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Preparing for Confirmation

Written by:  Dcs. Heidi Goehmann Our house is a bit of a hub-bub in this season of our lives.  We have four beautiful children, with lots going on.  My husband and I are both professional church workers with our own schedules.  But much of the hub-bub has a little less to do with the everyday and a little more to do with what is to come. We are preparing for confirmation at our house.  Confirmation versus are being picked.  Party ideas are being pinned.  Food, and invitations, and attendees are being selected. At first glance it may seem like a bit much, but we have been preparing for this moment our whole lives, as a family.  We aren’t making it a big deal because we want every thing, every party to be bigger and better, which, let’s be honest, is kind of our culture in America.  Holidays can’t be celebrated casually between a few friends.  There must be crafts and over-the-top food and drinks.  The decorations must be top notch. This planning, though, is for a different reason.  It’s not about the cultural expectations, or what people will think.  It’s not for the “Ooooo-s” and Aaaah-s.”  This party is for our child’s moment to proclaim what she has learned, what her foundation is, what Jesus has done and will continue to do and be in her life.  This moment is HUGE, in and of itself. And it deserves to be celebrated as such! My thirteen year old is beautiful – inside and out.  She is a precious child of God.  I know that every mother of a daughter reading this feels exactly the same way. So I would like to take this moment of her confirmation to celebrate that fact.  More than that, to celebrate the beauty of Christ in her. Preteen life can be really difficult.  Our world is beset with challenges for every preteen child.  Purity is a real spiritual and emotional struggle.  Students in these years face questions of identity and independence.  Who am I?  What matters to me?  Are my values the same as my parents?  Years 11-14 may seem like an emotional roller coaster for everyone in the house, if you have a preteen there.  Even from 9 years of age, girls and boys can struggle with physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual changes.  This is normal and natural, even if it’s not always pleasant. How can we help them hang on to what matters in these rough and slightly chaotic years? First, we can be Christ to them.  Whether they are our own child, or someone else’s.    Preteens often feel dismissed, bu their peers and sometimes by the adults around them.  They aren’t old enough to be seen, culturally, as people with valuable opinions.  In the church, we can show them differently though.  We can say and act as if they matter.  We can strike up conversations and find out about their interests.  We can believe that they have fun things to share in worship and at LWML and around our tables. Second, we can make big milestones important.  We can hold them up in honor and say “Look at God working in you!”  “How exciting is growing in the faith?  I can see that happening in you!”  We can celebrate and hold banquets and feasts and party. So, now you can understand why we are getting ready for confirmation at our house.  I want my child to know without a doubt that confirmation matters.  I want her to know that her faith growth is more precious  than jewels, Jesus in her is a priceless gift to be celebrated and acknowledged and treasured. My sweet Macee chose Jeremiah 17:7-8 as her confirmation verse because she loved how it reflected a firm trust in God, with roots planted deep and God growing her each day of her life.  There will be trees and water and fresh lavender in her decorations and sweet friends to share the day with.  There will be laughter and celebrating and a lot of eating. This moment is priceless and we will lift it to the Lord, praising Him, thanking Him, and celebrating His amazing work in our precious treasure. Confirmation,  A milestone worth celebrating!