Lynn, turned 13 on Sunday, Dec. 2, 2012.
Wow, did time really fly that fast?
As sit here, waiting for the dreaded Typhoon Pablo to hit our beloved city, I just can’t help but marvel at the journey God has taken me and therefore my family.
I became a dad at a very young age, just 21 while the lady who has now become my wife was 18. It was the scariest moment of my life, easily. We were just university students who got a little carried away, and we were so not ready to become parents.
Long story short, I asked a missionary pastor friend, who was a frequent tennis buddy, for help—and the lunch talk we had changed my life forever. I’ll never forget one particular sentence, where he said that I “dive into my relationship with God,” and I knew that I had no other option but that. And so it was then that I asked the Lord of this universe to be MY Lord and Savior.
It was the best decision I've ever made.
I was transformed from the inside out, and I felt it. Forgiveness does that to you. Redemption does that to you. My friend then introduced an awesome church community that just made us felt so loved and welcomed; never judged for our mistake.
My wife loved the powerful speakers and how practical and relevant the messages were. She also loved the beautiful, joyful music played there. However, she wasn't very willing to give up what she grew up with, and for many months we double-churched every Sunday. That was ok with me, because I knew God was up to something.
What took the cake was when it was the first time we hung out with a bunch of people that we befriended in said church community. The wifey was so shocked: the evening was devoid of alcohol, cigarettes, cursing, and lewd jokes…but she had SO MUCH FUN. It reminds me of the following Bible verse:
“Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.” (1 Peter 2:12)
Afterwards she kept thanking me and thanking me for that night, and it was because of our friends' “real-deal” authenticity that she also gave herself wholeheartedly to serving our church in ways that has put me to shame.
The rest, as they say, is history…and soon, two became three, then became four, and then became five. One of them, as I said earlier, is now a teen.
Am I dreading her teen years? Yeah, I am. She has both her parents’ crush ng bayan-ness, hahaha! Kidding aside, experiences of mentors and my job as a teacher would tell me that the most difficult years for parents are when their kids become teens.
But I’m not THAT worried. You know why? Because my kids also love the Lord, and Lynn, especially lately, has given so much of her time and energy in youth ministry and serving alongside me and my mom in Kids Church. Just like what I said earlier how our friends modeled what it’s like to be genuine Christ followers, so did we give effort to lead her and her siblings to Christ.
Besides, that awesome God who turned my lowest point into my greatest moment…yeah, He’ll be my rock and my fortress when I parent my teen.
Oh, don’t get me wrong: we have our shortcomings as parents, but what counts is not perfection, it’s authenticity. I hope my kids get that…and it is my dream that we ALL serve the Lord one day.
"But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD." (Joshua 24:15)
Anyway, here’s a video of Lynn and one of her best friends, Grace, leading worship in Kids Church. It’s great Lynn didn’t mind having to do ministry work on her big day. She enjoys it, actually.
Here's some more pics of my big girl; but before those, allow me to share two verses that will count as my birthday wishes for her. Happy birthday, Lynn. May you take these Bible verses to heart. (Highlights mine)
“That you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world,” (Philippians 2:15)
“Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.” (1 Timothy 4:12)
Oh, thanks guys for reading; and comments are welcome.
|My eldest, and my youngest|
|She's also an important part of the soccer team|
|We're both blessed in that we can eat anything we want, as much as we want, and still stay skinny.|
|She's recently been added to the main worship team, as her mom was before her.|
|With another one of her best friends, Charissa, who serves as an excellent mentor in youth and in school.|
|Leading a Kids Church presentation for all the grown ups to see. T.G.I.F. means Today God Is First|
|She leads small group in Kids Church, too.|
|Injured, but giving a school presentation anyway.|
|Her birthday baby...and boy, is she protective of it.|
|Graduation from the 6th grade|
|With her youth small group of teen girls|
|ALL IN youth camp 2012. 2013 will be even more epic!|
12/2/2014 Update: Well, she turns 15 today, and a lot has happened since this blog entry. Lynn is now a 3rd year student at the high school I teach in, and she just finished a soccer competition where the school team garnered 1st runner up,
Earlier in the year, she went to the TEAM ONE Youth Conference in Manila (see her testimony here); she is the leader of the Soul Builders, group who dances during Kids Church (see a glimpse of that here), and she is now a very busy (and according to one of her disciples, a very excellent) D-Group leader, discipling a handful of girls her age and younger. Lastly, she's often leads worship in the youth ministry, Elevate CDO, Here's a video of that, below. She's the girl with the black shirt and brown hair. Happy birthday, my daughter.
(This blog site, Lessons Of A Dad is mostly about parenting, marriage, and other topics aimed to develop the reader’s mind, body, and soul. I’d consider it an honor if you’d follow or subscribe to this site. You can also go to my Facebook page here, and I’m also on Twitter at @lessonsofadad)