Love Wades In

Last night my oldest daughter was having a very rough time. Things have been very difficult for her of late. Middle school is difficult because it is middle school. Most people I know agree with me that middle school was the worst years of their life. Hormones. Growth spurts. Personality changes. Budding independence. The insatiable need to discern your place in the pecking order—and to get as high in that pecking order as you possibly can, by whatever means you can. That’s hard enough. Add to that being relatively new, dealing with serious depression, and some serious bullying, and you might feel that you are in the fight for your life. That’s how she feels.

We took care of the bullying problem. The person responsible ended up being expelled. But while Maggie admits that is no longer a problem she still feels so different from everyone that she came to the conclusion that she would never fit in. She was looking for kindness and found none. She felt broken, wrong, messed up, and hated the fact that was how she felt and that going to school made her feel that way.

She really needed love from us right then. “Right then,” as it happened was around midnight. All her fear and anxiety that she had been trying to keep buried just blew out. It wasn’t convenient. Mandi and I just wanted to get to sleep. We were spent from the day. But the time to love, I have been learning is rarely convenient. It does not follow your schedule. Loving her in that moment, meant putting our needs and wants aside and entering into her pain and mess.

As I was thinking about this, I remembered an old post of mine that really hit what I was feeling, and that is that love is messy. You can read it here. In that post I said,

If love were not messy there would be no need for love to be patient, compassionate, or humble. There would be no call to not be irritable or selfish. There would not be the need to forgive one another or to bear all things. Love is described that way because love is messy.

Very true.

We have a long road ahead. The good news is that we are not alone. Jesus goes with us and before us. While things are inconvenient and messy right now, they are not anything that is a surprise to our Father, it is nothing He hasn’t seen before. He’s dealt with a lot more difficult things. So Mandi and I are praying expectantly for discernment and direction as we work our part in loving our daughter though this mess called middle school.


  1. It’s wonderful that you have a close enough relationship with your daughter that she comes to you with these problems. I remember going through some of this with my daughters many years ago. But there are a lot of kids whose parents would just roll over and go back to sleep. My heart aches for children in homes like that. I pray your post today speaks to some that might be in that category and helps them realize how valuable they are to their children, even if they don’t always feel that way.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Dan,

    My heart aches for your daughter. It seems this is as much a rite of passage for us as parents as it is for our kids.

    Out of curiosity, did you ask her permission to share this with the world?


    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Dan

    Sure glad you got that problem solved, as it is a terrible thing for a kid.

    Years ago I had to intervene when my son was being bullied, and worse was the fact the teachers were seeing this and doing nothing to stop it. Apparently they feared the bullies too. I won’t share the specifics of how I got the principal to act LOL, because it was not totally Christian of me. Of course, at the time, I was not a Christian, ha ha.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sometimes it takes a lot. Fortunately things went our way. There was plenty of corroboration. Kids are smart enough to do things out of view too. It’s hard to catch sometimes. And teachers don’t necessarily know what to do went they see stuff too. It’s hard.

      Liked by 1 person

          1. A little bit, Dan. I actually posted a short update last night. I actually got promoted into the job I was filling in for, so now I can train up somebody to take the place I had. Once I do that, I can take a real day off I hope. Today is day 37 of straight working full days, not that I am counting of course.

            I at least have enough of a handle on things I can read and comment some.

            The competition for the job was very intense, and since I was actually doing the job, it was really important that I not let anything slip out of control or my chances of getting it would have been trashed LOL.

            Thanks for asking, my friend.

            Liked by 1 person

          2. That’s not the bad part

            In 5 weeks the only church I have made is two Sunday evening preaching and one Sunday evening adult Sunday school that I was teaching

            The really really worst is I am the young teen teacher Sunday evening and I miss my kids

            Liked by 1 person

          3. Oh Dan, it makes a huge difference. I didn’t realize how much until suddenly it was absent. All I hear from my wife is messaged from people saying they missed me, and asked about me….and I realized they are my family.

            Liked by 1 person

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