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Great and Terrible

great&terribleNot so long ago we had a tough year in our house. We had teens that were struggling, but who were not talking to us about it. The result was that one got into a pretty big mess and pulled others into it, as well. I won’t go into detail because it’s not my journey, although as the parents, we were greatly affected. For a few months, I was receiving phone calls from concerned parents, relaying information that I did not know about my child; details that made me question if I had ever known this person at all. There were nights when I would walk past my teen’s closed door, on the way to bed, and not want to stop. I just wanted to let it slide for a night. But each night I would knock, and go in and face the truth. After a time of confrontations, confessions and consequences the behavior eventually was back on track, and I am happy to say that we have all come out of this stronger, and closer than we were before.

I don’t think I realized how hard it had been for us until recently I received a phone call from one of those parents and when I saw who it was, I froze. Questions and accusations came screaming at me all over again, I did not want to know, I did not want to answer that call. But I did answer, and it was a benign request for a fundraiser. I could barely speak I was so relieved and I sobbed after we hung up. It occurred to me that I had been holding myself very tightly for months, just waiting for another call.

Hard things come when we don’t expect them, and rarely do they go away quickly. It’s bad enough when it’s the result of our own mistakes, but when it’s your child, it can feel particularly hopeless and very isolating. I’m not writing this to bring attention to my child, but to the fact that we all make mistakes sometimes. The best that we can do is pray, drawing closer to God as we hand over the issue, and continue to do the hard things.

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11 responses »

  1. “that we all make mistakes sometimes. The best that we can do is pray, drawing closer to God as we hand over the issue, and continue to do the hard things.” So true Jen. So true. Thank you for sharing – it takes courage to be real – but we all benefit from it. Blessings! Marilyn

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  2. I love this picture you added! I imagine it would be isolating. Who do you talk to about someone you love and care about. You don’t want to share the bad, because this eon the outside may judge and so you’re trying to protect the one you love. But, I’m glad your sob was a relieving sob πŸ™‚ heading back from lunch πŸ˜₯ now, that calls for a full blown sobbing session haha. Take care

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  3. Wow… This is such an inspiring post! Thanks so much for sharing! Blessings to you and your family.

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  4. Thanks for sharing. Raising teenagers is definitely a challenge.

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  5. Beautiful post, it is so easy to not let yourself feel things during a time like that but it feels so good to let it go when it comes out unexpectedly.

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  6. Mistakes are the best thing in life as you are given the opportunity to learn and grow. When it comes to your children let them know it is a safe place without judgments or reactions. That way they will tell you everything.

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  7. I think it is amazing that you are the kind of patient and understanding parent that was willing to stand by their child and I am happy to hear you are past that difficult period. I want to thank you for the reminder, that bad moments are temporary, and sometimes we fear things and avoid situations as a result, but it is always better when you face them. Great post!

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  8. What a rough time!! Glad things have gotten better for you all! x

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  9. I understand how frustrating this situation can be. I have a teenage son, and, though we’ve never had anything truly unpleasant happen, I still worry about the future. I worry if I’m doing enough, being active enough, helping to guide him on the path to being a productive, caring member of our society.

    This is a struggle I’m certain many go through. I’m sorry that things has to progress as far as they did in your case, but I’m glad that everything is working out better now.

    Good luck to you and your family, now and in the future!

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  10. Amazing how close our journey mirrors one another … Thank you I need this post today

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