Thursday, October 9, 2008

Refining With Fire

Sometimes I feel like I am a failure.

I often second guess the decisions I have made for my family. My heart is to always follow God's will, but the choices we make are often made with a "please turn me around if I'm going the wrong direction" mentality. I mean, it's so hard to know if we are REALLY doing what he wants us to.

I've had a difficult time with my oldest child lately. OK, I'm just going to be real here, I've ALWAYS had a difficult time with my oldest daughter. She is extremely bright, very beautiful, painfully strong willed, and has a rebellious streak. Every boundary has to be tested, beat up and destroyed.

These last few weeks it seems like it's been a war zone with her. The girl gets great grades, and is well behaved at school, but at home she is a "mouthy" rule breaker.

As if that wasn't bad enough, she told us she didn't believe in "our" God. She wants nothing to do with family prayer time, and only goes to church because we force her.

My only true goal for my children is that they know Christ. I hope for success, and friends, etc. but in the end; Christ is all that matters. This new development has devastated me beyond words. Failure.

Leave it to God to bring hope out of darkness....

Yesterday my daughter came home from school in tears. Between sobs she told me how her friend L**** had been bullied at school that day.

From helping out at the school I am familiar with this boy. His family fled Mexico two years ago for America to seek help for their very sick daughter. She is terminally ill. She will be the second sister L**** has lost. L**** is a tall, very handsome boy, who is quiet and kind, and learning English quickly. While our neighboring community has a huge Hispanic community, our little town has very few.

According to my daughter, the kids in her 7th grade class decided that L**** needed to go back to Mexico. They called him names. They told him he wasn't wanted here. Then they started kicking him... repeatedly. While they left no bruises, the boy was in tears. My daughter said that teachers saw this.... but did nothing.

With a broken heart she went to comfort L****. She hugged him and encouraged him. At that point the kids decided to call her names (because she was not joining the torture against him I suppose), but she didn't seem to care. She stood up to these kids. She put them in their place and refused to play by their "rules".

She told me that when things had calmed down, L**** pulled a necklace off his chest and pointed to a small figure on the front. "Do you believe in her?" he said as he pointed to Mary. My daughter said, "well, I believe in her son." In broken English he responded "You remind me of her... she heals people, and you are healing me."

When she told me this I explained how highly Catholics revere Mary, and that this was a HUGE compliment. Her tears continued to flow as she asked to be pulled out of school. "Mom, it's so dark there. I just want to be homeschooled."

My initial thought? Oh yes, lets pull her out so she doesn't have to experience all this evil, then a second wave of thought hit me. "Um, Zoe? If you were not at school today, who would have hugged L****?" She was the lone comfort in a dark day for this boy... enough to make something horrible bearable. With more tears (both of us) she lifted her head and said "you're right, I know that God has this purpose for me at this school, sometimes it's just so hard, but I know it's what I'm supposed to do."

I am so proud of her it hurts! This evening she has a terrible attitude. She yelled at he sister, back talked and slammed her door.

Yes, she is in trouble.

But right now, I don't feel like such a failure.

Maybe God DOES have big plans for this strong willed, rebellious child after all.

See, I have refined you, though not as silver;
I have tested you in the furnace of affliction. Isaiah 48:10


javamamma said...

Great post. My daughter had an 'ah-ha' moment about why God might have her in the class she is in this year. It's so cool when our kids 'get it' isn't it?

I can't remember, did you read Tim Kimmel's book "Why Christian Kids Rebel?" Any good tips in there? I just bought it and hope to read it soon but it made me think of it when I read this post.

Hope you get your work schedule figured out!

Emily said...

Well, in my own personal walk with's only when I'm on my knees and questioning everything and scared, or mad, or frustrated or confused....that I get the proverbial parting of the clouds.

I see clearly.
Crap makes me see clearly. (isn't that dumb? but true.)

You raised a good daughter and when she decides to let The Potter mold her even more....BAMM-O...she's going to be unstoppable.

I love strong willed kids. Give me a strong willed kid any day of the week Karlie. Seriously.

they change the world.

Halfmoon Girl said...

oh, that brought tears to my eyes! She hasn't given up on God yet, not with that response to that situation and the talk you had with her. I loved what Emilyl said. I have a strong willed 12 year old daughter too, and man, do I let her stubborness push my buttons some time. I will remember to include you and your daughter in some of those prayers!

Anonymous said...

I am continuously praying that God would use my kids strong will for His glory. That he would use that strong will to fight for Jesus. In my view. If He gave it to Him He wants to use it to teach the child something (and possibly others) and to teach me even more. This testimony shows God's faithfulness to your tears. He is working all things together for His good.
Thanks for sharing,

Anonymous said...

You , sometimes we need to be reminded about the bigger picture. In the bigger picture you are doing an awesome job.

Becky said...

It's been a couple of weeks off from blogging (by force, mind you...being between houses with phone lines (and hence computer links) unavailable for days on end has rendered me quite out-of-the-loop and computer deprived...and then I come back for not one but 5 awesomeConservaChick posts!

Truly, I got teary at this one. The Lord will prove Himself faithful to complete that work He's begun in your daughter. Sometimes our kids have to stumble around for a bit to gain their own footing in their faith. She's putting tentative feet to her faith, and that's a good thing!

And I LOOOOOOVED the posting about your son converting his whole class to Republicans, lol! My son has been known to make similar breaking the news to his entire Kindergarten class that "There is NO SUCH THING as Santa...Christmas is Jesus birthday!"

I just knew that the Lord had big plans in store for your family when you sent them to public schools...they're salt and light even at their tender ages! I've no doubt the Lord will continue to use them there.

I'll pray that your job schedule thins out a bit so that you can keep your priorities in order.

And I love that your life is CENTERED on the shows. Don't worry about what other folks think, girlfriend...let your Jesus-Freakness shine!

Loooved these posts. Some of your best ever!

Growin' With It said...

hi! thanks for stopping by my spot. i love meeting new bloggy buddies!

what a moving post about your daughter. i see a beautiful silver lining in all this that she is in your home, under your care growing thru all these hard lessons with you by her side! she is very fortunate!

nice to meet you!

His Girl said...


beautiful. that's just awesome. thanks for sharing....

Gayle @ thewestiecrew said...

Karlie, first of all, I am retarded mad that those kids did that to L****. It's just w-r-o-n-g and horrible. Kids can be soooooo mean.

And those teachers that just stood there? Oh my word. Infuriating. There is simply no excuse for that. None.

As far as your girl stepping up to the plate...praise God all over the place. I hope it brought shame to those "adults"

ohhollyf said...

Awe, love the shed tears over such sweetness, does this girl take after her Mom? LOL