I have so much to be thankful for. The truth is, I deserved death- anything else I receive is a gift. I deserved hell, and all that comes with it. Christ came so that I could have life and have it abundantly. I woke up today just in awe of that. In awe of a Savior who thought of me, thought of Jillian, as He hung on the cross. In some ways it leaves me speechless. In other it leaves me wanting to cry out, shouting from the rooftops, Jesus Christ died so I could live. Then the speechlessness sinks in again.
I work with middle school girls full-time. Daily I am reminded about that time in life. I think I had blocked out most of the bad, constantly changing, insecure moments of those years. I get told all the time “wow, that’s a tough age” or “it takes a special person to work with middle schoolers”. When I first was called by God to work with these ladies I was intimidated by all the bad things people would say about this age group. I felt so inadequate and insecure because solid believers were telling me this age was impossible. In many ways now I want to go back and challenge those claims. I think most people speak about the middle school years out of their own experiences, hurts, and not so good memories. I am trying to change my thought process and challenge myself and others with the claim that this age is hard to deal with and impossible to reach. I think the reality is life is hard and tough to deal with and middle school is the age when you truly start realizing that. You see that friends will fail you, you start struggling in school more, you get acne (oh joy), maybe your first broken heart and you realize that we live in a fallen world in desperate need of a Savior.
My best frand and also partner in student ministry said something today that just rocked my socks. And I quote “The same God that is working in me, is working in them”- Alex. What a profound statement. So many times I try and dumb down God working in their life as being less powerful or concerned with their hearts. As if I relate age and wisdom to the power of Christ in one’s life. Before I started this job I saw middle schoolers as being incapable of truly understanding the Gospel, incapable of evangelizing to their friends, and incapable of the growth and marks of a believer. Boy was I wrong. God shattered that mindset and convicted me of the lies I was believing and telling myself. I have learned more from these girls than they could ever know. Before I started this job I probably saw it as an opportunity to offer wisdom to those who are going through middle school years on how to make it out alive and move on to high school. I definitely did not grasp the power of the Gospel in a student’s life. I love when God completely rocks my world and shows me where my mind is just totally messed up. I have seen Christ working in and through these students. I see the Lord pursuing them, breaking walls down, sharpening them to be used for His glory and purpose. I see students sharing the Gospel with their friends and standing up for the cause of Christ. I am daily encouraged, challenged, and convicted by the faith and walk of these girls. I see their struggles and recognize that middle school is tough. Fully aware of the drama, heartache, and pain of the middle school years, but now more than ever before, I am fully aware of the power of Christ in their lives. Be encouraged for our God is great and He is able (also learning this more and more, repeating it to myself daily). Now a glimpse at the girls that make my heart so happy.
Blessed to be a part of each of these girl’s life. The Lord has etched them on my heart and I will never be the same. Thankful.