The girl's had a rough go of it this fall. First she had to hear about S-E-X and gain the icky understanding of what goes on behind her parents' bedroom door. Then one friend told another she "talked about Jesus too much."
And today after school she got another dose of growing pains. As I approached the school to pick her up, she didn't give her customary wave. The van door slid open and she blurted through tears, "Well, _______ hates me now."
_______ is the girl she's been inseparable from for a good year and a half, the one she exchanges best-friends-forever jewelry with, the one who bought her a matching best friend t-shirt for her birthday.
"She told this other girl I was too churchy."
Oh dear. I'd seen the signs for a few weeks--defensive questions, tiffs on the playground, a general annoyance in __________ face, not waiting to walk out of the school building together.
"It's not like that's all I talk about," Miss Innocent One rattled on, "I just ask kids if they want to come to the plays. That's not talking about church. I don't talk about it 24/7."
She cried and spilled her raw thoughts, talking through big tears, wiping her nose. I listened, blinking back my own sadness.
"I'm sorry, honey," was all I could say at first, "That stinks. You didn't do anything wrong."
"I don't care what she thinks," my daughter declared, surprising me with her firm tone, "I'm not going to change for her."
Miss Innocent One, the girl who wants everyone to be happy, has limits to her accommodation.
"I'm proud of you," I said, giving her a hug, "Some people would change to be popular. I'm glad you're not one of them."
And I showed her a verse,
If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you.
1 Peter 4:14
"See?" I told her, "This means the Spirit of God rests on you. That's a really good thing."
She smiled, kissed my cheek, then skipped out the door to ride her bike, ready to move past it.
My heart ached for her, knowing she faced a lifetime of these moments, realizing her childhood slowly slips away. Yet I couldn't help thanking God. He's working in my daughter's heart.
What more could a mother ask for?