Love.... always trusts. Even a teenager, apparently.
I didn't think I was nervous about becoming the parent of a teenager. I really didn't. But in the fortnight after her 13th birthday I've found myself getting a lot more cross with her a lot more often. And it's not because her behaviour has suddenly changed. She's the same as she ever was. The difference is coming from me.
I've had to take a step back and look at what's going on. When I do some simple question-asking of myself, I find out that all my responses involve worry and anxiety.
I've been anxious about her music practice, worried about her using facebook, concerned about her homework and snarky about her leaving mess anywhere.
What I'm really worried about is that she won't grow up to be perfect. Which, I suppose, means growing up to be exactly like me. Or perhaps, I'm worried that I won't be able to control her as she gets older. I'm worried that I'll begin to 'lose' her as she begins to hang out with friends more.
Either way, the anxiety is coming out as me being intensely critical of her (and therefore perhaps myself?) at almost every opportunity. Even if I don't say it out loud, the criticism is there. And we all know that when someone is critical of us, we don't have to hear it. We already know it.
I'm doing a lot of thinking about the 1 Corinthians 13 'love is' passage at the moment. And I need to hold onto 'Love always trusts' in this area.
Love trusts that my daughter will grow up to make great decisions, even if they are not the decisions I would make. Love trusts that she will blossom and learn, even if they are the things I haven't learned myself. Love trusts that she will be held in the palm of God's hand, not squashed in my fist.
When I am thankful I find myself being less anxious and I certainly notice that my habit of thankfulness has been waning recently. Perhaps thankfulness is also the antidote to anxiety and a lack of trust. Hey, it seems to work for everything else. Gratitude really is the 'magic' pill for life!
I am thankful for my daughter, for her sense of humour, for her ability to get on with all sorts of people, for her desire to enjoy life, for her commitment to God, for her great company. I am so blessed to be her mother. May I not botch it up with worry, but let it blossom with trust and gratitude.