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Turn on the light!

Ephesians 5:11 (New International Version)
11Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.

Remember the game truth or dare? I really never played a lot because I really didn’t want people to know all of my truths…you know what I mean? Fun at first and then comes a question you really don’t want to answer.
That being said and how it relates to this post is two fold…the dare part comes later as I challenge you several times. I dare you to share this with others. I dare you to use it as a tool to be a more responsible parent. I dare you to turn away from this post and never let it effect you.

The truth, that’s where we begin.
I prefaced this post with a verse from Ephesians because…
1) I believe the word of God with all of my heart
2) I have faith that if you have a problem, God will hear your request and make it quite clear how to respond to your problem.
3) Because this verse is the crux of this post.
It begins with a phone call received be me at my work last week. Usually I am running all over the office trying to meet the needs of our patients and lately it has been a zoo. However, the Lord must have seen fit to create, “the calm before my storm” as I was experiencing a moment of quite when my phone rang. I was my child (in distress) asking if I could talk.
I answered yes! While observing that no one was in the office at that moment and for many minutes that it took for me to listen to what my child had to say. Explaining to me that a friend had shared some news about their self and because my child had not reacted in a way that the friend had desired, a disagreement followed. My child was saddened and was sharing this news with me. Drama aside….and there is drama coming….my office remained quite and empty until I could get my child calmed down enough and encourage “my child” to call an older sibling for counsel. At that time I called hubby and asked if he was aware that of the issue occurring right under his nose. He was in one room of the house while our child was calling me at work from their room. I was told by hubby that he would handle it and that he did. Our child never knew I had called home. Hubby and child sat down and talked after the convo between siblings had finished. Needless to say, by the time I arrived home all was calm but much was left to be said.

Okay…. now I grew up in a very different time I realize this…my parent’s issues with their teens were…sex, drugs and rock & roll. Really! It was a time when the divorce rate was sky rocketing and it was a real “it’s all about me” era.
Looking back…they had it so easy. No cell phones, no texting, no instant messaging, no internet, no internet porn, no emails. And if you were a bully…your only venue to spew your threats was on the school play ground or as you walked home.

Now it comes via texting, email, my space and face book. It’s called cyber bullying and it is amazing what these “teens” will put in writing.
Going ahead with the story….now comes the text messages my child begins to get from another person. How and why this teen is fixating on my child is not clear other than the knowledge of the teen doing the texting says that they are speaking for the “friend” that had shared with my child.

Are you confused yet? Let’s review….

Friend A confesses something to my child. Friend A gets angry because my child is unequipped to handle this confession and does not react the way Friend A would like.
Mutual friend B (friend?) gets in it somehow and begins the texting. Friend A refuses to speak with my child and Friend B thinks it is their job to get involved. This is the drama part I was alluding to earlier. I

If you are beginning to laugh at this post thinking that I am all wrapped up in this teeny bopper drama. You might be correct as I too would find this comical if the texting hadn’t become threatening and if the Friend A had not admitted that they were hurting themselves.

Still laughing?

John 3:20 (New International Version)
20Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.

After much debate (stand down) between my child and me, I explained that I had every reason to request viewing these texts and that the word “privacy” would not be an issue in this house until dad and I were no longer responsible for their nourishment, shelter and care. In other words…if I pay for the phone, computer, the clothes on your back the room over your head and the food in your tummy, then you will abide by my rules. Tough love? No! it’s common sense and let’s be real people…we as parents are suppose to protect our children.

I read the texting that was being sent to my child last night beginning at 9:30ish until almost midnight. I asked “why are you responding to this unbelievable garbage…?” “I dunno!” and “because!” were the answers. My child did not want me to read the text messages and I saw why. Not only was the language offensive and would be rated R if it was a movie, but there were threats of violence also. Now this jumps out of my hands and becomes an issue for authorities.

I have to tell you…I really had to chew on this before it became clear as to my next step. Was I angry? Yes! Did I want to retaliate? Yes! What would you do?

What I did was go to my knees and pray for these children. Friend A your parents need to be aware of your actions against yourself or thought of. And Friend B beside the obvious, washing your mouth out with soap if you had said these words, your parents need to be aware of how you are spending your free time and using the phone that they are paying for. I’m sure that’s not what they intended. I prayed for holy intervention into their lives and for my forgiveness of their actions toward my child.

Did I receive an answer to my prayers? You bet I did….and here it is.

Ephesians 5:13 (New International Version)
13But everything exposed by the light becomes visible

I am exposing it to the light and I will use the same venues as my child’s attackers are using. I will expose this to all of you my friends, readers and yes even those of you who will read this that I don’t know. Why? Because evil cannot stay or live in the light no more than bugs or rats will once the light is turn on in a room.

I am praying that each and every one of you as parents take the time to send this to your friends because these teens in this post might be their child or a friend of a friend. I am sending this to any one and every one I know. Even if you don’t have a child….you have a neighbor….you have a coworker….you can make a difference in a child’s life. I dare you! It could be your child. I dare you to look at their text messages, emails, my space, face book. Privacy? You must be kidding…if they have a my space page or face book page, blog or the send instant messages….there is no privacy. It can all be accessed by those that no how too. So the privacy theory is out the window.

My child did the right thing….Told me! What is Friend A doing? Cutting. Don’t know what that is? Google it! You will be amazed what our children are doing under our nose. Is Friend A really cutting? That’s not for me to try to find out…it for me to help without exposing my child to any more angst and retaliation. Friend A told for a reason…I can only pray that they shared with my child because they had faith that my child really cared enough to tell me. I am respecting the privacy of these families by not using names and you really don’t even know which child of mine I am talking about.

Truth or Dare….Will you help me get this out? Will you dare to share this? Will you go to your child and look at their arms, legs and torso? Will you confiscate their phone and read the text messages? If you do, you might be helping a child get the help he/she needs. If you do you will be responsible for exposing someone’s threats.

Now if you are reading this and you “think” you know the “who, what, where and when”….keep it to yourself. This is not meant to slander anyone or spread gossip. I will be staying on top of this and if I see that things are not getting resolved I will be knocking of the doors of these teens and speaking with the parents one to one. I am concerned for my child’s safety and do not want to further fuel the fires. This is my attempt to put them out.

Your negative comments will not be needed, however if you must post one, please know that I will most likely allow it to stay so others can read how you would handle this situation.

You will be exposed so choose you words wisely.

Below are some links dealing with cutting and cyber bullying. I encourage you to check these and others. Our children need you to know what they are facing every day.

http://kidshealth.org/teen/your_mind/feeling_sad/cutting.html
http://www.webmd.com/mental-health/features/cutting-self-harm-signs-treatment
http://www.notreligion.com/index.php/Relationships/How-Can-I-help-someone-who-is-cutting-themselves.html
http://stopbullyingnow.hrsa.gov/adult/indexAdult.asp?Area=cyberbullying

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