Monday, December 5, 2011

Dear Teenage Girl,

Dear Teenage Girl,

I wish you understood how much I care for you.

I have cried tears over you, sent you flowers anonymously, bought you lunch, taken you out for coffee, invited you into my home, curled your hair for prom, spent every Wednesday night with you, baked you cookies, picked you up for youth group, led Bible studies, taught you how to crochet, made breakfast for you, did dishes for you, gave up a week of my time to be your camp counselor and countless weekends to be in your cabin at retreats, cheered for you at soccer games and watched football games just so I could see you cheer.


And, I have prayed for you.

Prayed that you'd get a date to a dance.
Prayed for courage to have that hard conversation with your dad.
Prayed that your non-Christian friend would accept your invitation to youth group.
Prayed for strength to confront your friend's bad choices.
Prayed that you'd be freed from shame from what you did last summer.
Prayed that you'd be pure.
Prayed that you'd find enjoyment in reading your Bible.
Prayed that your broken heart would be mended.
Prayed that you'd find contentment in your singleness.
Prayed that Jesus Christ would be your first love.


To be honest, I don't even really like going to high school football games because I don't know any of the players. Not to mention, I hate being cold.  I definitely don't like washing dishes, and I'm usually starving by the time you finish eating breakfast because I'm so busy cooking that I don't eat until you leave.  When I'm your camp counselor, I miss kissing Paul goodnight before my head hits the pillow, like I've done almost every night since we got married.  I stress over leading Bible studies because I don't consider myself a teacher and I'm never really sure what you need to hear.  You are one of the main reasons I gave up looking for full time work because I wanted to be available to you.

I do these things because I care about you.
I'm honored when you let me into your life and you trust my ears with your words.  Thank you for letting me speak into your life.  I love being part of your "ah- ha" moments.

When you are hesitant to tell me something, it hurts.  I can't help but think it's because you don't think I'll approve.  And honestly, based on what you've told me leading up to it, I may not.  But I still want to know because what is important to you is important to me.  (And no one likes to find out via Facebook.)

I want to celebrate with you.

But more than that,
I want God's best for you.
And even more than that, I want you to want God's best for you.

It devastates me to see you make bad decisions.
To settle in relationships.
To lower your standards.
To say one thing and do the opposite.
To hide something from me.

I'm trying not to take offense when you don't take my advice or blatantly ignore Truth.  Because, as my wise husband reminds me, it's not really about me at all.  It boils down to trusting God or not.

I've told you a million times that what God has for you is so much better than anything you could come up with on your own.  But just because I tell you that doesn't mean you believe it for yourself.  Or that you'll wait for it.

But it's worth it.  Oh, it's so worth it.

Oh, how I long for you to trust God.
To make Him Lord over your love life.
To run toward Jesus with everything you've got and never give up.

I'll keep praying, but the moving is up to you.

3 comments:

Haley =) said...

Love this, El! You are a wonderful youth leader. =)

Mattanda said...

What a compassionate heart you have, Elizabeth. Those teens are very blessed to have you in their lives.

Karina T said...

WOW! This is amazing, El. I was in tears by the end because I feel many of these things for my Young Life girls, but you were able to put into words what I've been feeling for so long :) You are an amazing woman and such a blessing to those around you!!