolescent and who wants that? No sooner do you get the hang of one thing, than everyone and everything changes places again. It’s exhausting.
As your mother, you and I notice that my responses vary. I’ve tried sombre listening, patience, perspective, encouragement, humour, impatience (never good), rebuke (who thought this was a good idea?) and then all the way through to major irritation and my own exasperated fury. I’m sorry when I don’t get it right, darling girl. Please forgive me. I would take all yuk away from you if I could and it’s hard to have to watch.
But I do know something you don’t. That you won’t even remember most of all this in a few years’ time. And that anything I say to you now from my own vantage point won’t be very helpful because – on some level – there are no answers. You’re just experiencing what we all have to go through: the lifelong and often painful process of character refinement. Which hurts!
So I think my best response in the meantime should be sombre listening before subtle redirection, what do you think?
The good news is that, as your mum, I am not completely powerless over the dragon of these years. I am praying for you, and my daily prayer request from now on shall include this:
That you would find some spot, some moment in each day or when you lay your head to sleep at night, where you close your eyes and can feel the warmth of God’s love on your face. That singular warmth that starts at the top of your head and slowly seeps through every fibre of your being until you know that you are, in FACT,
Fearfully and wonderfully made
Perfect in His sight
A joy to your Father’s heart
Worth losing everything to win you back
A bright light
A fresh breeze
A sparkly girl
Precious and fully known
Specific, purposed and unique,
And always forgiven.
That you would feel that sun warm through every part of your being as the ash and dust and grit of your day soaks off to leave you only radiant and refreshed.
For, tbh, that’s the only response to all these teenage woes really. Certainly the only response with any real power.
Find that spot each day, my darling girl, and lift your face. Then you too can finish your sonnet like Shakespeare:
That then I scorn to change my state with kings.’
I love you, my precious one. Teenage on,