The realization of my girl's 13th birthday hit hard, cold water poured onto my unsuspecting face. Only five years left. I thought about how fleeting those first five years were, from the time the doctor placed her on my chest until I watched her march merrily into kindergarten. Five years left to mentor, teach, love and lead. It seemed so insufficient. I determined to be more proactive, to redefine the course of my motherhood.
And now she stands taller than I and so much more beautiful - my heart walking around outside of my body. She started high school this year. Only four years left. I want to clasp onto these years as tightly as she held my hand when she took her first uncertain steps.
I see other families altered by the teenage years. I remember it being so in my own home, when I shut myself off from my parents and delved deeper into my own world, completely absorbed in self. I vow not to let that happen with my girl.
This is not a time to accept a culturally dictated "generation gap". This is a time to jump into the battle and move toward your teenager. It is a time for engagement, interaction, discussion, and committed relationship. This is not a time to let a teenager hide his doubts, fears, and failures, but a time to pursue, love, encourage, teach, forgive, confess, and accept. It is a wonderful time.
Paul David Tripp
Age of Opportunity: A Biblical Guide to Parenting Teens (pg. 23)
The Lord has taught me much in the past year. I still have much to learn. Yet I will not let fear of my inadequacies relegate me to the sidelines of my daughter's life. I have "jumped into the battle" armed with the sword of the Spirit (Ephesians 6:17). Sometimes it is a daily fight - killing my own desires, pride and sin along with hers - but I am seeing the rewards. God's strengthening of our relationship has exceeded my expectations.
As I fight for my daughter, I find myself also fighting for the young ladies in my church. I take seriously the Church's responsibility to its teenagers. It is a passion that only the Holy Spirit could have sparked. By His grace, I will keep it lit.
If you, like me, are an ordinary woman seeking to raise up women who are extraordinary in the Lord, I invite you to join me as we wrestle this thing out together. Let's sharpen each other as we navigate the perilous waters of adolescence. Let's stop fighting with our girls, and fight for them instead.