By Jodie Frye

Dear Mama of a Middle Schooler,

These years. Oh these years. They are like one long draft of awkward, fragmented, and blank-stare  sentences that some-miraculous-how come together in the end.

Just the other day mine came home, devastated. Angry. Hurt. Confused.


Uninvited. “The only one” of his friends not to get an invitation to the party. And it wasn’t done in a subtle way. Honestly, it was really hurtful. The long-lasting scar kind.


As with any story, there’s more to this rough one. Some of which my passionate boy has had to learn the hard way, from his own immature and impulsive blunders. And some of which he has had to learn the real way, from the antics in the PE locker room to the aches in the dreaded lunch room.

This messy draft called the adolescent years may be introduced by exaggerated hormones and insecure hearts, but these strung-together days have the potential to produce a masterpiece. Because God, well, He’s really good at working all things together for greater glory.

And for a writer, like me, that kind of Glory is the highest hope of a thousand rough drafts. I take everything I know, then write, edit, worry, revise, and proof. My heart is on the line. Literally. And then, I must let go. I choose brave and trust Him to make much of my words…and even my empty spaces.

Ahh, isn’t this just like parenting? Only as a writer, my work remains hidden. For my eyes only…until I am ready to reveal it. (I like that.:)

But as a parent, my in-process kid is out there with your in-process kid. Which means our little protégés are still being poured into, edited, worried over, revised, and proofed. In private and in public, all at the same time. (I don’t really like that.:)

Mamas, we must band together. Be gracious to one another. Pray for one another. And teach our kids to be kind, to themselves and to each another. The law of love covers over a whole lot of messy.

One day, sooner than later, our final drafts will be finished. We will choose brave and trust God to continue the good work He has started in these beautiful people that share our very breath.

Oh we still won’t be ready, but they will be. How do I know? Because I am about to launch two of the greatest (wink) out into this giant world. And He’s already been reminding me ~ like only He can ~ that He has them hemmed in … now, just like He did on their first day of preschool.

It’s gonna be ok, friend. He {or she} is gonna be ok. Just keep working with God and looking to Him, through the lens of redeeming love. For all of it ~ the good, the hard, the bad, the scary, the downright painful, the success, the failure, and the happy-joy is indeed a gift of grace. Making and remaking each of us into a work of Art.

“For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be glory forever. Amen.” Romans 11:36 

Jodie Frye

Jodie and her husband, Eric, have been married for almost 20 years and live in Alabama. They have twin boys currently in high school and one in middle school. Being a mom of all boys (for a girl who needs her quiet space), has been a place of deep refining, surrender, and blessing for Jodie. Along with her husband, she is the co-founder of Altar84, a non-profit devoted to caring for the orphan by fostering gospel-centered change through the local church.

Jodie is a word-girl at heart, who loves writing her way through the messy-beautiful of life. She longs to encourage and inspire women in
grace + Truth and in friendship with Jesus.

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