This morning at breakfast, my 10 year old daughter asked us if she could have her own email address. To really appreciate the significance of such a question, you need to understand and appreciate the process known as “individuation”. As the name implies, this is the process nearly every human pre-adolescent and adolescent goes through in order to establish their own identity. This process is marked with more need for privacy, and other things that seem to come awfully close to shunning the rest of the family. Parents who don’t understand this end up with their feelings hurt, resentful, and pouty; wondering where their child went. I’ve been a youth pastor for nearly 15 years, and one of the luxuries of such a life is to see this very thing happen hundreds of times before in other people’s kids. But now its our turn.
It’s not easy, even with the experience the ministry affords me. But it is thrilling.
Now, the trick is to not wish away the moments; longing for the days gone by of greater dependence, but to relish each moment over the coming years and watch as this girl slowly and surely becomes a woman of God.
This morning she went to Leadership Camp. On the drive there, I affirmed my belief in her in very clear terms. I told her just how powerful an influence I truly believe this is and can be. I shared with her my conviction that the world has plenty of followers–too many, in fact. What we need is many more leaders. We need more people who will point, compel, and lead others in the direction of right, good, and Godly ways.
And by God, and with God, and for God, I pray that she’ll do it.
I’m gonna go set up her new email.