Thank you for those of you who said you would pray for us. I have to tell you, I was assured of it last night. The Lord did not let this thing just go on anymore. He allowed us to sit with Princess, though it was not planned out or anything, and just have a heart to heart. What I had feared from having to correct her so much had happened, she felt we were angry at her. In great sincerity of heart I told her that we were not angry at all, but we were desperate. We were desperate that her heart be in submission to Christ and that she would be walking in His ways. I explained to her that to love her, is to be desperately concerned for her. We discussed how parents who leave their children to do whatever they want and act anyway they want are not loving their children as much. My example I used was our neighbor who she knows let's her children eat anything they want. Even if it means they have hot dogs and chips every meal. Her son will not eat a single fruit or vegetable. Princess herself has heard this mom over at our house saying "I just told them, fine, eat whatever, I'm tired of hearing it". I asked her if it was more loving to work with the child to make sure they ate better or to just let them destroy their bodies because it is too hard or inconvenient to battle with them. She agreed it was more loving to make sure they were fed properly. So, I said it is the same with our giving of instruciton. It would be so much easier to just throw our hands and say "do what you want" or "say whatever you want to all of us" instead of working with you and letting your character development bother us enough to guide you properly. To feed your spirit with God's way and not let you starve spiritually.
We asked her to be reconciled to the Lord in her heart. To which she welled up tears in her eyes and said that she had prayed twice for the Lord and nothing happened. To which my heart just swelled with emotion for her. How, well we all know that feeling and I knew it was time to understand what being a Christian was so this is what I said:
"Christ is not a magic button, Princess. We do not just ask for Him to be our Lord and he reaches down with a wand and says 'bibidy, bobidy, boo!' and our lives and behavior are perfect. That is not the way it works.
Have you seen the little oak tree outside Princess? All of it's leaves are a deep green except for the little tips of the branches. If you look close, you will see that the final inch or so of the tree has a new spring green of growth for the year. That means that in a whole year of taking in nourishment, sun and water, that tree has this tiny result to show for it. It does not look like much, but many years ago, that tree was the size of your brother. Years from now it will be the size of the great beautiful oak by the grain mill that is in the 1800's pictures of the original schoolhouse. It did not happen over night. This little tree has to be patient to grow at the pace God has for it to grow. Every spring those little green leaves are a great reminder to me of His faithfulness.
Now, if the little tree had decided it was not happy with it's rate of growth and gave up saying "I'm not good enough so I'll stop trying" and as a result it shut down it's root system and rejected the light from the sun, what would happen to the tree?"
"It would die" Princess said.
"Yes, it would. And that is why Christ told us to abide in Him. He says that if we abide in him, we will bear fruit. We don't read our bibles and pray out of ritual duty, we do it because we long to be close to him and abide in his will every day. We are virtually opening up our roots and receiving the water of life, and turning our faces to his light to feed our souls. Even when the tree does all this, it grows slowly at times. Some years are better than others. But, it will keep growing if it accepts what God tries to feed it.
We are here as your parents to be used by God to feed you. We try to feed you instruction, wisdom, guidance, right and wrong, love, protection, and all the things you need. If you reject these things, it will stunt your growth. You are getting older and are now able to abide in Christ through us and on your own. You can take the time to pour out your heart to God even tonight and ask Him to be on the throne of your heart instead of you. We promise you that if you abide in Him, you will see change in your life. Not overnight, but you will see it. It's the same lesson for mommy and daddy, we need to abide also or we don't grow. You are not alone in this journey but the important thing is to stay on it."
That is kind of the just of it. She seemed to really understand. She was worried that she could not fall asleep praying. I told her that my dad, her Papa, use to tell me that if you could not sleep praying to the Lord was always the best thing to do. Not only does it made you sleepy, but it sends you out on a peaceful note and your soul is at rest as well as your body.
(my little oak tree and it's yearly spring green growth that reminds me every time)
Sure enough, my little girl, who I went to check on in a little bit, was peacefully sound asleep.