This morning, I woke up to probably one of the most incredible things in a lifetime...
As many of us do, when I woke up this morning, and the house was still quiet, I rolled over and looked at my phone, scrolling through updates and posts to talk my eyes and mind into waking up (it's a pretty dramatic battle...you guys can guess who usually wins...*snooze*) This morning, as the sun shined through my window, I came across the most amazing post.
A young lady, whom I had the pleasure of working with during my time as a Student Pastor, had found a letter I had written her 3 or 4 years ago. She shared about her journey since high school, how she had fallen, and how she had come running back into the loving arms of her heavenly Father. She then shared how much that letter I had written to her those years ago had meant to her, and posted a pic of it online and tagged me in it.
I remember that letter...I remember that time...I remember how exhausted I was, but how much I knew it would mean to this girl, who was about to go on a very important weekend away, and needed some encouragement. I remember taking a pause from my job, getting away and praying for the right words...I remember writing the words and then praying over them again...prayers that this young lady would have the weekend God needed her to have...to feel the love and support this sweet girl truly was searching for in her heart. And my letter was only the one in a series of letters by our student leadership team, written to encourage her this weekend.
I say all this to give a very specific message, laid on my heart...This is for you, Student Pastor...for you, Youth Group Leader...this is for you, Mentors and Friends...for you, Exhausted Parent...
Be Intentional. Be Impactful. Make Your Investment.
I had the privilege to serve as a Student Pastor for several years with my former church. But my amazing girls had no idea what it took to get me there...they had no idea I had just had the crappiest day ever at my job and came straight there to discuss their own troubles. They had no idea the rush it took to feed the kids, drop them off and get to them on time..There were times they never knew the doubts and pain and battles I was having with God, while I guided them to their own relationship with him. (and then there were times that they did know...which led to the most amazing conversations...but I digress...)
But let me tell you, Youth Leader.... It....was....worth...it ...ALL.
I know you're exhausted. I know, sometimes what these kids deal with is trivial, compared to mortgages, marriages, bills, work and every "grown up" problem you have...but guess what?
Someday, they're going to have grown up problems...and we can only hope and pray they have the right answers in those moments.
There is no pay in being a youth leader...there is no glory in it...But when you get that call from one of your girls, in college, saying " I just needed to talk...", when you get that Baby Shower invitation, and when a young lady, now a grown woman herself said " I returned to Jesus, and your words made a difference..." That is the truest of all rewards. That makes all those battles to get there and be a part of those girls lives so worth it.
So, exhausted Youth Leader...wiped out Student Pastor...discouraged Parent... Don't Give Up...
The words you are saying right now...in this moment....the prayers you are lifting up, on this very day, may be the blessing and the moment God chooses to bring back to these amazing kids in the moment they need it most.
DO NOT GIVE UP.
And to all of my amazing girls...know that I still love each of you with all my heart, I think of you often, and I pray for each step you take.
Remember who YOU are, remember where you've COME from...Remember WHO you belong to...