Last Tuesday, I took Emily to a photography studio to get her senior pictures taken. As I looked at my beautiful daughter, I was reminded once again at how fleeting time can be. It seems as if it were just yesterday that she was a toddler.
But she is starting her senior year on Wednesday and before I know it she'll be off to college. She is looking forward to this next stage of her life. I'd love to say her high school years have been wonderful, but they haven't. She has experienced much unkindness since we moved here and feels quite lonely. So I know she wants the next stage of her life to begin.
All of my children have experienced growing pains. They have experienced the hurt of rejection and cruelty. They have experienced things that I wish they would have never known. Much of what they have gone through I don't share here, but as a mom, their pain is mine as well. I so wish I could shield them from these growing pains, but I also know that God can use pain and turn it into something for good.
I can't change what has happened or is happening now because I can't force others to do the right thing. But I can talk to my kids about how they should act and respond. I can teach them to value of kindness and compassion. I do remind them why they should walk with integrity and be the bigger person. I pray for them constantly.
Sometimes life isn't like a movie. There isn't always a perfect, happy ending or resolution. But as a believer in the redeeming power of Jesus Christ, I know that there is hope that God will work in my children's lives and that he uses these difficulties to help us grow stronger in our faith.
So growing pains are inevitable, and I would love to shield my children from them, but they are necessary to become full-grown and mature in their faith.
James 1:2-4 (MSG) ~
Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.