first thoughts...

My HEART is so full of God's wonder this morning. I have so many thoughts and memories swimming around in my mind, all spiritual results of one glorious weekend on a mountain with God, 43 eighth grade girls and the woman chosen to lead them to into an encounter with Him.

I was struck by the UNIQUENESS of each soul present as well as the delicate nature of a young woman's spirit. As I looked around this weekend I witnessed the overabundance of God's GRACE spilling forth from every single woman attending, whether they were 13 or 43, leader or attendee, each called forth for a reason. God placed them in a specific small group for a specific purpose, one that I might never get to know in this lifetime. This is one of the joys and frustrations of Youth Ministry. You must be prepared to give everything you have knowing that you may never see the results. It's not about me or what I think should happen. Only God is privy to all.

The young woman that Our Lord placed in my care had such different gifts and personalities. They reminded me of bugs with a hard exterior shell protecting them from the worlds hurt and pain. However if you turn them a certain way, their soft underbelly shows allowing their hearts to be easily pierced. My job was to give them every opportunity to meet the Living God. To turn them toward the GRACE He had waiting for them. It was not easy...but Passionate Perseverance is the name of the game. The ability to listen and really HEAR them as they struggled to understand, to FORGIVE, to TRUST, to LOVE in a new way. It is a wonder to behold these sweet innocent hearts so filled with confusion and uncertainty of where their life is going and trying to figure out where God is leading them. I remember that time in my own life so well. In the end God always shows up and blows them away!

It is a HUGE privilege to watch a young woman fall in love with Jesus for the first time. To watch a new relationship begin with the one friend who will never leave their side. I now have five new spiritual daughters to pray for each day. I pray that the Holy Spirit will continue to fall upon each of them renewing their commitment to God the Father, by loving and serving Him, by trusting Him with their hearts and minds, with their futures.

I have been abundatly blessed to be a witness to HOPE. To be a witness to the FUTURE of the church. God is GOOD...ALL THE TIME!

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