My husband and I are in the midst of raising four teenage daughters…yes, that’s right, four girls between the ages of 13 and 19. Our oldest will be 20 in a few months, so there is light at the end of the tunnel! Raising these kids always puts me in mind of where they get their sense of worthiness. It’s in our human DNA to belong. This is especially true in kids. When we belong to a group, we feel a sense of worthiness and well-being and are at peace. Instead of my kids getting their sense of belonging from the world, which is fleeting and ever changing, I want them (and me!) to get it from the Lord, who is eternal and everlasting.
Let it go…let it go. We all recognize these words from a familiar Disney movie. Words that many times are much easier sung than done! How often do we hold on to minor offenses done to us by others…many times unknown by the “offender”? We either become angry and defensive or retreat into ourselves. I am guilty of this a lot, especially the retreating part.
One time in particular comes to mind, a time years ago when my kids were little. I was running around like crazy all the time, with four girls all under the age of six. In an attempt to keep them occupied one day we made a trip to the craft store. After loading our purchases and all of the kiddos into the minivan I drove to the nearest Chick Fil A. It was then I found that my wallet was missing. My heart dropped. Not that this was an end of the world situation, but it was upsetting nonetheless. I would have to cancel all of my credit cards (having to remember which cards were in there in the first place); I’d have to get a new driver’s license (which is a huge pain when you just lost your only form of ID); I’d have to contact my health insurance company and get new ID cards…just additional things to worry about when I was already up to my eyeballs in little girls.
I took it very personally. I began to argue with her and engage in conduct unbecoming a Christian. She finally left, and I went on venting to those around me. A little while later I was talking to someone about having to miss church the next day and he joked that I was a bad Christian. I defended myself by saying, “But I love Jesus.” Even as I said those words I remembered that difficult customer. How could I say I loved Jesus if I wasn’t following His command to love one another?
There was one school, the farthest one away, that kept coming up in her mind. She applied, got in, and so we visited St. Francis U. It was a beautiful spring day at home: sunny, warm, birds chirping. We drove up the turnpike for hours. We got off the turnpike and started driving into the mountains. It was getting colder. Off in the distance it looked like snow. We drove on. We got closer to the snow. We got farther away from civilization. We reached the campus…on top of a mountain…in the middle of nowhere…yikes!
I was feeling discouraged about a Bible Study that a friend and I had started for a group of friends. This special group consisted of ladies from our social circle who were from diverse religious backgrounds. Some had never gone to church regularly, and others were from different denominations. They all had something in common: questions about God, the Bible, and religion.