You never know when the moment will hit.
You never know when she will feel the full impact of the world.
You never know when the impact will bring you to your knees.
Last night I witnessed teen after teen receive awards and we all clapped.
Sometimes the names were repeated over and over and the applause rose.
Often, I thought, "Who are these kids?"
Apparently my daughter was listening, and not talking through it.
Apparently she heard those same names being praised over and over and felt, in her heart, that she didn't have much purpose or talent or gift.
Haven't you been there? Don't you remember?
When you first felt you didn't measure up? I do.
I felt it all my life.
At first it's an inkling that they are special. Then it's hearing them being praised by someone you admire. Then you realize: they have IT.
Of course, you can't quite describe it, but you feel it. It weighs heavy. It pulls, and measures, and reflects a distorted picture that looks so similar to who you really are, but not quite what you want to see.
Don't you remember what it looked like?
I do. I've seen it off and on my whole life.
And, for the first time, the picture, painted with long strokes, finally becomes clear and vibrant.
I don't measure up.
My daughter saw herself in that painting last night after a banquet honoring students whom she has eaten lunch with, rode in the car with, stood next to in line, and sat behind in class. She saw that she...didn't measure up to THAT standard.
My heart ached as I heard her express on the ride home that she wasn't really GOOD at anything, just OK. Out of her came a dark, long breath that spewed disappointment, hurt, failure, unrealized dreams. Oh, how I ached.
Haven't we all heard the liar. Haven't we all entertained his theatrical play, weaving lies with truth, until the two became one. My heart bursts.
She, with her happy-heart, witty banter, and ever-loving friendship, saw only her faults.
I drew a long breath before I exposed the lies, one by one.
But, last night, she couldn't hear it.
She felt the sting of rejection that closed off the confident young lady.
I felt that same sting, but many years earlier than she. Even though I had carefully given her instruction and even though I praised her talent...it all dropped to the ground like an unused toy. Forgotten.
Yes. This young woman is experiencing the bitter herbs that the world, the deceiver, serves to us along with sweet tea and cake.
It was a difficult moment for this mommy-at-heart who is a fierce lion when it comes to her cubs. It brought tears for hours as I hugged her goodnight. Even harder? Knowing that this is a long line in her course of becoming a grown-up woman. The line will extend her whole life with the deceiver whispering in her ear.
Prepare me Lord Jesus for this next phase.
Prepare our Armor together.
Forge her a sheild with your promises, a sword of swift return, and a helmet that drowns out the shouts of the world.
Prepare us together, because I will NEVER let her be defeated by a lie as long as breath lives in my lungs.
The war has just begun for her and I. We will stand united.