Editor’s Note: This article is part of our second annual “Impressed” series. Keep track of the series here and enter to win the book giveaway here. Don’t forget, the more you share the Impressed articles online, the higher the chances are you’ll win a book! Also, make sure you’ve liked us on Facebook so we can keep track of you. Happy sharing, and enjoy
On the day my daughter celebrated her 16th birthday, I was struck by how emotional this time was for me. The years past hit me all at once. While preparing for her party, I began reminiscing and looking through old photo albums for pictures to trim with glitter for the celebration. A wave of joy, excitement and love came over me as I thought about her as a little girl. She had these crazy blond curls and possessed an infectious laugh.
At the same time, I was overcome with a feeling of loss…loss of my sweet little girl who is growing up faster than my heart can stand. It sent me into a panic with a desperate need for deep prayer and time with God for guidance. I also began reflecting on my own teenage years and how different things are today. I thought about my past mistakes, and praised God for his grace and mercy.
Driving a great deal of this reflection time is rooted in the choices I made as a young girl and woman. I know God has covered and forgiven me, but I also know those experiences have shaped who I am today and have shown me so much about God’s character and whom He is. One thing I know for sure is that He wants all of His children to be consumed with Him…and He is the only one who can make anyone whole! As such, I want my daughter to urgently know and feel that truth as well, because it is so powerful! As the day approached, I prayerfully went to the Lord throughout each day, along with many, many sleepless nights, asking for direction and tools to help her Dad and I parent her in the years ahead.
With my imperfections I’ve learned to depend on His Word to speak louder than my doubts.
I started looking for some resources that could help me and found a book called Every Young Woman’s Battle by Shannon Ethridge. This book is filled with experiences, tools, and truth helping parents guide their daughters in this often daunting generation of kids. Real stories speak to young women explaining why many girls, who committed themselves to purity, easily fall into a situation they never intended happening. The author also brought to light parenting mistakes I’ve made, which has been a humbling thing to experience. While I’ve spent some time beating myself up for those mistakes, I also recognize that God’s grace is prevalent in those areas too! And parenting my child means I’m going to have to trust in God’s grand plan. “For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, to give you a hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11. With my imperfections I’ve learned to depend on His Word to speak louder than my doubts.
“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are, yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” Hebrews 4:15-16.
Additionally, I appreciated the common myths the author brings to light.
1. I need to have a boyfriend to be somebody.
I want my daughter to truly understand and grasp there is nothing that can fill that space intended for God! I want her to know how much He loves her, that He thinks she’s to die for, literally, and that nothing else in this world will truly make her feel whole long term.
2. No one will understand my struggles.
This myth keeps the struggle quiet! Young girls need to be open about the struggles they face, and seek God and counsel when things come up! It’s my hope that my daughter will be able to share her struggles and get good advice from godly friends and trusted family. I Corinthians 10:13 says “No temptation has seized you except what is common to (woman). And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.” Such a great reminder that ALL of us have struggles, and they are COMMON! What a gift for young girls to know they are not alone in this battle.
3. Guys want basically the same thing from dating relationships that girls want.
This myth can cause young gals to naïvely believe guys and girls have the same basic needs in a relationship when really the opposite is the case! I remember thinking that if I gave myself physically then I would attain the true intimacy and love I desperately thought I needed. The fact is that ultimately guys give attention and love to get sex, and gals give sex to get love! This can create such confusion in our young girls hearts!
I want my daughter to know how much Jesus loves her,
that He thinks she’s to die for, literally,
and that nothing else in this world will truly make her feel whole.
How I would have loved to have this resource as a young gal. This season of parenting has made me realize more and more that I don’t have all the answers, that I will, and have made mistakes, and that I need to be prayerful and in the Word more than ever. It has also opened my eyes to how quickly this time came upon me and how fast it will go by.
At times I would love to just run from it, or close my eyes and hope for the best, but I also want to soak it up and try my best to lean on Jesus for strength. I’m also finding that when I’m parenting, chances are my girl may not like me very much, it will create tension, and distance between us. How can I balance the parent versus friend role? How can I stay connected to her, but above all else guard her heart and body? These are all questions I’m wrestling with almost every day. It’s my prayer that God will give me the strength to keep going, and the courage to trust fully in Him. “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9)
Interested in reading Every Young Woman’s Battle? Check it out here!
Did you like today’s post? Be sure to subscribe to our email list and for a limited time, receive our FREE eBook Overcoming the Darkness, as our thanks to you!
Image Credit: Kevin N. Murphy, Creative Commons