Wednesday, May 20, 2015

I was worried about the wrong thing

We have been kinda struggling over here at the Argyle house of late.  One of our teenage girls recently came to me and suggested that she (paraphrasing here) "wasn't really feeling the love" from some of the girls in her youth group and she wondered if she could occasionally skip out on going to her youth midweek activities.

I was so sad.

This is something we have been trying to navigate for the better part of the school year.  It is nothing that most teenage girls don't experience at some point.    I resolved pretty early on that we were going to deal with it as a family and not involve anyone else.  When I prayed for guidance the last six months or so, it was clear to me that was the  best course of action.

Admittedly, however, when she came to me with this latest request - to bow out of her activities- albeit "occasionally", I knew the problem was bigger than I had previously thought.

I worried.  A lot.  I sought counsel from friends of teenage girls who my gut told me had been here and done this.  They had LOTS of really helpful advice.  What to do.  What not to do. One friend who had shouldered this same challenge with three of her daughters (Which tells you how universal it is) pointed out that I had a great opportunity to teach my daughter that there are blessings associated with obedience and being WHERE you should be WHEN you should be.  I loved that!

But I am most grateful for the counsel that the Holy Ghost gave me.  Last week as I sat in a church meeting with my arm around this beloved daughter, personal revelation came.

It said.  "you are worried about the wrong thing".  "She doesn't feel 'safe' anymore at church and so she can't feel the spirit when she is here.  THAT is the problem.  What are you going to do about it?"

I came  home and told Brent what I had felt and told him that we have to be more vigilant at home.  We have to create as many opportunities as possible to help this girl of ours feel the influence of the Holy Ghost and then recognize it.  I don't want her situation at church - even though I am sure it is probably temporary- to damage her fragile testimony.  We have some compensating to do here at home until things improve - and they will.

Until then, we soldier on.  We read scripture, we pray, we attend our meetings, we express love, and we try to treat others with kindness.

Lesson learned.


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