"….sometimes winning a fight isn't as important as standing in the right place, facing what needs to be faced. And sometimes standing in the right place means you end up dead. And that's better than not standing at all." (excerpt from Dandelion Fire by N. D. Wilson, chapter 23)
How many of us are willing to stand up for what is right? I have recently been placed into this particular situation. It was difficult at best, but we came out together and strong.
As a mom I have faced many hard things. The hardest of all is experiencing my own children's independence. I have always wanted to be a mother who was needed to tend to all the needs of my offspring. As they have grown up, I have realized that I am not needed all the time and if I assert myself and take over a situation that my children are going through, they will lose the precious independence they are gaining.
I have also learned that the best I can do is teach them the things they need to do to become strong people that have a defined sense of right and wrong and that they have compassion for other people and the courage to stand for what is right in all circumstances….even if it means they stand alone.
My daughter and I recently had a "coming to odds" situation over something as simple as following the rules of the family. You see, she is 18 now and is trying to see just where her place in this world is. She isn't quite an adult (although the world's age limit says she is) and she definitely isn't a little girl anymore. She is learning that she needs to make choices for herself based on the principles that she has been taught all her life.
She is a lifeguard at the local pool. As a lifeguard, her uniform is nothing more than a swimsuit with a tank top and shorts over it. As a mother, I have accepted this uniform because it fits the job, however, for a regular daily outfit, it is unacceptable because it isn't exactly modest. She has always chosen to wear a one-piece swimsuit under her uniform and that is great because she was choosing to be as modest as she could given the circumstances.
She recently went shopping with her friends and came home with a bikini. When she showed it to me I couldn't be excited for her because it wasn't in tune with our family's code of modesty. She explained that it would only be used under her "uniform" and that she wouldn't wear it anywhere else. It was difficult for me to not get angry with her, after all she is trying to find who she really is. I knew she was angry with me because I told her I didn’t approve of the bikini. Lots of words passed back and forth between the two of us, but I was able to keep calm (amazingly because I am usually the one who starts throwing the loud and angry words first). I expressed my disappointment for the situation, but I also expressed my unconditional love for her.
I later texted my sister that I needed to cancel our night out because my daughter was angry with me. When my sister called she asked about the situation and I proceeded to explain what happened. I was calm and truthful with everything that I said, and again I explained that I will always love my daughter - especially while she is trying to find who she really is.
As I was talking to my sister, I related a story to her about a girl who was head over heals about a boy. They had been dating for some time and she was "in love". One day he simply stopped all contact with her. This poor girl didn't know what had happened. She was devastated. After a while she started to date other boys again. One night, while on a date at the movies, she noticed what she was wearing. She realized that her skirt was a little too short and that her shirt was a little too low cut. After that night she started to be more conscious of the things she wore. She also started to notice the way she acted and spoke. Slowly this girl changed to be the best that she could possibly be. She made this change for herself. A little while later, the boy that she had fallen in love with started to call her again. She was over the moon with happiness! They were soon married. She did ask him at one point why he stopped calling and seeing her and his response was simple -- "I wanted the mother of my children to be modest." She then replied---"You could have talked to me about it". Again his response was simple, but very profound, "I wanted you to want to change for yourself. I didn't want you to change just for me."
This story is very short, but has a great impact. If we are going to do any sort of changing, we need to do it for ourselves. We don't have to "be" anything more than what we know deep down in our heart to be right and true. We don't have to follow the crowd and what they believe to be "cool" or "in". If we have gone down a path that isn't exactly good, we can choose to make that change -- BUT -- we have to make the change for ourselves or it won't mean as much.
I challenge and ask you, my reader, do you have the courage to make the changes you need to make in your life to make it a better one?
I need to tell you, my daughter has that courage! I am so proud of her and the young woman that she is becoming! She chose to return the immodest bikini and exchanged it for something that is in tune with our family rules. She did this of her own choice, I never said one word to her about it. I was so happy that I could now rejoice with her in making a good choice.