The day he did push-ups in the middle of the four-lane road, I thought my teenager had lost his mind. A group of lanky, long-limbed teenage boys, full of life and bravado, were waiting for the bus, egging each other on to new feats of foolishness.
It became a competition of sorts. I got a call from a friend, who just happened to be passing the bus stop. It’s never fun to hear, “Do you know what your son is doing?”
[Tweet “Parenting teens has those surprise moments that bring you up short & make it hard to be steady. “]
Maybe you feel like some alien life form has inhabited the once congenial, cute child of days gone by. Maybe you have had a few moments like this, tempted to laugh but so aware of the dangers.
Then there were the days of increasing conflict and emotional outbursts from our daughter. Where did that sweet-natured child we used to call “Sunshine” go? Why has everything suddenly become a battle?
Sitting at the kitchen table in the quiet of the morning, I bowed my head to pray. Heart tender and tired, ready for truth to encourage, I opened my Bible. I felt like I was gulping the words down, trying to stand firm in the daily moments that seemed to bring out the worst in me.
Romans 8:25-26 NLT
But if we look forward to something we don’t yet have, we must wait patiently and confidently. And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words.
What a comfort to be reminded to continue trusting God, waiting with patience and confidence for what hasn’t happened yet.
[Tweet “Patience holds in its hand the idea of steadfast waiting, constancy, and endurance.”]
For me, that “not yet” was the uncertainty of navigating life with a house full of teenagers. Will today’s foolish prank, fed by peer pressure, become tomorrow’s bigger problem? Will there ever be peace between father and daughter again?
In our uncertainty, the ministry of Holy Spirit fills in the gaps. He helps us in our weakness, taking hold when we lack the strength to keep our grip. He prays alongside us with the perfect will of God, even when we have no idea what to pray.
How grateful I am God cares for me as a mother, speaking strength to stay steady through the words on the page of my worn Bible.
God gives strength for perseverance and grace-energy to hold on when parenting is tough–I came to understand that, while I am trying to hang on, God’s got hold of me.
Romans 15:5 NLT
May God, who gives this patience and encouragement,
help you live in complete harmony with each other, as is fitting for followers of Christ Jesus.