I Hope You're Uncomfortable

To my future children, and the currently growing up generation of kids and teenagers,


You are taking your first steps into the world of adulthood, where you will ultimately spend most of your life, if you live long enough. It can be scary here. There are huge responsibilities, bills that are due, people that are mean and don’t care about you, a government that desires to drain the life out of you, super early mornings, and no excuses. You will probably hate it some days, but I can bet not as much as you think you hate your childhood and teenage years.

Childhood is fun. There are so many things you can get away with as a kid that you can’t as an adult. You have fewer responsibilities, more imagination, and the chance to make a really good start in life. You have friends to play with, all your basic necessities like food and clothing just appear, you don’t have to worry about money, and you have no idea that your parents are bending over backwards to give you a good life.

But sometimes all you can think about is that fact that your parents won’t get off your back. They never leave you alone, always wonder what you’re doing, who you’re with, where you’re going, what your grades are like, why you didn’t take out the trash, and making rules you just can’t help but groan about. Can’t they ever just give you a break?

Here is a little message from someone who has been-there-done-that: I hope they don’t.

I hope you remember your childhood and teen years as the most awkward, uncomfortable stage of your life.

I hope your parents are seemingly on you about *everything*, and make you earn your spot in the land of maturity and responsibility.

I hope you know the feeling of wanting to crawl in a hole because your mom embarrasses you in front your friends.

I hope your parents don’t give you the iPod you asked for, and instead make you go outside and play in the dirt like a normal, healthy ten-year-old should.

I hope you get a package of underwear for Christmas, and blush seven different shades of red  when you open it.

I hope your mom takes pictures of you running through the house as a naked toddler, and of the first time you pooped in the toilet while being potty trained. And then shows them to prospective love interests.

I hope your dad calls you out of  group of friends to admonish you about something you are doing, and then makes you sit on the sidelines or, even worse, go tell your friends you aren’t allowed to participate in said activity.

I hope you get spanked.

I hope your parents make you wait till certain ages/milestones to do certain things. Like, you can do this when you are this age or reach this goal. You can have a phone when you have a job. You can go out with your friends when you have a car that you pay for. You can date when you’re a hundred.

I hope that, when your mom or dad sit down to talk to you about relationships, sex and your changing body, you squirm and blush and pray for it to be over soon, but I also hope you take a second to realize that they are as uncomfortable as you are.

I hope you are nervous about the way you look, nervous about your first day of school or work, nervous about talking to your crush, nervous about an important test, nervous about telling your parents something important to you. I hope your heart pounds in your ears and that you break out into a cold sweat. I hope that you stayed up late the night before thinking. I hope you know what that’s like.

I hope someone teases you. Like, really makes fun of you, because that will give you chance like no other to learn the meaning of grace and forgiveness.

I hope your parents instill in you a love of books. Real books. Not Kindles or ebooks. Not even audio books.  Real paper books. I hope they take you to the library and let you check out a couple dozen and that you finish them before they are due back.

I hope you have to eat things you don’t like, and are made to do every menial household task possible. I hope your chores include cleaning toilets, doing laundry, mopping floors, dusting and vacuuming, mowing the yard, pulling weeds and babysitting your younger siblings. And what’s more, I hope there are consequences for neglecting those chores…ones that you really hate.

I hope you have to sit through parental lectures that you will never appreciate until you get older. I hope you sit there, just slightly angry, not wanting to listen but paying attention enough to answer questions if needed. I hope you are hugged and sent to your room after, and that you sit there in the quiet thinking about every word.

I hope your parents make you do awkward things that absolutely kill you, like say hello to people, shake the hand of an adult, apologize to people of all ages when you do something wrong, answer questions when you are asked. I hope they teach you how to hold up a conversation with anyone, and how to be polite.

I hope you have disappointments and learn how to deal with them. I hope that the party you were looking forward to gets canceled because someone gets sick, and that your family has to leave your favorite restaurant because your little brother is misbehaving.

I hope you are forced to make do with what you have even when your friends seem to have everything. I  hope  you know what its like to have a limited amount of money and I really hope you learn to appreciate hand-me-down clothing.

I hope you have lots of uncomfortable moments, because those are what shape you.

Life is hard. People are mean. You will be hurt, disappointed, let down, broken hearted, disrespected, misunderstood, shamed and hated, especially if you live a life drenched in God’s Word and glorifying to Him.

We can’t grow up in a world where everything is fine and goes our way only to enter an adult world where it doesn’t. We have to learn that we can’t just pitch a fit and turn up the drama when life hits us hard. Those awkward, uncomfortable moments are what will ultimately teach you patience, contentment and grace. You won’t understand it until you get older, and until you are able to see your younger years from an outside point of view. Everything looks miserable when you are smack dab in the middle of it,  but take a look from another perspective and you can see how good it really is. Or maybe it isn’t good, but somehow, its useful. You can use it somewhere in your life. If nothing else, you will learn how to avoid uncomfortable situations in the future…or at least get out of them gracefully!

So yes, my wish for you in life is that you are given such opportunities. Wishing that life will be easy and comfortable for you is the most unrealistic thing ever. And besides, that wouldn’t be fair to every other person in the world that has ever made it to adulthood.

{Yes, those are pictures of my childhood. :) }



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