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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Foreign Language (12/09/10)

TITLE: Just Passing Through
By Wilma Schlegel
12/15/10


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When I found out they were living together, I felt like I’d been punched. We’d had our suspicions, but finding out for sure hit me hard. Her father and I had planned to spend the night at her apartment, but after learning the news, we made the two hour trip home. I was stunned, sad and needed to talk to someone.

At work the next week some friends asked me why I didn’t seem like myself. I told them about my daughter. I should have seen it coming, but I wasn’t prepared for the responses I got.

“Oh, don’t be upset! Your baby has grown up, she has her own life, it’s a good thing!” said one friend.

“Cheer up, she’ll still need her mom,” said another.

“No, that’s not it,” I tried to explain. Was I speaking in a foreign language? “I don’t mind that she’s moved away and has her own place - I wish it was her own place- I didn’t raise her to...”

The raised eyebrows and stares told me to let it go; I knew they didn’t speak my ‘language’ here, I should have kept my mouth shut.

It’s so hard to be a Christian in this world. Sometimes I feel like Elijah in I Kings chapter 19 when he has just successfully called upon God to burn up the water-drenched sacrifice, but then he feels like he’s the only prophet of God left. God showed Elijah that that wasn’t true and I know it’s not true for me either, but sometimes I feel so different, isolated, alone.

Even some Christian friends have given me questionable advice.

“Don’t offend her, you don’t want to lose her.”said one.

No, I don’t, I thought. That’s why when she came home from college using words we didn’t use at home I let her know I didn’t appreciate it, but then let it go, just like friends told me to do. I tried to turn my head when she watched certain television shows, too.

Have I been speaking in a foreign language to her all these years? Where did I go wrong?
Or am I the one who is wrong?

Maybe I am. Even my own siblings disagree with me. When they found out how ‘inappropriately’ I had reacted to my daughter’s living arrangement they comforted her saying my ideas were ‘outdated’, ‘ridiculously old-fashioned’ and ‘I’d better get myself into the twenty-first century’.

I was hurt that they didn’t speak to me privately with their concerns, but instead spoke against me behind my back. I wasn’t taught to talk about someone behind their back, where did my siblings learn this?

It’s been over a year now since my daughter has been living with her (now) fiancé. I’ve been to their apartment because I love her (though I don’t love her lifestyle). I was uncomfortable when she showed me their bedroom. Again, do I speak a foreign language? How could she not know this would bother me?

It is very hard to be a Christian in this world. Sometimes I know I don’t act when I should, and sometimes I’m afraid I over-react when I shouldn’t.

I pray for wisdom and understanding and grace. And when I feel isolated and alone, I know it’s time to be meeting together with other Christians as Hebrews 10:25 tells us to.

Meanwhile, I must remember “This world is not my home, I’m just a passing through”.*

_____________
*This World is Not My Home, Lyrics by S. D. Burton


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This article has been read 241 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Philip Barrington12/18/10
I heard a statement once that we bring our children up the best way we can and live with the rest.

But

I would like to say to you Bring our children up before God and pray for them and live with them through prayer.

LUIC
Joanne Sher 12/21/10
Such a tough situation. But you are RIGHT to not approve. Praying you handle the situation with the grace that can come only from God.
Michael Throne12/22/10
This piece was obviously written from the heart. I do sympathize; we've all felt this same way.

When I write about something I feel strongly about, I do my best. This was very well written. Good job and thank you for sharing.
Cheryl Harrison 12/22/10
Good job writing the struggle of parenthood. It's so hard, but thank God we have the power of prayer. I felt your angst. Keep writing.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 12/23/10
My daughter has made a similar decision. It is hard when we think we've taught them one way and the lesson may not have been understood. She was very worried that I would be disappointed or mad in her. I explained I love her deeply and she has to make her own choices. She's done a fantastic job so far and she will make mistakes alone the way but as long as I keep loving her and encourage her to continue to go to church read her Bible and pray about each decision I know she'll be okay. You did a great job showing how hard it is to be a parent. I didn't always listen to my mom either and there are times I wish I could do over. It's a tough job but worth every bit of heartache and worry. Keep praying and loving her. Thanks for sharing.
Patsy Hallum12/23/10
Stick to your morals in your home! In her home, go by her rules or stay away and that's what she should do in your home. Love her, yes, always. Pray for her. Let her know you don't approve of her lifestyle...Great writing. Congratulations on HC