Monday, September 10, 2012

Fight Like a Girl

Note: This is part of the Fight Like a Girl Series. Other posts are found under the series tag.

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.

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.

16 comments:

  1. This is wonderful Melissa! I look forward to sharing with my 12 year old Niece. I don't have children, but I have so many young women that I share God's word with, young ladies at my office and my Church. I really struggle with the right attitude about some of the young ladies I work with...so many with such hard lives and horrible influences. This was so helpful. Thank you!

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    1. Thanks, Teresa. Sometimes it's hard to have the right attitude when dealing with teenage girls. I confess I'm easily frustrated at times. Praying to change that, by God's grace!

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  2. This really touched me this morning. Thanks for posting. Some days I feel like I have it all together and others I feel like I am floundering. I only hope I can be as strong as I face these same four years.

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    1. I understand completely, Angela. Believe me, I do.

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  3. Wonderful post Melissa. God bless you as you seek to raise your daughter in the fear and admonition of the Lord.

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  4. I love the idea of fighting for our girls rather than with them. My girl turns 13 next month. I see her diving into herself, pulling away a bit. I'm encouraged to come alongside her and fight with her. Fight for the gospel to become more real to both of us!

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    1. What a great thing to fight for, Lindsay!

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  5. Fighting alongside you for my 13 year old girl! May the Lord protect them!
    Naomi

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  6. And me and my 12 year old too! thank youxx

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  7. I'm so there. My oldest is a thirteen-year-old eighth-grader. I am happy that she still talks my ear off (well, most of the time). Anyway, love your point about the generational gap in the church. It is just as important.

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  8. My second oldest is 13 and she just started high school. It's beautiful to see them grow: spiritually, physically, emotionally. She is taller than me already. I love watching the Lord work in her life. Thanks for the post.

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