I have a teenager. I recently heard that the age of greatest dissatisfaction is 51, the age when teenagers may be in the house. It was a car commercial, so take it with a grain of salt. I’m also older than 51, so clearly (uh huh) I’ve come to terms with the reality that life isn’t always satisfying, especially when you’re seeking happiness from a car. I once carried the burden of a $972.50 monthly lease payment and service appointment bills of $2500, on average. Believe me, that car didn’t come close to delivering enough satisfaction to offset the money it consumed simply because of the logo on the front grill.
But God is good and He’s making me whole with a different car that the dealer is, over time, paying me to own. So far they’ve given me $3000 in Visa gift cards and have promised to pay another $7500 once they get the “fix” figured out and installed, thereby satisfying the biggest lawsuit against a car manufacturer in the history of cars. All things really do work together for good. By the way, it also gets 45 mpg and I fill up once every six weeks. The last part is mostly because I’ve become a cave dweller.
Today, just to break up the monotony, I’ve decided to leave the house for some fresh perspective, including a trip to Nordstrom Rack. Oh goodie. The last time I went there, I bought some skinny jeans. They bleed blue…on my white couch. I’ll be more careful this time.
My teenager is 16 years old. I don’t know what’s going on with her, but her recent moods have been darker and nearly impossible to figure out. I don’t like talking with her when she’s borderline hysterical and shrill, mumbling under her breath in a little girl voice that’s already difficult to understand and then exploding with indecipherable utterances. So I tend to step back and wait until she’s ready to have a civil conversation. This ticks her off even more. So we’ve been camping at an impasse.
Last week I ran into a friend at church who shared with me that he’s dealing with some serious personal issues. He was obviously in pain even though he wore his usual gracious smile. I told him about a situation that had left me upset, afraid, and hesitant about how to move forward without hurting the other person while protecting myself from the same. One morning on the patio, I heard the Spirit encourage me to step aside, to deed the space to Him. I immediately understood what that meant, so I did. And once I did, I knew what to do.
My friend’s eyes brightened. He got it.
This morning, after another really bad night “communicating” with my daughter, I argued my case with the Almighty. It was something about being the way He made me and that it would be impossible to connect with my daughter so long as she isn’t able to articulate her position on our points of disagreement. I thought I heard a chuckle.
Of course I knew He was hinting at my terrible habit of not living what I preach. I appreciated the gentle reminder and immediately deeded the space to Him.
I called my daughter into the room. I told her I was sorry, that I love her, that I want to be available to her to talk, and that I’m proud of her. She was having none of it. But that’s okay.
I’ve deeded the space to God. He does things His way, not mine. I need to let Him go about His business in the space. And I need to do (with my whole heart) what He tells me to do.
It’s interesting how much easier it is to accept unknown outcomes when God is in charge.