The Old Has Gone, The New is Here

Originally published Thursday, 02 May 2013.

A daytime talk show recently featured a family looking for help with their "out-of-control" teenage daughter. This young girl was visibly disrespectful to her parents. She cursed, lied and demanded respect from them, even though she did not deserve it.

Honestly, it reminded me of my horribly awkward teen years and the absolute hell my parents endured.

People that didn't know me in early years have a hard time believing that I was rebellious. I was not a likable person as a teen, but thankfully God is capable of changing the hardest of hearts... and I am proof.

Something inside my adolescent mind was broken, but not beyond repair. I took pleasure in doing things my own way and resented authority. Nothing stood in the way of doing what I wanted.

So I lied, stole, cursed, disrespected and broke my parents hearts. It was wrong.

I shared a story recently about the death of my friend, Courtney, when I was a freshman in high school (read more here). This was the turning point for my family and my parents had become full-blown, born-again, bible loving Christians. We were instantly immersed in a new church culture, complete with hand raising and clapping. People were always in our business. I hated it.

My Mom and I were at WAR for years. God designed us both to be strong-willed women; which did not seem to compliment each other while I was growing up. All I wanted was to escape their walls and live under my own rules.

There were days that my Mom would throw scripture and commandments in my face in order to keep me in line. "God commands us to respect authority and honor your parents," she would tell me. I didn't care what God said, therefore I didn't care what Mom said.

I knew that my behavior was inexcusable, but I desired to remain in the darkness. This attempt to control my own life as a teen was directly related to my relationship with God. I saw God the same way that I viewed my parents and other Christians - judgmental hypocrites with too many rules.

In John 3:19-21, Jesus says, "Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God."

It took the power and strength of God to get my attention, but that wasn't until I was 21. Around the same time, the relationship with my Mom began to heal. We were gradually becoming friends.

Time, trust and my new found faith brought us closer together. During our difficult years my Mom never stopped praying for me. She did not give up on me and believed in God's healing power.

Sometimes things have to fall apart so that we can watch in amazement as the Lord puts it back together.

If you would have told me years ago that my Mom would become one of my best friends as an adult, I would not have believed it. Sometimes relationships seem broken beyond repair, but not in the eyes of God. The Lord is capable of moving mountains... surely He has the power to fix any relationship, no matter how broken it might be.

These days I speak with my Mom daily, whether it's through email, text or calls. We share in the same hobbies; such as cooking and gardening. I tell her almost everything and trust that she doesn't judge me. We confide in each other and support one another through everything because we're family. She offers unconditional love, even when I don't deserve it. (Love you, Mom!)

So if you're in a relationship with a family member or friend that seems doomed beyond repair, remember that God is capable of healing the hardest of hearts. Sometimes it's hard to see beyond our current situation, but the Lord goes before us and He does all things for the good of those that love Him. Pray for these relationships and that God will bring reconciliation. Don't lose hope - nothing is impossible with God!

2 Corinthians 5:17 says, "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!"

As Mother's Day approaches, I would like to wish all the Mom's a very happy and relaxing Mother's Day. God bless you and your family.