Sunday, 9 middle schoolers embarked on a mission trip to Tennessee.
My daughter was one of them.
This phase of being a parent to a pre teen is a brand new learning experience for me. It is both beautiful and challenging. Exciting and scary. It is for sure a new journey for me as a mom, as much as it is a new journey for my daughter.
On Sunday,as she prepared to leave and as I was on the brink of an emotional meltdown (Yes, I was . Not my daughter, but me), she told me the same advice I give her: Just take deep breaths.
Who is the parent here??? It was one of those moments I can't say I'm proud of as a mom, but it happened nonetheless. And I think, if all us moms were honest, we all have moments like that.
But as we embark into this new phase, I am learning a lot. Things about me.
Things about parenting.
Things about coming together with my husband.
Things about letting go.
Things about prayer.
And much, much prayer is involved.
Last Wednesday, I had the privilege to work with the youth group at church for an evening. I got a taste of seeing what Elizabeth's new interactions will be.
Here are some highlights:
- I was smacked in the face with a kickball (I'm fine. My pride maybe not so much)
-I was soaked with a water balloon (with white shorts on, nonetheless! )
- I ate pizza and chips and junk (And remembered I do not have the metabolism of a youth anymore)
-I met kids from my daughters age to nearly college age.
-I got to be in the midst of their lesson, which happened to be on prayer.
Although this new phase is challenging to me, I love it. I love that my growing daughter is now having adult"ish" conversations with me.
I love that she is on a missions trip this week because her heart is truly to serve God.
I love the energy that come from being around the youth.
I love the lessons I am re-learning in my life as I walk my daughter through this.
I love that the newness of this journey is bringing me and Michael closer in some aspects.
Nick, the youth pastor, does a great job with these kids. Wednesday he taught a lesson on prayer. Prayer is an action that, no matter how long you've known God, you can still grow and learn in this area. Funny, my daughter was the youngest in the room. And as I sat there, I realized I was the oldest in the room. (When did this happen?? !) But age is not of importance in prayer. The heart is. This year I have seen some pretty cool answers to prayer. But in the lesson on prayer Wednesday night, I was reminded that sometimes doubt can creep in and be a hinderance to our prayers.
Doubt. Worry. The 2 are pretty similar sometimes. I will admit that I have prayed before for something and not really believed it could happen. That is doubt. It's not that I don't think God is capable. It is that the human side of me screams "impossible" and then the doubts take over.
I worry a lot. It's a grand fault of mine. And when I worry, doubts creep in.
But prayer can conquer that. Seeing answers can conquer that. Matthew tells us in God's word that we only need the faith of a mustard seed. Do you know how small a mustard seed is? It's incredibly small....and that is all I need to have. I have seen miraculous answers to prayer, so why should I doubt?
Fears create doubt.
Hurt creates doubt.
Thoughts create doubt.
People create doubt.
But God covers all that. And the amazing thing is that all I have to do is ask Him. To tell Him my doubts. And, if I allow my faith to be even as small as a mustard seed-
Fear becomes excitement and anticipation.
Hurt becomes healing.
Thoughts are replaced with God's truths.
And people....well, people and their opinions will always be there, but I can replace what they say with what God says. And allow what God says to be my guiding place, as it always should be.
Prayer is powerful. As I sat in the midst of youth last Wednesday, I am sure my mind was in a different place than theirs. How far God has brought me since I was their age. But some of those lessons are still the same.... And as we sent Elizabeth off on her trip Sunday, prayer has been a huge part of my week. And prayer is transforming.
One day, even one prayer at a time.