Lessons for a 13-Year-Old

We are taught a lot of things at age 13 in churches and at our youth groups. I remember nights around the campfire at church camp that were profound and talked about Jesus in a way I hadn’t thought about him before. I remember hearing that who I was was in Christ and not in whether or not boys liked me or what I looked like. Those were the lessons I remember being driven home the most. Because, as I know now, a girl’s worth is one of the hardest fought battles in her lifetime. Our youth leaders knew this, so we talked about it lots.

This weekend I traveled to Seattle to watch my big sister speak at a conference called Revolve. It’s a speaking and concert tour for girls ages 13-18, 6th to 12th grade. I’ve gone to Revolve to see Jenna four of the five years she’s spoken on the tour. Each year, about ten minutes into her talk I always feel this strange mix of fandom-“wow, that girl is cool and knows what she’s talking about”-and proud sister-“wow, that’s my blood up there, speaking truth.” And each year I learn as much from her talk, and others’, as the teen girls who bought tickets to the event.

Anthem Lights at Revolve

Anthem Lights performing at Revolve

But this year I learned extra. It was like the words spilling over the edge of that stage in that auditorium were heavier and whacking me in this almost annoying way. Because I knew it wasn’t new. People had been reading those scriptures to me and over me for years but I was feeling them deeply again and for the first time.

It makes me wonder, what does it take? Seriously what? For these lessons to stick once and for all? And to be so sticky they can never be scraped off? How do I keep it on me? How do I make sure it stays on the girls in the youth group I volunteer with? I see it bouncing off of them all the time, as much I try to put it back on nice and neat.

For truth being what it is—singular, God-breathed and, well, true—it is incredible how resistant our spirits are towards it and how thirsty they are for it. I’m dying of thirst, but don’t give me water, but give me water, but don’t.

the girls backstage

Backstage with Jenna (middle back), my mom (arms around my waist) and little sister (front right) and some of the other speakers/friends on the tour–Christine Caine, Kari Jobe and Christa Black. OMG

I think confessing and recognizing our thirst is a continuous, conscious effort. I guess the 8th grader sitting behind me at Revolve is just as in need as I am. In fact, I feel needier now than I did at that age. Even though I feel like I should “get” it by now. But believing Christ and comprehending grace is not a one-time event on your knees; it’s a lifetime of “getting” it. If we got it all right now in one moment, we would probably swell up with too much knowledge of the beauty of truth—think blueberry girl from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, rolled away quickly to avoid explosion.

We just can’t handle it all at once. But we would die without it in small doses.

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9 Comments

Filed under Asking the Hard Questions, Family

9 responses to “Lessons for a 13-Year-Old

  1. Julianne Posey

    Love your blog!! So encouraging! I hope you’re doing well!!

  2. Denalyn

    Beautifully put, darlin. At age 55 I’m still getting it, getting more and realizing even more how needy I am for His living water. I love you and am a very proud mom

  3. Reta Clyde

    Such lovely words! Your mom is so right (oh, and since I have known you since you were a very little girl, can I be very proud of you too?)! I will be 50 this year and find that I need to hear those same words over and over again. It is a daily task to remember that Satan will always whisper in my ear that I am not worthy and that I must daily return to the foot of the cross to be reminded that I am indeed a daughter of the king!

  4. I was just talking to my husband about this yesterday, the continual living in grace. I read this post to Coral without telling her wrote it until the end. :) She said “So we’re the girls”. Thanks for sharing your heart!

  5. J K Simpson

    Thank you for sharing that Andrea. I always enjoy your posts and wish I got more of you….( weekly?)
    I agree that as women, we spend so much of our life trying to find our worth even as we draw close to Christ. I spent my early years in many church youth groups too and am so thankful for these as they helped to steer me onto this path of knowing who I am in Him. I now have a preteen and as I encourage her and watch her grow in the Lord, I’m reminded that she will get it eventually and that as you say, it really isn’t a one time event at all!
    Understanding God’s grace is a lifetime of learning, of being humble.
    Thank you so much for sharing.

    NichS

  6. Cyn Rogalski

    How fortunate there are programs like this available. When I was young ( when dinosaurs roamed the Earth!) I knew of no program like this. I didn’t hear of the saving Grace until I was 2years out of high school, and I wasted at the time. It wasn’t until 10 years after that, pregnant, that I heard an invitation. How I wish I could’ve heard the gospel earlier, but God knows best. Keep telling the teens Andrea. The seeds you help sow will bear fruit.

  7. ibrahim Buba

    Andre tis gud to know you are following daddy’s foot steps in writting, I am a nigerian, I live in kano I can remember back then reading dads early books when u gals were kids, tis so refreshig to knw we are all following daddy’s steps. Love all the lucado gals.

    Daddy’s fan.

    Ibro-Nigeria.

  8. Great post and so true! Your words hit home and make me realize how I’ve grown and that I’m still growing! :D

  9. Everyday I wash myself with Elohim’s water (the word)
    as Ted Dekker puts it in (Infidel) one of his books
    I am learning to know and understand that I am in Christ everyday

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