What I have learned in raising teens is that pain often brings something beautiful to the surface. The pain itself can be ugly. It can last for a long time. It can bring much suffering and torment. But when they have reached the other side, there is a release and freedom that is wonderful and extraordinary. The weight of it all has left. They can now soar to a new place in life.
Did you know that a caterpillar eats itself while in the cocoon? It will release enzymes to dissolve all of its tissues until all that is left are the cells to make imaginal discs that produce the new body parts. There are even some caterpillar species that carry little tiny rudimentary wings inside of its body. But after a time, all those imaginal discs change the stage of the caterpillar from something old that must die to something new and life changing to begin.
That is how it is with our teens. Our vision of their pain, hurt, and even struggle to survive is something very difficult to watch. We want to rush this process because as parents, we love them and don’t want to see them go through this distress. However, there are times in which we need to allow them to get through this struggle on their own while we carefully and closely observe so that they can learn how to survive and cope for their later years.
If you try to help a soon to be butterfly break out of their shell, you can actually hurt or even destroy that future butterfly. Why? Because it is a process that only the butterfly itself will know when that perfect timing comes. We must trust the process and allow the transformation to move slowly. So, we must also trust and allow our teen to take their steps precisely, slowly and rooted into a good foundation so that they won’t be tossed to and fro with the wind later on.
Once they have received their new life changes and now made more powerful, they will feel like they can accomplish anything. And we will be there to cheer them on.
2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. (nas)