Stay the Course

Visions are not only hard to attain, they are hard to maintain. You may have prayed, listened, and assumed the best about your daughter, but then you get a call from the police that they have caught her stealing and have taken her to juvenile hall for the night. The vision shatters.

You are finally beginning to hear how God has placed inside her a sensitivity and awareness of others. You can see how he is using her in the lives of other kids in her school who are outsiders. Then, as you are walking by her room, you hear her call one of those kids a "bitch" on the phone. Where is her sensitivity now? How do you believe the best?

You do it by staying the course. Your daughter is becoming who God has created her to be. She is not there yet. The vision will come only as glimpses during these years, and then it will disappear, much like it does in all of us. Don't give up on her, and never give up on what God is doing inside her. He is bringing about his vision for her. He is calling you to catch it. Even when the worst happens that you can imagine, God and the good he has planned for your daughter are not lost. Stay the course.

Visions are a mystery. They are a mystery in that we have nothing to do with their creation. But they are also a mystery in that they are catching. God wants to give you his vision for your daughter, and when the vision becomes fuzzy, he wants to give it to you again.

What happens, over time, is that she starts to catch on. As you see her gifts, she starts to see them too. As you believe she is talented, or kind, or funny, or tenderhearted, she does, too. She catches your vision—God's vision for her.

CHAPTER 12

CHAPTER 12

Nobody will listen to you unless they sense that you like them.

Donald Miller, Blue Like Jazz

Nobody will listen to you unless they sense that you like them.

Donald Miller, Blue Like Jazz

Bras spinning on a ceiling fan are not my (Sissy's) idea of enjoyment, but they were a huge source of fun for several teenage girls last summer. After a particularly long day at camp, I was thrilled to be climbing into my bed at last. As I closed my eyes, I heard whoops of laughter coming from the next room—the room next to mine and also next to the room where eighteen second through fourth graders had just fallen asleep. I was up and through the door quickly.

What I found was five of our leadership girls, who are the kids we believe in and trust to be examples to our younger kids at camp, sitting on the floor laughing hysterically as their bras spun around the ceiling fan.

How do you enjoy your girls when their idea of enjoyment is completely different from yours? Or when they simply feel un-enjoyable? I sure didn't know that night. I think my look communicated all that I didn't say, and I went straight back to bed.

There will be bra-spinning moments for all of us who love girls. There will be times that we simply cannot muster up the energy or don't feel that it would even be helpful for us to enter into their enjoyment.

But there are other times too. There are days when you will see a double rainbow together on a walk, or you will teach her to ride her bike for the first time, or you will simply share a really good laugh. Your daughter needs these times, as author Donald Miller says, to know that you like her, and you need these times — to reinforce what you're wanting to see happen in your relationship and, sometimes, for you to remember that you like her.

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