I would say my teenage daughters and I communicate well. They keep me in the loop of the things that are going on in their lives. They come to me with their struggles; they share their insights on faith, friendships, and even boys. I love it! In this stage of life we all seem to be going our separate ways, so I’ve noticed that most of our communication is in the written form of texting.
What I’m NOT saying is that this is our only form of communication. This is one form of communication that works really well for our family. I feel some of our deepest conversations are sparked by texting, but conclude in some beautiful face-to-face conversations. So you can imagine my surprise when my youngest went to junior high church camp last week, and was not allowed to have her cell phone. Guess what? It wasn’t really Isabelle that was upset with the rule, it was me. I hated the thought of going an entire week without communicating. We’ve come too far to turn back now—technologically speaking.
The week was going along well. My mom triggers for worry were completely taken away since Isabelle; my spunky, sassy, adventurous, try anything new, competitive, brutally honest, second born was out of sight—or so you would think. The mind is a powerful thing. My mind can make up epic stories that send me spiraling to all sorts of scary places. I was actually doing pretty well. The out of site, out of mind idea, was kind of working. And then this text on Friday morning from an unknown number:
Hey mom! It’s Izzy. A girl in our cabin brought her phone, so please do not tell my leader that you and I texted, otherwise people will be in trouble. I miss you soooo much!!! A lot has happened and it’s been amazing, but I also think I broke my finger. We might need to get X-rays done because it is awfully painful. Miss and love you!!!!
Remember that spiraling mind of mine? For an instant I thought ahead a few years…
“Hey Mom. It’s Izzy. The prison guard walked away for a few minutes and left his phone. Please don’t tell anyone I’m texting because my sentence may become longer. Prison is okay. I have no regrets for what I did. ”
I know it seems I jumped from A to Z really fast, but I’m telling you, this child. Read some of my archived blog posts on this one, and you will understand.
After a few minutes of crafting just the right reply, I sent this:
Hey Izzy! I miss you too. One more day and night, and then I’ll see you. I’ll keep the text between us for now, but please obey the rules the rest of the week. I’m sorry about your finger. Bummer. Love you, Girl! Please have the nurse check your finger.
See, not bad. Freak out mom did not make an appearance. There was some gentle reprimanding, some helpful advice, topped off with a little love and affection.
We picked our girl up on Saturday afternoon. After a quick trip to urgent care for x-rays and a splint (no break) and a drive through In and Out for a much craved burger, Izzy shared about her camp experience. And shared, and shared, and shared. It was an incredible, life-changing week for her.
From ropes courses, zip lines, and kayaking, to powerful messages, upbeat worship, and amazing, caring leaders, this was one beautiful, and monumental week for my girl. Yes, there were some injuries, and yes, some camp rules were broken, but the end result, the final product, well she’s just lovely.
All a person’s ways seem pure to them, but motives are weighed by the Lord. Proverbs 16:2
I can make plans all day long. I can imagine how life experiences should look. I can even balk at the rules because they seem silly to me, but God’s plans—big or small—are always better. Always.