If I am paying attention, listening closely, filtering, I am more prepared for what is to come.
God has clearly led me to step back from volunteering, daily hand’s on with The Girls (which I have to admit I miss tremendously), hours spent at work. I knew that rough times were coming. Both at home and within our church.
Our church has been in turmoil for several years. There is an apathy oppressing us that I just can’t explain. Is it the fast-paced region we live in? Other churches seem to prosper and grow and make an impact on their members and neighbors. Ours seems stagnant. Oppressed. Ambivalent.
Our family is at a cross roads. Our oldest is a senior in high school, heading to college in less than a year now. Our middle child, our only girl, is a junior, playing varsity sports, trying to pull together the last two years of high school and bring her GPA up. Our youngest is a 6th grader, in full blown puberty, currently spending his last year in elementary school…which will mark the end of a true era of 12 years continuous enrollment by our family at our elementary school.
The teenage years are truly turbulent. Thankfully, praise God, our children have thus far resisted the temptations of drugs, alcohol, premarital sex. We are not so blind nor so naive as to think it couldn’t happen tomorrow, but we pray for them faithfully, communicate openly, and love on them like there is no tomorrow.
Yesterday afternoon, I received an e-mail notification that our daughter’s boyfriend had posted to her Facebook. We have had reason to monitor her Facebook and e-mail, more for her own protection than anything else. She is fully aware that we could, at any moment, access her accounts. And, in fact, her accounts are all set up with our e-mail address.
Something, or Someone, told me to open this post by The Boyfriend. Thankfully, I did. It was a “please don’t ever call me again” post and it contained some evil, horrible, completely untrue comments as well. For whatever reason, I don’t care why, he felt compelled to break up with her and be very ugly about it. I promptly deleted the post.
And then I called The Man.
He is so much more calm and clear-headed at times like these. We decided that telling her before a home game was definitely not an option. Unless, somehow, it came up. I always intended to come clean with all of the details except one. I refused to tell her exactly what he said other than, “please don’t call me anymore”.
I’m truly puzzled as to why and how he could begin with “please” and end with the truly hurtful words he did. And they say teenage girls are difficult to understand.
Thankfully, nothing occurred that led to full disclosure prior to her leaving for the game. The Man went with her (he announces the JV and Varsity games) and kept me up to date. Her only comment about The Boyfriend was that they had talked well into the night last night on the phone, about “everything”, and he had told her to have a great game the next day and that he would be thinking about her. Hm.
Have I mentioned that she has been benched by the coach? She had some trouble keeping her emotions under control for a couple of games and so he has essentially benched her. Crushing to a competitive spirit. Devastating to a starting player, one used to playing every minute of every game. It’s been pretty tense around the old household lately.
When I arrived at the school last night…well into the first JV game…one of the varsity mom’s pulled me aside to tell me two things:
1. A freshman JV team player had tried to commit suicide that day. Her parents are going through an ugly, affair laden, divorce.
2. A sophomore JV player had been suspended, permanently, for drinking. Her boyfriend had turned her in when he found her at a party drinking making out with another boy.
My initial reaction was one of sadness, hurt, concern. My second reaction was a feeling of dread…anticipation of what was coming next.
My girl played the last 5 points of each of the three games they played. Actually, she went in much earlier on the last game, when we were down by quite a few. While she played it well emotionally on the outside, I know how she was feeling on the inside. I know her. She’s exactly like me at that age.
We won all three games. The last game, she clearly helped pull the team out of a point deficit. She’s already told the coach she doesn’t want to be clean-up, but clean-up she has become.
After the game, I intercepted her and told she had to ride home with me and it would just be her and I because I had something to talk to her about. After an initial tirade regarding playing time, wanting to go to Mac’s with some of the guys, etc., I let her go home with her father. He broke the news to her about The Boyfriend.
As she was (not so well) digesting this, one of her friends phoned with the news about the player in the hospital. And the dam broke.
I wish I had video of The Man’s reaction. He was stuck in the corner of My Girl’s room. She was wailing, I was trying to talk to her and calm her and he’s standing there having decided that now would be the perfect time to feed My Girl’s cat. A bowl in each hand, turning left, turning right, picking up the food container, setting it down, mumbling, “where IS that cat”, pleading with his eyes for me to do something, clearly debating his best option for escape…through us or out My Girl’s window. Taking pity on him, I moved My Girl to her bed where we sat down for a cry fest as The Man RAN from her room.
Replaying it in my mind this morning…priceless.
I spent a lot of time in prayer last night, before, during and after the evening’s events.
I praise Him for protecting my family, for keeping us together, for the love The Man and I have for each other and for our children. And I thank Him for giving me a head’s up that trouble was coming and that I needed to be prepared.
Staying close to Him, hanging on His every Word, is the only way I can do that.