Last night was a family affair at our church’s youth group. My son played electric bass in the worship band, my husband worked the tech booth, I registered the students and my daughter? My daughter blew me away.

We have a large number of kids who come on Sunday nights so the youth is divided into two groups. At 6:00 the junior high kids (6th through 8th) have a worship service and the senior high kids just hang out. At 7:00 they switch. We are in between youth ministers right now and we have these incredible college students who are filling in while we’re looking for the perfect fit. Last night was April’s turn to speak and her topic was worrying.

She had called Katie earlier in the week to ask her if she would be willing to come up on stage and talk about her worries from a few years ago. Katie agreed so last night I stepped in to hear what she had to say. I hate to be redundant, but she blew me away.

Katie will be 14 in less than two months. She has a beautiful singing voice and I’m always amazed when she gets up and sings in front of a bunch of people. But I’d never heard her speak in front of a crowd before. My baby girl was replaced by an eloquent and poised young lady. She said she was a little nervous speaking to the high school kids because they’re older, but you sure couldn’t tell. She seemed so calm and confident and I was one very proud mama.

She told the audiences when she was ten her dad got a job in Pennsylvania so he quit his job in Little Rock. She said how she worried about moving so far away and not knowing anybody. She talked about how her mom got breast cancer before her dad had even started his new job and how she was worried her mother wasn’t going to be around. She said her father came home every other weekend and how afraid she was her relationship with “Daddy” was going to change and not be close anymore. *sigh* So much for a ten-year-old to worry about. But she also talked about how her mom is okay now, how she has great friends and likes it up here, how she hasn’t lost touch with her friends from Arkansas, and how she and her dad are as close as ever.

Apparently nobody told Dad what she was going to be talking about so it caught him totally unawares. Poor guy. I was standing on the opposite side of the tech booth and could hear him sniffing while one of the teenage boys who work in there with him was patting him on the back. Thankfully I was prepared, though it still choked me up. I’m not sure if it was because of what she said or because of the overwhelming pride I felt. Probably a bit of both.

Or maybe it was simply the fact that she’s okay. All the trauma this family has been through and she’s okay. She didn’t come away scarred. She’s a little less naive and a little more aware. But she’s okay. And isn’t that what every mother wants for her child?

Crossposted at Mothers with Cancer


  1. Lori on September 1, 2008 at 6:17 pm

    You’re raising up good kids there. You should be very proud. Isn’t it great when we can be proud of our kids instead of wanting to kill them?

  2. God's Guitar Girl on September 1, 2008 at 6:27 pm

    Your daughter ROX!!!What an amazing, memorable moment. And proof positive that our children are resilient, too. 🙂

  3. Becky on September 1, 2008 at 7:13 pm

    Awwwww, that’s precious. God saw you ALL through this thing beautifully…and with a wonderfully happy ending.

  4. Dev on September 1, 2008 at 7:21 pm

    Wow. You have every reason to be proud! She’s an amazing young lady.

  5. Gretchen on September 1, 2008 at 9:02 pm

    The full circle in this just humbles me. Yay God!

  6. Eileen on September 1, 2008 at 10:37 pm

    She is one amazing young lady. To stand up in front of a crowd and be so open about personal worries takes so much courage. Also, she cares about other teens, with worries. You are a great mom Jen. This speaks for itself.Beautiful.

  7. Jenster on September 1, 2008 at 10:43 pm

    Lori – Thanks. I know you know a good kid when you see one! :o)GGG – Thank God for that resiliency!Becky – He did for sure!Dev – She is pretty amazing!Gretchen – Yeah! Yay God!Eileen – She does want to use her experience to help other kids. I love that about her!

  8. Lynilu on September 2, 2008 at 12:08 am

    It is so amazing and humbling when we see one of our children “becoming.” It sounds as if Katie is becoming something wonderful. Ya dun guud!

  9. His Girl on September 2, 2008 at 1:55 am

    *sniffle* that is so amazing and sweet and phenomenal.what a blessing for you to see & hear.thanks for sharing it with us… i love the hope you bring through your writing.also. whoop whoop for the impendingness of october

  10. Jenster on September 2, 2008 at 11:11 am

    Lynilu – I think I was seeing her and not a reflection of me or Todd. Does that make sense? Anyway, it was very humbling!HisGirl – A little over five weeks??? WOOHOO!!!!

  11. Lainey-Paney on September 2, 2008 at 1:50 pm

    …..and now I’m tearing up just at the thought of it. …that is what every mom should want for their kids. good job.

  12. Katybug on September 2, 2008 at 9:51 pm

    Uh, excuse me, but didn't you forget the kleenex warning???? Both the Hoffer & I got teary-eyed!!!! Lovely story. I know you're bursting with pride. How awesome to see your children growing in the Lord. 🙂

  13. Barrie on September 3, 2008 at 1:50 am

    Sounds like one very special girl!It’s so wonderful when our kids surpass our expectations. Way to go, Mom!

  14. Stacy~ on September 3, 2008 at 8:34 am

    Oh Jen that’s just wonderful what your daughter talked about. It went straight to my heart. I love hearing about close families – it makes me smile 🙂

  15. Terri on September 4, 2008 at 2:04 pm

    Aunt Terri is also teared up, and while I’m at work! Definitely some good kids there, but I knew that from the start.

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