About the Author

Jennifer Dukes Lee is the author of several books, including Growing Slow. She and her husband live on the family farm, raising crops, pigs, and two humans. She’s a fan of dark chocolate, emojis, eighties music, bright lipstick, and Netflix binges. She wants to live life in such a way...

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  1. Even when sitting by ourselves, ostracized from others for whatever reason, we are not alone! Hard to realize sometimes when yearning for a flesh & blood positive acknowledgement but true none the less! Our high priest has been there before us yet did not sin. Wow, Wow, Wow!

  2. If I had not known Jesus had been through everything that I and my children have faced, I could not face tomorrow.

  3. What a beautiful and tender reminder that there is nothing that we experience that God isn’t walking along side us and understands and shares our pain. It is often ,that until we are completely broken, before we can hear His quiet voice of comfort..

  4. Wow, what a beautiful article. I cried throughout. Probably because I have a 16 year old and a pre-teen and I can relate. Shamefully, I never thought of Jesus in the way you wrote. But from this point forward, thanks to your heartwarming article, I will now and forever.
    God bless!

    • It was so eye-opening for me personally, and I knew that the next time I wrote an article for (in)courage, I needed to share that visual with this wonderful community. Jesus gets it! He has gone through everything we could imagine, even the “teen things.”

  5. Jennifer, It’s so lovely that your daughter could come to you with her heartache. My kids had many difficult times that I was oblivious to because they didn’t feel comfortable coming to me. Your hug was Jesus loving her through you. Sometimes His hugs come through the people that love us.

    • Yes, Lori, you’re right. It is a definite blessing that she has given me access to her innermost aches. It has definitely brought us closer together as a result, and brought us closer to Jesus as well.

  6. Your words are such a sweet balm, Jennifer! I have 3 daughters and one of them experienced what you are describing. It was horrible and seemed endless. (Actually these particular girls never accepted my daughter back into their fold. And they are all in their 40’s now!). But God brought my daughter through that to the other side. And He is always here. And always understands.

    • Isn’t that something, how “mean girls” can grow up to be the same way? It’s been such a struggle for me to observe that happen around me, and it reminds me that I can choose a better way, a loving way, a way that keeps an eye out for the left-out and broken-hearted. That’s what Jesus would do, and I pray He gives me eyes to see and the heart to move into action.

  7. Thank you so much for sharing this! I cried while reading through this. It hits home. My two older kids have both been bullied and left out. My daughter was bullied really bad by someone who claimed to be her best friend. Both of my two older kids tried to harm themselves because of these situations. I just keep trying to point them to Jesus. He has brought me through a lot of hurt so I know he can do it. These kids have it so hard today.

    • My heart aches for you, Amy. I am so familiar with the situation you describe. I can tell you a good and loving mama. Keep pointing them to Jesus. Wish I could hug you right now!

  8. I am not a teenager, but 75 years old. I have suffered off and on for 10 years with depression and anxiety. I am in one of those seasons now, a long one and have prayed that prayer many times…”Lord, where are you in all of this, You have always brought me thru and I believe You will again.” I wasn’t blessed with children of my own, but 3 grown stepchildren. The oldest one, age 41 and her teenage son, our grandson, live with us so she can keep him in private Christian school. I too, have experienced abandonment by my closest friends. I don’t blame them and I forgive them. I pray for them. I have a loving husband, but even he finds it hard to deal with what I suffer. As hard as this is I think it might be harder for a teen to deal with. God bless you and your daughter with the closeness of the One who suffered for us, may He comfort, heal, and put His loving arms around you.

    • Oh Donna, Please know that I have stopped for a moment here to pray for you, that God would continue to bring you comfort, healing, and the closeness of people who value you. You, dear one, are such a beautiful soul. Grace eminates from your words in the comment box! Much love to you today.

      • Thank you dear Jennifer for your prayers and for your very encouraging and loving words. Crying now in gratitude.

  9. As a mom, a grandmother, and now a great grandmother, I know what each of you and many others are going through as well. All I can say is that I am grateful for those like you Jennifer, who are able to write words that address all of these issues and provide some guidance and comfort to those very people. We can never go wrong when we point others to Jesus. Yes He went through everything we have and more. He paid a debt He didn’t owe for all of us that owed a debt we could not pay. This is truth that we can cling to but so hard to grasp in the midst of what we are experiencing. So keep reminding us Jennifer, keep reminding.

      • I just read an article that brought me to tears. A Sudanese woman has written a book titled “Shackled.” What she has gone through no one should ever have to go through but she did and survived. Her survival was because of the teaching of her very strong believer in Christ mother. So to all moms out there, keep praying and teaching your children to do the same. It could very well save their lives

  10. Wow! This brought such a profound insight to so many doubts and insecurities for me as a Christian and I never thought Of Jesus this way. Thank you and may God continue to bless you

  11. Thank you for this reminder that Christ went through it all and understands where we are and what we are going through. I too struggle with anxiety and depression and I am not a teenager and this is not my first time. The world is heavy right now. I am so thankful to have a Savior who will show up for me when no one else does or understands. I pray for all those who suffer with this. May you feel God’s grace, peace and strength as you walk through each moment and He will show you the sun again and Jesus will walk with you every step of the way even when you don’t feel Him next to you. He feels your pain and may you feel His comforting arms around you. 🙂

  12. Your daughter is so very blessed to have a mom who comes alongside her suffering with compassion, understanding, and empathy. She will in turn be prone to demonstrating those same traits to others. May it also give your daughter reassurance to know: “God never allows pain without a purpose” (Jerry Bridges).

  13. I am having one of those “now why didn’t I think of that “ moments. I guess because the Bible is silent on Jesus’ teens years I didn’t really dwell on the fact that yes, even our savior was a teenager. I suppose we get a tiny glimpse of his earthly parents’ frustrations in the story of Jesus staying in the temple when the family had left Jerusalem to go home; Jesus knew His true purpose, but it took them (and the rest of us) a bit longer to fully understand.
    Thank you for sharing your heart. We have two adult daughters, and their teen years were filled with challenges as well. Somehow God helped us lead them through and now they both work in the foster care system with children. I honestly believe they could not be as compassionate in that line of work had they not battled with their own depression and anxiety, even though they came from a stable loving home.

  14. Oh my sweet Momma, you have given me flashbacks of my daughters high school days. Anna is precious to us both and we pray she knows how very very special she is not just to your family and Jesus but to Ron and I also. Hug her for us!

  15. Jennifer,

    The teenage years can be hardest of all. The children are navigating emotions, physical development & trying to figure out life. It is a confusing period for everyone. It can seem like God doesn’t understand or isn’t working for us. We must remember that Jesus Himself was a teenager. He is very well acquainted with being abandoned by close friends. His own disciples fled when He was being betrayed, mocked & hung on a cross. Nothing that happens to us in life is a surprise to Jesus. He knows us intimately & loves us wildly. He will get you through these trying times. Thanking God for loving, caring moms like you.

    Blessings 🙂