My girls are 11 and 13. They are both in the midst of trying to figure out who they are, who they want to be and how God fits into the mix.
My older daughter has a giant faith. She believes with her whole heart that God can do anything. She has no trouble believing that He has a plan -- even when things are tough.
My younger daughter, though, is much more analytical, much more easily hung up on the tough questions. She's my kid who wants to know why God lets bad things happen, why God gave us free will, why if the world is so messed up God doesn't just fix it.
Being the mom to both of them is tough when it comes to matters of faith. You see, my older daughter's faith is so much bigger, stronger and more resilient than my own. There are days when I'm in awe of how much faith she has.
My younger daughter, on the other hand, challenges me daily. She makes me think about the answers to those big questions. She forces me to think about my faith in ways I never would if she wasn't asking the questions. She makes me pray for wisdom because I don't have anything for her on my own.
Regardless of their different approaches to understanding God, though, there are certain absolutes that I want my girls to know and understand. There are certain things that they need to know about Him no matter whether they have the faith to move mountains or more questions than I can answer. So, here's the things I want my girls to know about God as they work to make their faith their own.
1. You are loved. You are loved more than you can imagine. God's love is so big, you can't even begin to fathom it. His love is so amazing that He chose to have His Son die in your place. He wanted to have a relationship with you so badly that He made the greatest sacrifice.
2. God is always there. Even when God seems silent, even when you can't hear Him, even when it seems your prayers are going no farther than the ceiling, God is there. He will never leave you. In the darkest moments when you can't see any light at all, God is there. He's love and life and hope. And He will never, ever let you down.
3. We are never going to understand everything about God. God is so much bigger than us. He is so much more amazing than we can imagine. We can never possibly wrap our brains around everything He can do. And we wouldn't want to. If we could figure God out, then He wouldn't be much of a God. He'd just be something else we can understand and quantify. For Him to truly be who He says He is, He has to be someone that we can't completely understand.
4. God created you. He gave you unique gifts and talents. He gave you a sense of humor, and He made your brain. You don't have to be like anyone else because you were created to be you. God wants you to be the person He created you to be. He doesn't want you to be like anyone else. Because He thinks you're magnificent just the way you are.
5. God has a plan for you. No matter how insignificant you feel sometimes, God has great things for you. You're never too small, too young or too insignificant to do the things that God has created you to do. All those things that you're great at, all those things that only you can do, God made you that way. And He did it so you could be a part of His bigger plan. You're important. You fill a spot in God's plan that no one else can fill.