Meanest Mom Ever
That night my mom was the meanest, most unreasonable mom a girl ever had to put up with. She had usually been fun to talk to about boys I had crushes on or who had crushes on me. But that night she morphed into an ice monster. A generation gap threatened us.
A very cool and very cute guy had just asked me to our high-school winter dance. Not quite fourteen, I knew my parents had said I wasn’t allowed to date till sixteen. But this called for an exception. An all-school dance!
I begged and pleaded.
She only explained the rules again.
I cried. She shook her head and tried to hug me. The nerve!
I explained how special this guy was. She reminded me how young I was and said I would have more opportunities later.
I called her out as a hypocrite.
Reminding her that she herself had started dating at thirteen, I showed her how unfair she was being by denying me the fun she had experienced.
Her story was that she and her young boyfriends has been too young to even enjoy themselves properly and had even needed to be driven places by parents. Lame.
But my guy friend was 17 and had a car, so I knew we wouldn’t have those issues.
Besides, I knew I was very mature for my age and would be just fine.
After far too long, I finally admitted defeat.
Crying longer in my bedroom, I decided to write in my journal. Two long pages. How mean my mom was. That I was going to be much more understanding when I had a daughter someday. I just could not understand how a perfectly normal mom could become so unreasonable all of a sudden.
The generation gap threatened to win.
After hours of crying, I had a tough time sleeping. Waking up to hugely swollen red eyes did NOT improve my mood.
I wore my big, floppy, purple hat to school, so at least from a distance people would not be able to see what a wreck I was. But that didn’t help with talking to my guy friend. He could still see how ugly I looked.
I didn’t have to work to convince him how bad I felt at having to say no to him. He could see evidence of my tears.
What surprised me was that he told me he respected me for respecting my parents’ decision. He said he knew many girls would have just arranged a sleepover at a friend’s house.
He also told me he would come back when I was sixteen. I knew that was crazy, since he wouldn’t even be in high school then. But he did. We remained friends, and years later we went out a few times.
But the most amazing thing is how God worked through that event. Much later, when I was in college, he stopped at my parents’ house and told them how much he appreciated my leading him to Jesus. He wanted to thank them and me for what that meant to him.
My parents were surprised and called me to ask me why they had never heard. Because I had never known!
In church planting, my dad had always taught us not to share our faith across genders because of the danger of people experiencing the love of God as romantic love.
So I had certainly never set out to make a gospel presentation to him as such. But obviously God worked in that moment through my actively owning my faith and obeying my parents, even in my anger. My friend later attributed his new faith to me. Crazy.
The funny thing is that I had never even thought of trying to lie my way past my mom. Obviously, she and my dad had established a clear rationale for why we obey parents: as a means of reflecting the integrity of the God we serve.
My mom’s walking her faith with me crushed the generation gap.
And God used an event my young self temporarily thought of as one of the worst in my life to bring someone to faith in him. Amazing!
[Photo by romello-williams-385888-unsplash]