My son has returned home! Once again, my family is together and complete. True, it was only for a week at camp, but it was the first time one of the children have been away for so long, and he was missed by everyone. I do not know how I will be when my children are grown and have to leave home, but as long as I know they are doing what God wants them to do, it will not be so bad. I hope. For the moment, my children do not want to ever leave home, and that makes my heart feel good. They are content to live here, and that makes me happy.
JJ had a some things to say about his experience, but the thing that struck me most was the fact that he said it was boring, and felt alone quite a lot of the time. He made a friend here or there, but did not bring home any phone numbers or addresses, which makes me wonder if they were truly a friend or just someone to hang out with at the time.
As he talked, I felt like I was transported back to my own teen years, and I knew exactly what he was talking about. It was like the feelings of loneliness, frustration, and doubt came flooding back. I struggled through my teen years with loneliness. I know what it means to question why I am so different, quiet, and left out. The fact that nobody seemed to want to be around me made me wonder if I was simply a part of the wall decorations. Why did the teens want to avoid me like I was the plague or something?
My heart broke for my oldest son. It dawned on me how much he was like me. He got my personality-quiet, shy, etc. That realization hit hard. I know exactly what he went through. As a mother, naturally I want to shield my children from these pains of growing up. I do not want them to have to go through the hard struggles in life. I want them to learn from our mistakes, and take what we say to heart, but sometimes they need to experience it for themselves. That is what molds them for the grownup life ahead of them.
I believe what I experienced as a teen molded me and made me who I am today. I learned to get close to the Lord during those years. He was my Rock and my fortress. He was the One Who I could call my Friend. He was the One I whispered my secrets to. He was the One I dreamed about the future with. He was the One I turned to when I was sad, and needed a shoulder to cry on. He was always there for me, comforting me, filling me with peace, letting me know I could go another day with His help. He was faithful then, and He is faithful today. My prayer for JJ - not only JJ, but for all my children - is that they will learn to lean on Him as their best Friend. May they develop such a strong relationship with Him that nothing will be able to take them down the wrong path; that nobody will be more influencial to them than Him; that their friendship with Him will outweigh all their so-called friends on this earth; that He will have the first say in everything...
The list could go on, but I think you get the point. It does not matter what our personalities are like. What matters is how we handle them, and who we turn to during the problems that come our way throughout life. No matter how God made our personalities, it is up to us to turn to Him during tough circumstances, and allow Him to help us become better (not bitter!) and mold us into His perfect image.