Saturday, June 6, 2015

Muddy Waters

I Samuel 14:6b (NIV) ~

Nothing can hinder the Lord from saving, whether by many or by few.

I woke with a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach this morning.  The ugliness of "what are people thinking" rose up in me.  I felt the hurt when a family member is hurting.

My daughter has been struggling with friends at school.  Some of the issue is that she offered forgiveness to a girl that the rest of the group didn't think deserved it.  Friends are taking sides and it has become a mess. 

Every day, I go through this little pep talk before and after school about forgiveness.  About letting it go.  That she did the right thing.  That maybe it's time to back a way a bit.  About not responding to unkindness  or at least not communicating via text or Facebook.  And Emily has done it even though there were a few days when she came home crying. 

Until the other night when a girl started a group chat on Facebook and added Emily.  Words got heated, and instead of coming to me for advice, she lashed out in anger at one of them and said some very unkind things.  She makes mistakes just as we all do and generally feels terrible about it.  And as soon as I discovered what had happened, we dealt with it and we had a discussion once again about social media.  Yesterday, she apologized to this friend and asked for forgiveness but the damage was done and she was told she needs to earn her trust forgiveness. 

And that makes me sad because I keep trying to remind and teach my children that we need to forgive because Christ has forgiven us so much.  He doesn't say, "You have to deserve or earn my forgiveness."  He doesn't say, "You have to crawl and beg before I forgive you." He forgives unconditionally.  But that is hard for even adults to do at times and I think it's probably even harder for young people.  But a necessary lesson if we are ever to grow spiritually.

Because I hate conflict, I am struggling.  Then as I read this morning in I Samuel, I came to this verse.  God is bigger than all this.  God can work through it. God is able to do more than I can imagine.  So I'm trusting Him.  I'm believing that this will be resolved. And I'm continuing to speak to my daughter about forgiveness.  I'm once again talking about dealing with conflict face to face, rather than through your keyboard.  I suggested, and she agreed, to deactivate her Facebook account throughout the summer to take a break from some of these relationships and give each other some breathing space.  I am thankful that she is willing to take our advice. My children aren't perfect just because their father is a pastor.  They make mistakes.  They stumble and fall as do we all.

I love teens.  They struggle with so many different things and it's hard when they struggle with forgiveness and unkindness and relationships and there is not much I can do about it.  It's difficult when they are facing so much peer pressure.  But I can pray for them and I do often.  I let her friends know quite often that I love them and am praying for them.

Parenting is so hard at times.  It's often trying to swim through muddy waters.  And it requires A LOT of time on your knees.  So I'm continuing to pray and love my daughter and guide her and remind her of how Christians should act regardless of others' actions.  I pray for my friends too because they face the same issues. 

I'm sure I'm getting a few gray hairs in the process.