My Bonus Year

“Will you miss me when I move next week, Mom?” Erica asked me the first week of August.

“Oh my goodness, I will miss you so much,” I responded.

“Did you miss me the first time I moved away, Mom?

Long pause…………………………………………………………….

“I cannot tell a lie, Erica…no, I didn’t miss you the first time.”

We both laughed and she said, “You know mom, I can always trust you to tell me the truth.”

It’s no secret that Erica’s teen years were less than enjoyable from a parenting perspective. I’ve spoken about it openly over the past few years…with Erica’s permission, of course. She has said that if sharing my experiences can encourage another mom with a challenging teen, then it’s valuable.

I survived Erica’s teen years by clinging to God’s Word and leaning into His strength and comfort.  It was exhausting.  Overwhelming at times.  I uttered the words, “This too shall pass,” thousands of times just to keep some much-needed perspective.

This past year, however, was very different.  My girl has grown up.  She’s matured in so many ways.  She’s made her way back to God.

With her husband in Iraq, Erica asked if she could spend the year of her husband’s deployment back home with the family.  I’m so glad she did, because this past year was what I’ve been calling My Bonus Year.  God graciously gave me another year with Erica that I enjoyed to the fullest.  And I miss my sweet girl so much since she’s moved back to Texas with her hubby.

If you’re going through a difficult season with a teenager, this encouragement is for you. Hang in there.  Cling to God everyday.  Remember that this too shall pass.

If your kids are young and you can’t imagine difficult teen years, just tuck this away in case you need to remember that you are not alone someday.

My bonus year has brought to life the scripture in Joel 2:25 where God promises to “redeem what the locusts have eaten.”

What about you?  Have you ever had a season of life where God redeemed what the locusts had eaten?

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