"Good. Glad to know you're hearing me. And for the record, I'll tell you like...a million more."
I am FOR you.
We were on our way home, having yet another one of those critical car conversations.
You know the ones.
Your kids start by asking you a simple, but profound, question. Then you, sometimes accidentally, sometimes quite intentionally, weave a much-needed life lesson carefully into your explanation. Happens all the time.
The way I figure it is this: as long as they are buckled in and have nowhere else to go, their only option is to listen. Captive audience. All in the name of education and encouragement, of course.
I can't recall all the specifics of this particular dialogue.
Something about boys. Icky boys and ill intentions.
Something about girls. Lonely, lost and love-deprived girls.
No pointing fingers. No judgment. Just a tender, compassionate, innocent explanation of certain choices made by certain young people because of certain lacks in their lives.
I summed it all up by saying, "Not always the case, but it may be because they've never heard their mom, never heard their dad ever tell them, 'I am FOR you', like you always have."
And my oldest asked, "Why would that matter?"
What she doesn't understand now is that it matters. It matters a whole lot.
To know someone is on your side, your team.
To know you aren't alone.
To know you have a cheerleader in your corner.
To know someone is rooting for you.
To know someone wants the absolute best for you.
To know someone is not against you.
To know someone is purely for you.
Those of us who've experienced the blessing of parents who told us this truth both in words and actions can sometimes forget how much it matters.
Or worse, take it for granted. That is until we know an individual who has never known someone was for them.
In my late thirties, I've found that it may matter even more. Not so much from my earthly parents, but from my Heavenly Father.
Clinging to this one truth has affirmed me in more ways than I could ever think to express in simple letters, syllables, words or sentences.
It's imperative I know.
Whatever the circumstance, whatever the challenge, whatever I've done in the past, and whatever lies ahead, He is for me. I've just got to know.
He is. Always for me. Never against me.
Maybe you need to hear that truth today, too. Maybe you need to hear it for the first time today. Maybe you need to be reminded of it. Maybe you need to encourage your kids with it.
Our Father is for us. Always on the side of His children. Never against us.
And for the record, even if you've already heard it like...a million times, I'll be glad to tell you like...a million more.
He is FOR you.