Parenting: A Glimpse of the Harvest

Raising a teen girl is a big challenge, maybe now more than ever. Second-guessing, worrying, and doubting oneself seem to be the name of the parenting game. As the single mom of a thirteen-year-old, I can’t help fretting over whether I’m doing it right. Will she escape all the risks today’s society throws at girls? Is she strong enough to grow into a happy, healthy, contributing member of society?

John 4 35

We’re not supposed to worry, according to scripture, but in this area it’s hard not to. Rather than getting mad at us for our lack of faith, God sometimes gives us a moment of hope. I had that moment yesterday with my daughter.

We were at a gymnastics meet and she was starting her beam routine, which involves all kinds of daring leaps and flips. As the parent of a level 8 gymnast, my heart is always a little bit in my throat.

Crash! She falls, scraping her hip but good on the way down. Around me, people gasp. I gasp, and hold onto the edge of the seat because parents are NOT allowed on the gym floor. Her coaches are right there, I tell myself. So this isn’t her day. Maybe she’ll pull it together and compete on one or two other events.

She gets up, and I’m craning to see if she’s okay.

She gives this rueful, self-deprecating little smile to her coaches, and jumps RIGHT BACK ON the beam. Where she proceeds to finish her routine with perfect poise.

At that moment, I saw the woman she will be. One who’s able to laugh at herself and her mistakes and keep on going. One with the grit within herself to do what she needs to do, to reach her goals.

grace leapingShe is light-years beyond the baby who, after spending her first year in an impoverished orphanage, needed early intervention for gross motor delays. She’s miles beyond the little girl who ran to me crying during her first gymnastics class, when a less-than-supportive coach criticized her efforts at a cartwheel.

Now she’s standing on her own two feet (on top of a skinny balance beam no less). She’s strong and secure and pretty darn close to flying. Who is this confident, courageous young woman? How did she grow up so quickly?

Yeah, we fight. And yeah, she has her snarky teen moments and I have my annoying, nagging-mom ones. But there, just for a flash, I saw the future. God willing, it’s going to be good.

 

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4 Comments on "Parenting: A Glimpse of the Harvest"

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Katrina Epperson
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What a wonderful post. You voiced my very feelings about my daughter. She started college this year and living away from home for the first time. Where did time to I can’t not tell you, but the worry has not changed. Thank you for sharing.

Ann Ellison
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Having raised two girls, I can certainly relate to what you are saying. There were times I thought I wasn’t going to get them raised and other times I did see a glimpse of the women they would become. It is such a blessing now to see them as wives and mothers and know that with God’s help, I did manage to do something very right.

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