lead me, help me, guide me…

Pam’s Journey – Day 42

Miles walked: 123

Miles remaining: 877

Days remaining: 324

This journey is such an amazing thing. I feel truly thankful to have been invited to be a part of it. Just over a month in, barely getting started and I feel a change in me. A change for the better and a closeness with my Jesus. I admit to praying some of those same prayers that everyone prays, “lead me, help me, guide me”. As I walk with him, every day now, I’m feeling his guidance and boy do I need it.

This morning, I had one of those “parent moments” that scares the heck out of me. Everything turned out fine in the end but it’s one of those times when my teenage daughter was in full force teenage daughter mode and made some bad decisions. The test: How did I handle it?

  • Preface: My daughter is 14 and the youngest in her class. Most of her class was either held back at one time and/or went through T1, so they are 15-16. Then she has a lot of friends in upper grades so they are 16-17+. On the weekends, the kids like to hang out on 39th. When that breaks up, they go to a carwash on Council and when that ends, they head to a lot on Sara and hang out there for awhile. This is the equivalent of my cruising Van Buren and hanging out at Sonic or McDonald’s, back in the day. Most of us had something like this when we were teenagers so I try to remember that and let her go sometimes.
  • Details: Last night she asked to hang out at the lot on Sara for awhile. This isn’t far from our house so I agreed and gave her the time to be home. I knew that she would be late because I didn’t give her a lot of time, so when I woke up to find that she wasn’t home yet and it was just a little past the time I had told her, I didn’t get too worried yet. The next time I woke up was 3 hours past the time I had told her and she still wasn’t home. So, the fears set in. I start texting her, calling, texting her friends, checked her recent calls on att.com and texted the numbers I wasn’t familiar with to see if anyone has seen her. This isn’t the first time she’s been this late but it’s not a super common occurrence so I fear the worst when it happens.

An hour after I started texting, still nothing. Her phone goes straight to voicemail so it’s either turned off or dead. No response from her close friends that should have been with her. A response from one of the recent numbers on att.com that I didn’t know said that they didn’t know where she was. No help.

Two hours after I had started texting, nothing. Still texting her friends, nothing. Finally, I hear the door and in she comes. Let the excuses begin…. Her phone died, the police showed up at Sara and was questioning everyone (this is common to keep the kids in line), searching all the cars, and wouldn’t let anyone leave. Of course, she didn’t think to ask anyone else who had a phone if she could use it to call me.

  • The test: How to handle it. I try not to be one of those parents that scream at their kids and say hurtful things. It doesn’t help anything in the end. I’m not saying I never yell.. but my yelling voice is not a scary thing so it doesn’t have the effect that it needs. So, I take her phone because that’s always the first thing I do when I’m not able to reach her on it. I tell her she’s grounded forever and she heads to her room.

I didn’t give you the times that this was happening, but at this point it’s about 6am. I start watching the end of the OU game from last night that I fell asleep in, just to have something to do while I’m trying to figure out what to do/say to her. As I finished the game (of course, OU won!), I made my coffee and was feeling irritated that I had been up for over 3 hours now. I wanted to get out and walk my walk this morning but I like to get out around 6am and here it was after 7 now so some grumpiness was creeping up on me. Suddenly, I felt led to get up and get out there and walk my walk… with my daughter, who has been out all night! Perfect 🙂  I loudly bang on her door, tell her to get her shoes and a jacket and let’s go! She didn’t protest much.. she knew better. We walked, talked, laughed, scolded, apologized, and bonded for 3 miles.

Did I handle the situation properly? who knows. Before you shake your heads and start clicking your tongues, think back.. did you ever stay out too late? I did. Is she going to do it again? most likely.. she’s a teenager! Does she know that it was wrong? Yes. Is she still grounded? YES! Does she know that I love her? Absolutely, 100%. She has made some bad choices and she has learned from them. Every bad choice has made her who she is and gives her more confidence in who she wants to be. She is amazing.

Instead of being overly critical with our kids, I think we need to just love them up… not tear them down. Today is a new day, a new walk, and a new prayer… Lord, please Lord, I need you constantly with me. Lead me, help me, guide me… Amen.

Will she survive her teenage years? Yes.. Will I?

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13

<Note: this didn’t happen last night.. I wrote about it while it was fresh on my mind a while back. And we are both still alive and well>

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