Feeling Awkward & Young

In less than 30 minutes, a member of my church is coming to my office to talk about her daughter. She's struggling with her college-age daughter's decisions. She's eager to improve their relationship. And in seeking support to make these improvements, she's turning to me.

It was important for her to emphasize yesterday that it was a compliment. She wasn't trying to belittle me. She wanted me to know. And yet, she's looking to me as someone that understands her daughter's actions simply because of my age. I want to believe her. I want to feel affirmed by this thought -- and yet I'm 10 years older than her daughter. I made decisions differently and continue to do so. I feel incredibly awkward about this counsel. I want to be able to offer the presence of God in the midst of this broken relationship. And yet, I'm not sure I've got enough authority to do so. It seems that this woman is turning toward me as a daughter rather than a pastor. I understand that -- but I don't know what to do with it.


Amy said...

aw crap, that is tough. honoring what the person perceives as a compliment and why they're coming to you and yet being faithful to the fact that you aren't her daughter and can't just explain everything and be the proxy by which their relationship is healed...

I certainly don't have any profound thoughts. When people start to put me in a similar category, I always try and listen and talk using language like "as I understand it, this age..." or whatever, confiring that I'm not this age.... Yep, I got nothing. But I'm sure you and the Spirit will find a way.

Many heartfelt prayers.

LittleMary said...

ew this is strange. you have 10 years on her daughter and are, well, you know, a different person. at least she is up front in her transference! hope it went well...let us know.