It's Just a Stage
Living the real life stages of our relationship with Christ.
We have a beautiful 2-year-old daughter. A beautiful, strong-willed 2-year-old daughter. Like most little ones, the word NO can send her off on a tangent of fits. You know, the laying on the floor kicking and screaming kind of fits. (Sometimes at our local grocery store) She has two older siblings so I know from experience that this stage in her life will pass, but when you're a mom trying to tame your toddler in a grocery store full of locals, it's undeniable that your face will turn red as you scramble out the door with the little one over your shoulder.
We have a 9-year-old daughter who is also beautiful. A bit over dramatic at times but we can't imagine life without her. She's at astage in life where she's just grasping all the consequences for her own actions and decisions. For instance, she often forgets her lunch at home. The first few times it happened I ran back home to get it for her but I told her I couldn't keep doing this. Now, the consequence? She has to eat whatever the school provides for their hot lunch program. (It's really not that bad, but most days she's not fond the of what they're serving) Not doing homework leads to bad grades, not picking up your iPod means losing it for a week, and so on. She's a sensitive soul so things like this impact her greatly but she's learning life lessons very quickly!
We have a 15-year-old son. He is a fine young man and makes me very proud. There is nothing greater than watching your kids grow into young men and women. He's very involved with youth group and is developing a very good relationship with God, this makes me delighted more than anything else. He's had many, many learning lessons in life. He's been through both of the fore mentioned stages in life, along with many others. Now when he makes a mistake he knows it. He knows when he shouldn't be watching an inappropriate YouTube video or movie. (Not that he never does, but he does recognize that it is wrong) Typically when he makes a mistake there's no need to explain what went wrong and usually he accepts responsibly for his actions almost immediately. Most times with his head hung in shame. It's hard to watch him make mistakes, but now, in his stage, I know that I need to let him make his mistakes and accept responsibility and maybe gently nudge him is the right direction.
We all go through stages. Just as children have many stages so do we have such stages in our relationship with Christ. I wonder how often He wants to throw us over His shoulder and carry us away when we throw a tantrum because we didn't get our way. Or if His heart breaks when He realizes that we "forgot our lunch" and he has to watch us suffer through a long day, or month, or year. Or if He feels a bit of pride when we are able to instantly own up to our mistakes and ask for forgiveness without hesitation. I think these stages, they can come and go in life, especially when we fall away from our relationship with Him. When we talk to Him less and get wrapped up in our earthly problems. When we try to should our burdens on our own, we can easily revert back to the toddler stages.
"It's just a stage" they tell us as we're raising our babies but really, life is full of stages, not just of growing physically but of growing in our faith. Stages of our relationship with Christ. I can remember early days of faith when I had a difficult time understating what faith was all about. Before I saw him work in my life, before I really read scripture, before I gave him the glory for all the good that surrounds me. I am happy to say that the stage I'm in right now with God is one of comfort, of strong faith. I have seen Him work and I fully understand that everything I have is due to His undeniable mercy and grace. Not that there's never a hard time, not that I don't have days when I error (sometimes terribly), not that there aren't days when I'm discouraged, but even on the bad days, ultimately I know the good in my life outnumbers the bad by a landslide! Stages, oh the stages we go through.And through it all our Father never waivers in His desire to love and support us spite of all our blunders.The perfect love of a Father.
Psalm 139:13-16 (MSG)
Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out; you formed me in my mother's womb. I thank you, High God - you're breathtaking! Body and soul, I am marvelously made! I worship in adoration - what a creation! You know me inside and out, you know every bone in my body; You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit, how I was sculpted from nothing into something. Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth; all thestagesof my life were spread out before you, the days of my life all prepared before I'd even lived one day.
I truly love this blog.
When my middle child would throw a tantrum in the middle of the grocery aisle I would sit down beside her, not speak and wait until she finished. That stage in her life thankfully moved on quickly.
I love the way you have taken the physical stages and linked them to our spiritual stages in our walk with God.
Wonderful blog. I like how you used all three of your children to explain the different stages. I chuckled at the grocery store part. I think we've all had that happen at least once. Thank you for sharing this.