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My daughter is beginning her senior year of high school and the hustle and bustle of choosing college and career choices has gone into full swing. Because she is our oldest, we are all new at this, and honestly, most of it is quite daunting!
It's funny, but as we approach this new chapter in our lives I have spent some time reminiscing and reflecting on the past as I have watched her grow. Many of the mistakes I have made come back clearly, and I have to fight the twinges of guilt. However, I am surprised by some memories that keep resurfacing. These memories center around real challenges that my daughter has faced in which we as parents have had to put our moral foot down.
Now don't get me wrong, my daughter is truly such a blessing, such an incredible young lady who loves God with all of her heart. But, as with all teens, the culture has grabbed at and infiltrated her life on many occasions, and we have felt compelled to speak God's truth to her and stand up against the world on her behalf, and it has not been easy on any of us. But, I can see so clearly now that some of the greatest fruits for all of us have come from taking a stand for her and her soul.
I came face to face with one of these fruits through a difficult conversation that I had with her recently. She revealed to me how her life has been affected by a certain adult that we have trusted her to spend time with. In one way, she explained the things I already knew: their talks have provided great insight and given her some tools to use as she looks forward to her future. But then her conversation changed gears and she revealed some of the things that this adult was telling her to do, encouraging her to make decisions in complete defiance of her faith that could lead to the destruction of her soul. For her sake I won't reveal these things in this entry, but they were enough to make my skin tingle in despair and anger.
How could I have missed this? What had I done? It had been my idea for her to spend time with this person, and I could hardly believe I could have made such an error in judgement.
Unsure how to handle it all, I stared at her, trying to collect my thoughts.
Suddenly, my daughter smiled. "It's been good, Mom, really."
"What?" I responded, completely confused.
"Yeah! It's really affirmed my own faith. She said that she couldn't wait for me to be able to go to college so that I could get away from my parents and make my own decisions. I told her that I WAS making my own decisions. These are MY choices. And I know now that I really do believe it and am strong enough to stick to my beliefs!"
With a tear in my eye of pride, gratitude and deep love, I realized that my daughter had passed the test - under God's watchful eye and without any intervention from us.
It seems so hard to know if the tools we give our children on their journey toward heaven will truly have the lasting effect we long for. Today, I can exhale in relief as the reality sets in: what we do DOES matter. The sacrifices ARE worth it. There is a tough world waiting out there, but with God's strength, guidance and grace, and their knowledge that we have their backs, I know that they will be ready.
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May your Lent be truly fruitful and fill you with longing for His Resurrection!
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Hi! I'm a Catholic mom who loves to encourage and support others in their journey to live the beauty of our Catholic faith in a modern world. It can be a struggle, no doubt, but God has given us the tools we need! Join my family (both immediate and extended!) and me as we take on this incredible journey of our path to holiness.
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