I’ve witnessed family conflict over a multitude of issues and I’m certain I’m not alone. The fracture of relationships over our opinions, views, etc. is a disturbing thing to observe. Don’t get me started on social media. Sites that were created as a resource for educational Covid policies have become grounds for verbal warfare. Before I go further with this, NO, this is not a post about politics, right vs. left, ethnicity, what branch of Christianity you follow, etc. This is about grace or better yet, living our faith rather than just talking about it to, or at, others. The past several months have presented many opportunities for personal growth.
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I recently began working with my sons’ youth group, specifically for the junior high girls. During our last small group session, a general discussion question prompted the girls to share their struggles as believers amongst friends and in school. Across the board, the girls shared how difficult it is to be a Christian these days.
My husband, Sean and I are considered the “sandwich generation”. Our children still require assistance and guidance in their schoolwork, we are involved in their boy scouts, sports teams, youth group, etc. And…we drive them there. Our parents range from 75 to late 80’s so we are assisting them when needed. Recently, my father-in-law suffered a severe infection with complications resulting in his being in and out of the hospital, a step-down rehab facility and finally, trying to regain independence in his own home which is becoming increasingly difficult.
I decided that the boys and I were going to attack the house, one room at a time, and declutter, donate, trash–whatever works– to minimize the amount of ‘stuff’ we have and really do not need. The boys have surprised me in their ability to ‘let go’ of some things that I would have thought had some emotional significance. I, on the other hand, had a very hard time when we began transforming our younger boys’ room into a middle-schooler/ teen room.
Unfortunately, while I was busy being blown away from the excitement and opportunities available to my son, he was busy being overwhelmed at the thought of having to decide his “career path” at the age of 14. I was just so excited for him, as was my husband, that we assumed he was as fired up as we were. We realized quickly that he was starting to internally freak out because, at the ripe old age of 14, he didn’t know what he wanted to be when he grew up! Thankfully, he is blessed with a mother who also doesn’t know what she wants to be when she grows up either.
Recently our middle son confided in Sean and me that he is not entirely sure God exists. With all that is going wrong in the world, he doesn’t really “see God”. We talked about it a bit and we explained where we see God working, namely in the healing of Sean’s father (his grandfather), along with a few other life events. Here’s the thing: my middle son, Henry, has high function autism spectrum disorder. He sees black and white. He needs tangible proof and will question you until the cows come home. He is also darn smart so there is typically some practicality to his arguments.