Issue: My teen will not talk to me and I really want to know what is going on with them.
Insight: When children don't communicate is is because they learned that behavior from someone of influence in their lives, usually a parent. The same way a person of influence can also build this bridge of communication as well. The way to build this bridge is to start sitting down with your child one on one and talk with them. Be open and honest with them about yourself as well. When they see that you are willing to trust them and share about what your spiritual struggles they will be more willing to come to you with their struggles.
Be approachable. If every time your children come to talk to you and you put them off, eventually they will stop coming to you. If they come to you at a time when you really can't give them your full attention, explain that you value what they want to talk about so much that you want to be able to give them your full attention and you can't right now. Tell them how long you will be, and then make sure you keep that time frame and when you talk to them, be completely focused on what they want to talk about.
If there has been a long time of no communication, be aware that it could take a lot of time and patience to build the bridge of communication between you and your child.
Issue: I know God has called me to do things that no one else understands. I have heard other Christians say that when it is God's will then everything just falls into place. Everything has been falling apart, am I still in God's will?
Insight: It is sometimes difficult to see the spiritual war that rages on for our lives. When this issue was brought to me I thought of Job. Job was doing exactly what God asked him to and he lost everything bit by bit. Read the book of Job when you have time, it may help give you hope about the future. Job at the end of his trials was returned twice the amount he lost. No matter what happened Job trusted God and was still faithful to Him.
Satan's agenda is to keep us from fulfilling God's plan for us. I do not believe that this was the first time that Satan had tried to defeat Job. No, Satan calls God out in chapter one saying that Job was protected. How would Satan know that if he hadn't tried to deal with Job before. God used Satan to bring good to Job's life. Job was able to bring his friends into right relationship with God. Job was blessed with double what he had to start with. God may have something great in your future and he might be allowing this to happen to be a witness to those around you.
He may be allowing this to happen to refine your character and bring you to a place of deeper relationship with Him. As seen in James, God allows us to go through trials in order for us to become complete, not lacking anything. I know that it is difficult to trust God while facing difficult circumstances, but try to keep your eyes focused on God not your circumstance. God may not change your circumstance but the more you keep your eyes on Him, the more he will change you. Ultimately, God changes you not your circumstance. This is not easy, but it was not even easy for Jesus when He had to endure the cross. Jesus suffered so much, that when I think about the things I have had to face it places it all into perspective.
I believe that if God has not called you to move on from what He called you to do, then you must continue on. Others may not see why or even understand what is happening. Friends may try to get you to give up, just know that there is a purpose for everything we face in our walk with God and God is always the one in control. Continue to seek God and He will make it known to you if it is time to move on or stand firm.
Issue: There are days I just do not feel I deserve God's grace. I find myself engaging in gossip, purposely evading the truth, being harsh with family, ignoring friends, etc. I feel like I am never going to be good enough for God to love.
Insight: God does not love us based on how good we are, if that was the case none of us would be able to receive God's love. "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God," Romans 3:23. God loves the entire world. There is nothing you can do to make God love you more and there is nothing you can do to make God love you less. "But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5:8. No matter how unworthy you may feel God gave us his grace not based on our performance but on His love and compassion for us.
The more we love God the more we strive to be like Him. Therefore, on the days when we feel like we are not very Christlike, we could spend time in God's presence and just rest in His love. The more we allow God's love to wash over us, the more we will begin operating out of that love.
I strive to help others by being a safe place for others to ask questions and pose issues they face.