Saturday, September 8, 2007

My Rebellious Teenager

So, life update. I have a friend of mine who has been really struggling with her life lately. For the purpose of my blog I shall call her Myrte (my rebellious teenager). These struggles have led her down many, many paths that are both harmful to her physically but have also been destroying her emotionally and mentally...putting every relationship into jeopardy, and pushing her farther and farther from God. Truthfully, it has been quite frightening to watch her rapidly free fall into one of the most degenerate lifestyles I've personally had to deal with.

This free fall has been speeding up over the last six months or so. The whole time she was getting deeper and deeper into garbage, she would swing from one side to the other saying she desperately wanted to change, wanted to get her life back to normal again, was ready to change this time, was "getting better"....and then she would turn around and be right back to what she was doing the day before - and generally even more. One thing she did realize early on was that she is not capable of conquering any of this on her own. Months ago, Chris and I offered to open our house to her as a place she could come and stay and change her life, but that offer came with very specific conditions and stipulations. And we told her that if she was not capable of following and agreeing to those stipulations, we couldn't help her because it meant she really didn't want to change. Well, despite everything, she's always been pretty honest about what she's doing and thinking - confused and not necessarily honest to herself - but honest as far as she could see the truth. She told us she didn't want to change enough to follow those rules.

Well, a few days ago, she had a demonstration of God's love and forgiveness and redemptive power from a very surprising source. This demonstration shook her so much, she finally realized what she was doing to her life (which all of her friends and family had been desperately trying to get her to understand for months), and she came to us and asked us if we would consider taking her into our home - all stipulations intact.

Well, we are doing so. And I feel like I have suddenly gone from having no children to having a rebellious teenager in my home (even though she's actually a month older than I am!). We have written out a contract detailing our expectations of her and the standards by which she has to live to stay here. This is going to be witnessed by several individuals both as a safety measure for us as well as a physical representation for her of what she is choosing to do with her life. If she ever decides she can't handle this anymore, she is allowed to sign and date and close out the contract, but she has to physically sign her name to it and tell us she no longer wants to follow an appropriate lifestyle.

It's scary. I won't pretend it's not. I know that Chris and I are taking on a huge job which is a weird one because she is an adult and not a child, and ultimately, every decision is hers. We're asking for lots of prayer right now for wisdom on what to say, what to do, what not to say, when to pressure, when to lay off, what reactions to have to things, and lots and lots of patience. She will literally be going through a moderate physical detox as well as a mental and emotional detox and transformation of her life.

I don't begrudge her any changes I have to make to my life to assist her in this long as we are actually benefitting her somehow. And I pray we do.

So, that is a huge change in our life right now. And, Lord willing, it will all be worth it.

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