Friday, August 26, 2016

Telling a Secret, Breaking a Promise, and Just Trusting God's Timing

Better break your word than do worse in keeping it. ~Thomas Fuller

The Princess is much like I am but more so like I was when I was her age. Her father refers to her as seeing things in "black and white," and I so get that. It makes sense. Either something is in God's favor or it is not. However, the world has many shades of grey and there are times when a gray does not seem to fit into the black or white category. She also has this gift with people, she draws them in and draws things out from them that they would never tell anyone. I remember sitting and talking with the loneliest looking kids in high school, basically segregating myself permanently from the popular teens, who looked down on me. So, I get this with my own child.

This past week, I broke a promise I made to the Princess. From her point of view, it was a promise that was to be for-e-ver. From my point of view, it was a promise that was meant only for a time. It is a sensitive issue that centers around one of her friends and it also, it is an issue that I felt that should be known by the parents of the child eventually.

I love having information at my finger tips and being able to stay in touch with friends far away, but the Internet has its bad side and teens being teens will be drawn into it and pass along this darkside knowledge and practices. Plus, there seems to be no subject that is taboo in this day and age. Having been youth group leaders for some years, some years ago before home computers became a necessity of life, I have to say that we had our share of troubles that go with the territory, but the territory of teens has changed so much that there are a number of things we never even heard of until the past decade. Even then, my husband and I had to walk a fine line between keeping the trust of our teens and keeping the trust of the parents and the church. Sometimes teens tell a youth group leader things that their parents really need to know.

The Princess had been asking me for advice on a matter about an anonymous friend and I so appreciated her trust in me in comparison to where our relationship was last year with her keeping secrets about herself. The more she talked about the problem, little things slipped that helped me to identify the person. Still, I kept this secret for a couple of months until my Lord placed it heavily on my mind every day to inform the child's parents.

Now there were many factors to consider, like how the child's parents would take the news being a big one. However, the biggest factor for me was how my daughter would take me telling them. You see, after all that happened last year, I have been working and praying to have a good relationship with her again. We have bumps, but I knew this one she might consider unforgivable.

I felt like Abraham taking his son to be sacrificed. We were in this good place (so I thought but that will be another post) and here God is now asking me to do something that may sacrifice that relationship with my daughter. I did not want to do it and wrestled with it for a couple of weeks. Finally, I just had to trust my Lord. Trust His timing. Trust Him with my daughter. Trust Him to help this friend and the family.

The mother took it well, although I am sure she was concerned. She thanked me. She is thankfully one of those mothers who would rather know, as I am. This is why my husband and I were in disbelief last year when found out things that other adults in charge of my daughter knew but had not informed us. Forgiveness and restoring trust was high on our agenda for the much of the past year.

So the friend told my daughter that I had told the parents. My daughter was livid. She felt that she was handling the situation herself well because she had been encouraging her friend to talk with the parents, even suggested that the friend could have her there for support. While I appreciated her willingness to help her friend, I also had God tugging me to do it differently. I was hoping that the parents would not say anything that would make it come back to my daughter being the leak, but she told the friend herself.

They are still friends. I hear that the friend is really angry with me, which is understandable, as well as worried that I will not allow them to talk in the future, which is not the case. And, I am again trying work on that trust issue that came up between my daughter and me. I know it was the right thing to do, because I am certain it was God's will. I am hoping my daughter sees that God's will is the best way to go, even when we have made other plans we think are good ones. As for the friend, I think he has great parents who love him and have a very strong desire to help him find the path God has for him. His mother told me about a week or so later that they found a Christian counselor whom her son loves and he is willing to talk. Seeing that it was working out well, made it easier for her to forgive me.

I have been trying to teach the Princess—or more likely it is God—to trust God and His timing, to trust me, and learn discernment. She has many gifts but lacks good discernment.

My Lord, this was very hard for me but I thank You, praise You, that it proved You were guiding us all. Help the boy with his challenges and my daughter learn discernment.

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Thank you fellow travelers for walking and talking with me along this journey.