Blessings and Curses and Teenage Daughters

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My oldest turns 15 this month.  That means she will be driving…me…in my vehicle😨!  Last month, my husband took her to our congregation’s Father/Daughter Banquet, and she looked so grown and beautiful (no bias here).   In May, she will officially be a sophomore in high school; that means she is three years from graduation!  My baby is growing up, people!  When I was her age, I was already “seriously” dating my husband.  If she follows my example, she could be getting married in a little more than three years.  Even if she doesn’t, my days with her at home are numbered; and I’ve been reflecting on what I’ve taught her as well as what we still need to say in the short time we have left.

So far in my limited experience, teenage children are awesome.  I feel like a lot of our hard work has paid off, and we get to enjoy time with our favorite people–the ones we made💖.  Don’t get me wrong; they are not perfect.  I am well aware of their faults and do not need you to point them out, thank you very much.  However, they are much more fun and helpful now that they’re older, especial my girl.  She cooks and cleans while I work on other projects, enjoys many of the same books and movies as me, is my go-to shopping and eating out buddy, and helps her dad pick out gifts that I actually like.  Basically, it’s like I have another me to hang out with and get things done, and it is great!  

I never imagined 15 would feel this…complete.  Some days I look at her and think, “where did this responsible, smart, and beautiful young woman come from?!”  I suppose this is the nature of raising children.  They grow up right in front of us, yet it comes as a surprise.  At a point we will reach much sooner than I’d like to acknowledge, my direct and daily influence over my daughter will be gone.  I can already see it changing.  At that point, I must rely on the things we have taught to carry her through (at least until she comes to realize that her mom and dad are very wise and still have tons of good advice to share).

What have we taught her?  We have spent countless hours in our home teaching her the word of God and His will for her life.  We have been purposeful in bringing her to spiritually uplifting events.  We have sacrificed time and finances to ensure that she has had every opportunity to know Christ deeper and grow spiritually.  We feel confident that, on the day our daughter heads out on her own, we can say to her the same words Moses wrote to the children of Israel in Deuteronomy 30:19-20: “I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live, you and your descendants, by loving the Lord your God, by obeying His voice, and by holding fast to Him; for this is your life…”

Christian mamas, I’m writing this to you so you will know that even if no one else sees you, I do.  I see the hours you spend reading, singing, and praying with your children.  I know the time you’ve spent reasoning, disciplining, demonstrating, and teaching.  Oh, how I have been with you on the roller coaster of emotions that is raising a child–laughing, crying, fearing, ranting, yelling, regretting, doubting yourself, confessing, praying, waiting, trusting, watching, rejoicing, and loving.  I know the sleepless nights you’ve spent in tears praying for your child, and I’m telling you to hold on!  

I can’t see the future; I don’t know if my daughter will remain faithful to the Lord.   But I do know this: I “did not shrink from declaring to [her] the whole counsel of God” (Acts 20:17).  Blessing or curse, eternal life or death, the choice is hers.  She’s a good one, and thus far she has chosen the path of righteousness for which I am thankful every single day.  

Mamas who are in the midst of the struggle, I hope you too will turn a corner one day and think to yourself, “this one is going to be okay.  I have raised a human, and she’s not half bad.”💗 Kids growing up can be scary.  The devil is real!  But mama didn’t raise no fool, and you don’t have to, either.  Teach them now.  Prepare them for eternity, and my prayer is that you will have the opportunity to enjoy the peace of watching your children flourish in Christ.