I am a contributing writer for Evangel Chapel’s website, you can find this post – and many other great reads – there also.
I wasn’t able to get to church yesterday, which was particularly disappointing because the city was doing a pulpit swap. Our pastor was speaking at the Baptist Church and we had a visiting pastor as well. For this reason, I was interceding for both “houses” as well as the churches in the rest of the city. This is SO exciting to me, to see our city in unity and working together! As an intercessor I am thinking about what it means to be part of a body within our own church, which reaches out the city and into the nations…
Being part of a body though, really starts with my husband, myself and our children. I love a recent post our pastor made on how to do church with a young family (it will open in another window) because he really talks about the importance of EVERY single part of the body. Even the baby toe is important!
Today I’m looking back reflectively about my family and the year we’ve had. It’s been a year of challenges, of change and of growth. I pray I can say that every year! What have my young men, specifically, learned through the last year? In moments that may have looked like tormenting scholastic struggles, they have learned perseverance. One can’t quit or give up when things get hard! They have learned the value of determination and hard work. They have succeeded and they have failed. They will need both of these in life when circumstance moves them to stand with courage in the face of fiercity. They will be able to look back and see how God was there for them, and know with certainty He will be there for them again.
This reminds me of the butterfly and Chrysalis.
Did you know that if a butterfly does not fight and struggle to be free, when it bursts from its cocoon, it can’t fly. It’s not strong enough. I think about my young men, about our year and it dawns on me…the difference between a teenager and a young man is that the teenager fights against God and against their parents for independence. A young man (or woman) fights with God, with his/her parents for freedom. As the cocoon of childhood becomes restraining, so tight that it threatens to smother them, they will struggle to break from it and in doing so, they will embark on an adventure with their new wings.
We’ve experienced many of the usual things parents go through with young men/woman as they choose the path to follow. Yet along with those moments, we’ve also experienced moments of grace, mercy, and always moments of gratefulness as we watch God shape our young men (and our little lady as she grows). Again, like the butterfly struggling to find its freedom, my young men are struggling to move from living out of my faith, and walking in their own faith! From the uncertainty of being responsible for their faith and spiritual growth, they are finding freedom.
This is terrifying and exciting all at once, for us – as parents. It’s as much a journey for us as it is for them. We’re on the same ship, being tossed to and fro with the troubled waters and swells of this new season. It’s not true that Christians never experience storms, nor that they somehow levitate as not to be harmed by the raging seas. Let’s be real. However, we do have God to fight for us and with us…He meets us where we are. My prayer – and let me tell you that my knees have scars from spending so much time on them – my prayer is that as our children are with us, and us with them, they will see my love for God in all we do (and don’t do). Our children need to see us serve, see us laugh, see us cry, see our faith FIRST HAND! My prayer is that our young men (and growing young lady) will see the strong, godly leader my husband is (even when, in our unequal-yoking, my husband may not recognize this in himself YET) and that the choices we make will inspire and encourage them. As they fight for freedom I know that they know that we are FOR them, WITH them, beside them, behind them and in front of them; and that every step of the way is covered in prayer!
Maybe you are here with us dear friends, in the midst of a season change. If you are being tossed about, and there is no discerning the teenager from the young man/woman, find someone to walk along side you. Get on your knees. Change your perspective. Remember there is more to the lemon than meets the eye! My heart walks with yours, in prayer.
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