Sunday, February 24, 2008

teenage trauma

It's been over a week since I've written anything. The winter blues have set in - they always seem to get me in February. Life becomes dull and uninteresting and I spend too much time watching TV because it's hard to get motivated to do anything else. Fortunately this year we get an early spring break - March 1-8 in Hilton Head, South Carolina, at my parent's timeshare. February can't end soon enough.

The past week has been kind of blue for my stepdaughter, too. She is starting to miss home. Her best friend back home informed her that she thinks they should find "other best friends" in the meantime - that really hurt her. She comes to me and pours out all her frustrations. "How come you're so happy all the time?" she asks me. Come again? Me, happy all the time? Hello, I'm blue all over (my husband can certainly tell!)

I explain to her that I struggle with depression and frustration over lots of things but I try to take them all to God and when I do He gives me peace. This started an incredible conversation with her on how you know you're a Christian... I asked her what she thought about sin. She said she thinks everyone is a sinner, she said she herself sins everyday, but that's what Jesus is for, that we can go to Him and ask forgiveness for our sins. I just about wanted to leap up for joy! She gets it! Yes, she really does understand.

Then she asked, but is it bad that I don't read the Bible much, and when I do, I don't really understand it? Sometimes you can't just read it, I told her, you actually have to study it, and ask God to help you understand it. Studying the Bible helps us grow as a Christian, but not reading it doesn't mean you're not a Christian. It's what you believe that makes you a Christian.
Then she asked, what about those people who say they are Christians but they say nasty things about other people or do bad things? Well, we are all hypocrites sometimes, I said, but it's also possible that they think they are Christians, but they really aren't. After all, Jesus said that at the last day many will come to Him and say, "Lord! Lord! I did all these things in Your name!" But Jesus will tell them, "I never knew you."

I could tell she didn't get it. So I asked her, who is a famous person you know? She named a famous model. So, you know her... but does she know you? Oh! I could see the lights coming on for her. It's a two-way relationship. And she started smiling. I know God knows me, she said. I pray to Him, and He answers me... and she gave several examples of answered prayers.

Since that talk, I haven't felt blue at all. I hate how Satan can trick you into thinking life is pointless... and I love the different ways God reminds us how awesome life is. Getting to see my stepdaughter's face light up with understanding lit up my heart at the same time.

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