It always started with a song. Actually, it started with some sort of "drama" that usually involved a boy. Then came the song. The song had to be a major downer, usually a popular and depressing song, and it had to be played on repeat. Of course this scenario also required a locked room with dim lighting or candles. The perfect scene for melodramatic teenage episodes with lots of tears, usually about insignificant problems in the whole scheme of things. Oh to be a teenager again, or not!
When the "teen years" come up in random moments at family gatherings, my father in law can always be quoted saying ,
"Oh, I'd do those teen years over in a heartbeat with the boys (my husband and his brother).
My response is usually a look of disbelief followed by, "Yea...I don't think my parents share those same sentiments."
I was not quite the model teenager. I was the perfect model of sneakiness...except when my mom caught me attempting something sneaky. She said you always have a sixth sense about your kids. Being the ripe age of 29, I now look at "tweens" and teens alike, and think,
You look like you are 5 years old! You should not be holding hands with boys! Let alone doing other things with boys...
I am constantly telling my husband I need a good 1o years to chill out before dealing with two teenage girls. I technically only have 9 years until I am faced with my first teenage girl. I am hoping my sneakiness has not genetically passed to my little ladies.
Lately I notice myself listening to songs about love. The songs are not about a superficial love, a lame boy girl drama, or something absolutely pointless. The songs are about a real, true, and unfathomable love.
I think about my teenage definition of love. How do you define something so shallow? I gave my heart away far too many times. It usually ended with a song, a candlelit room, and many tears. I remember being sixteen sitting in a car with my boyfriend, about to be x-boyfriend, pleading and crying for us not to break up, so afraid of what it would be like to not have his "love." Not the proudest most confident of moments! But there is NO fear in love. I John 4:18 says, "...perfect love expels all fear..."
I grew up in a Christian home, with a loving family, in a Christian school, memorizing lots of verses about God's love. And somehow, I still looked for love in a variety of places. Sometimes knowing something is not enough. You have to really believe it, and feel it, and practice it. I feel like it took me years to "get" that, to get "how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his [God's] love really is Ephesians 4:18." It's a constant struggle to remember this fact and to believe it, feel it, and practice it.
This year I hope to believe, feel, and practice the real love of God in all its hugeness.