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A Teenage Epidemic: Who Am I?

If you have been following our story, you know that the last year and a half has been a rollercoaster for sure!  September 6, 2017 we found out that our oldest son was in kidney failure. On July 23, 2018 he received a kidney transplant. And everything in between is a blur.  

Things have kind of settled down for now. But I find myself in a place of even more anxiety as I look at these 3 boys God has so graciously given us. One is about to graduate High School, one a Freshman in High School, and one is a 6th grader in Middle School.   


Craig and I have always prayed that the Lord would reveal to us when something is not quite right with our boys. And He has been faithful to do just that. But with that, comes heartache.  When you see your child struggling, it’s hard.  Now I am not just talking about the obvious bad choices. This is the oh-so-subtle change in their personality as well.  We call it “the tunnel.” 

I can’t handle more than one in the tunnel at one time.  

What is the tunnel?!? This is where they venture out alone and try to figure out life. You can sense them pulling away from the family, the different thought processes. Oh, and did I mention that they are just flat out hard to live with when they are in the tunnel.  They have no regard for the family. It is all self- assertion.  

I tease my husband and say, “so and so is in the tunnel right now and I am not so sure that he and I will be friends when he gets out.”  

Of course I am kidding. But's hard!

We have raised them in Church and a Christian home...Now they want to venture out to find their identity and sense of worth.   

I am all for making your faith your own. YES! Do that!   

But here is what is happening in our culture. Instead of listening to parents tell them who they are they start allowing their peers to tell them who we are, how to think, and how to act.   

The very thing that our children are trying to free themselves from (authority) in search for (autonomy) has led them right back to being “enslaved.” They aren’t free at all... because now they have exchanged one performance system (the family) for another (the world).  

Let me explain. 

In our family we have a set of rules.  We have expectations and boundaries. And we set those according to how we feel God is leading us to nurture and steward these precious children He has given us.  

Since they were little they have been conditioned, so to speak, by the rules. They know what they should and shouldn’t do. They just don’t know the WHY behind it yet .  Do they get it right every time.  NO.  But they know the rules.

The minute they become an adolescent they start fighting the rules.  If you have a teenager you might have already heard the phrase already, “I want my freedom!”  

So what do they do to get their freedom?!?!? 

They create their own rules. Which really aren’t their own rules at all.  It is what they have allowed their culture to tell them.   

They might decide that they don’t really believe in God after all.  They may decide that it is easier to follow the crowd than to be different. They might decide that your way is totally bogus and they are going to do things a totally different way.  

Either way they are still putting themselves in a performance based relationship.  If I do x,y,z then I will be accepted.  

But here is the TRUTH... 

Only the Gospel is true FREEDOM!  

You want to get away from rules?!? Then what you need is the GOSPEL!  

The Christian gospel is the only system that gives you FREEDOM. 

Parents! Stick to your guns, pray like the dickens, and have a community of friends standing in the gap with you for your children. 

We need to lead our children to these truths. 

  • By His wounds we have been healed.  He became the hopelessness we deserve so that we could experience the hope we don’t. 

  • He took on our sin on the cross so that we could live a life of FREEDOM no longer condemned.    

  • He says come to me just as you are.  Not by works.  Life in Christ is a FREE gift to those who believe.   

  • He is the WAY, the TRUTH and the LIFE!  There is no other way than through HIM!! 

What does this mean?  It means you have to stop searching.  You have been given the WAY to FREEDOM and it’s NOT through your family’s rules OR your friends rules OR religious rules.   

Life in Christ is not a set of RULES.  It’s a RELATIONSHIP. The ONLY TRUE relationship that says, “Nothing can separate you from my love.” 

I love this quote by Corrie Ten Boom, “You will never learn that Christ is all you need, until Christ is all you have.” 

My prayer is that our boys will realize Christ is all they have and KNOW who they are IN CHRIST! Not what the world says but what their Creator says about them.  We are who HE says we are!

Here is what we have/are IN CHRIST...(taken from the first chapter in Ephesians)  

  • Spiritual blessings 

  • Chosen 

  • Adoption as sons and daughters 

  • Grace 

  • Redeemed 

  • Forgiven 

  • Purpose 

  • Inheritance 

  • Hope 

  • Holy Spirit 

  • Power 

Where else in the world can you find this kind of relationship?! 

By the way. Teenagers aren't the only ones facing this question. Everyone is faced with this question every day.  

What is your identity grounded and rooted in?!?

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Hi! Thanks for stopping by.

This is me. All things faith, family, fitness, friends, fun, and more. As I live my simple savvy life (simple obedience) in all these areas, I want to share them with you.  It is messy.  No fluff here! Enjoy!

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