I could see it in the way she held herself, all rigid and tense, her eyes flashed with her bottled up frustration. Clearly it had been a day.
I ventured to ask, "How was your day Miss Sofia?" That was all it took to open the flood gates.
The rant began. Its force seated me.
I shall briefly sum up for you.
Always so much homework! Her arms gestured in frustration.
So many tests today! And still more homework! Her face grimaced.
Some people are so mean! Her heart ached.
Some days it's so difficult to get to class on time. She feels rushed.
Boys are stupid! (the cute one, the one who flirts non stop, that one told her about a date he had with someone else. stupid boy!) She's upset.
I listened as my girl poured out the frustration.
By the time she was finished she began to laugh and apologized. "Sorry about that."
I told her it was perfectly alright. That I will listen anytime. That I was sorry it was such a tough day.
She was feeling like herself again.
Well, to the extent that teenagers can feel like themselves.
They go through a lot don't they?
They're constantly bombarded with expectations and demands.
Be smarter. Be prettier. Be thinner. Be better at sports. Be happy. Be responsible. Just have fun. Have it all. Do it all. Be popular. Obey your parents. Follow your dreams. Fit in. Be your own person. Dress right. Talk right. Act cool!
It can be very confusing for a teen to sift through the list and know what is reasonable and what is unrealistic. Not to mention the struggle with their own inner thoughts and feelings.
Am I good enough? Am I smart enough? Do my friends really like me? Am I really lovable? Am I pretty enough? Thin enough? Am I enough? Am I cool? Did I say the wrong thing? What if I embarrass myself? Do I matter?
Then just to mix things up a bit their hormones are going insane, their brains are still developing, and they're hit with the reality that in just a few short years they'll be adults! Talk about minds blown!? It's a wonder they make it through the day.
For these reasons I will daily remind my girls that I love them. I will listen. I will be patient and encouraging. I will embrace and enjoy these teen years. Most importantly, I will do my best to fill them up with truth.
I want them to know...
They are Fearfully and wonderfully made! (Psalm 139:14) Not only are they beautiful, but they are precious in God's eyes!
Even though they're still young, they can make a positive impact on the world by loving the Lord. Let no one despise your youth, but be an example, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity! (1 Timothy 4:12) And that is cool!
Even in the face of trials and struggles, through God they can still have peace as well as overcome. "These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world!" (John 16:33) Yes, they can indeed do all things through Christ who gives them strength! (Philippians 4:13) If God is for them, who can be against them! (Romans 8:31b) They do not take on life alone!
They do not have to worry or fear or wrestle with uncertainty, for the Lord will give them a spirit of power, and of love, and of a sound mind! (2 Timothy 1:7)
And above all, they will make mistakes and it will be alright. The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in mercy! (Psalm 103:8)
It's not easy being a teen, but being wrapped in love and armed with truth can make a world of difference!