Thursday, August 27, 2009

Issues and Ages

I worked in youth ministry almost immediately following my conversion to Christianity almost 10 years ago. I LOVED it, especially the High Schoolers. I remember most the times when we would take prayer requests. There were the everyday issues of tests, homework, annoying classmates and school teachers. There were the more difficult issues of parents divorcing, peers who were self destructing, and deaths of loved ones. I remember the earnest prayers of those young people. I remember the ones that were embarrassed to pray out loud or even say they had a need. I remember the kids that already knew what it meant to be loved by God and those that were unsure what it really meant. I remember the ones whose light burned so bright you almost needed sunglasses. I remember the ones that barely had a flicker of belief. Each one is forever imprinted on my heart. I remember that when I prayed for them I was always filled with such hope for what might happen as they matured and entered into "real life".

Since becoming a mom I have found that I am making new friends. In some ways I am finding a new ministry. I have to say that this one is more difficult. As I age and the people I socialize with turn another year older I find that it is harder for me to know what to say. The problems seem more real, more heartbreaking, and more life altering. I can no longer assure them that there is a whole world of possibilities, because they are living the reality. What do I say to the friend whose husband is out of work? What do I do for the wife whose marriage is deteriorating? How do I console a friend who found out, that barring a miracle, she will never have a newborn in her arms? How do I give hope to the friend whose house is being foreclosed? How do I befriend the one whose smile is hiding the loneliness inside?

I don't want to minimize the issues that we dealt with during our years with the teenagers. Their problems were very real and very difficult. I just seemed better equipped. I find that I am growing ever more thankful that while I do not have the answers or the ability to dispense hope, there is One who does.

Father, my heart breaks daily for those I know. You know each one by name. You know each need. You know your plans for them. Help me, Lord, to help carry their burdens and ease some of their sorrow. Help me, Lord, to be a daughter of encouragement and not take the beauty of each day for granted. Keep me close to You that I may show each one Your love and sustaining grace. Give them hope.


In light of all this my quest for a slimmer waistline seems petty, but none the less, how can I be fully used by God if I am unhealthy and exhausted. With that said, I've lost half a pound, but that may be short lived since I just ate a chocolate chip cookie and it isn't even 9:30 AM. (Let's just say it was a long night with a teething and/or sick son) I hadn't really thought of a challenge for you this week, but how about this: the next time you reach for an unhealthy snack, put it back, grab a glass of water, and spend a few minutes in prayer for a person you know who is going through a tough situation.

2 comments:

  1. well said... it is quite the difference - working w/ youth vs. helping other hurting adults. thanks for the challenge for this week. good job on the 1/2 lb loss! my weight is "maintained", same as it has been in the past few weeks. i found that sleep disruption REALLY has an affect on what i eat, how i eat, the next day. not cool.

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  2. my years in high school group at church were the best years of my life. you did a good thing, keep doing it ;)

    PS lose weight for me, no time.

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