Monday, October 25, 2010

Lost and Found

I haven't posted a blog on this site in ages because I had to give up writing my book for a while. However, God is good, and I'm back on track. At this point, I am editing and adding to early chapters, so I won't be posting excerpts for the book for a bit. In the meantime, God continues to work in ways that always amaze me!

Darrell and I have started teaching a career and college class on Sunday mornings (ages 18-25 with most in the 18-20 range) as well as leading a small group for them on Sunday evening. The size varies from week to week with a faithful core group who rarely miss. Johns Island is such a diverse culture, so we benefit from that in our group. We have kids who were previously in serious trouble in high school, including gangs and drugs, while others lost parents from early childhood and still others grew up in Christian homes. We have transplants from New York and Johns Island natives. As we felt the call to teach and meet with these young adults, we never dreamed (not sure why since it's not really a surprise) how God would use them to shape us as well. Just a few of the lessons we've learned:
1. Trust is sacred. Now this is one of those things I always knew but never really felt was tested in my own life. However, these adults have seen enough to realize that without trust, there's no point in being part of a group. Some have been hurt in the past, but all made it very clear that they expect us (and all of them) to hold confidences. They hold one another, and us, highly accountable in this area.
2. It doesn't matter what you say, it's what you do that counts. Many of our small group members have been promised a lot, but ended up experiencing so much pain instead. They watch us closely, their expectations are high and that feeling of being held to the standard God established was overwhelming at first. Now, I feel blessed...God gave them to us to teach us how to live by our words and His Word, and act as we preach.
3. Life can't be all serious. I am a person who easily pushes fun aside to get tasks completed. Our group likes a balance of education and fellowship. We went bowling recently (as a sidenote: we saw Bill Murray there bowling with his sons) and that evening was a balm to my seriously high stress level. Laughter truly does help heal the wounds of the day.
4. Tough questions sometimes mean tough answers. We've had some really challenging questions thrown our way, and the answers aren't always pretty. The truth may not be what the questioner wants to hear, but if we're not honorable to tell the truth, then we shouldn't even try to answer the question. As our Pastor says weekly, "I love you enough to tell you the truth."
5. Respect means more than popularity. We don't need to be anyone's best friend in this group, but they truly desire someone to respect. Mentors and role models haven't existed in many of their lives, or the role models have been so negative, their ability to respect others has dwindled. However, in their hearts, they desire to have a mutual relationship of respect with us. These young adults are over high school...they're making decisions that affect a lifetime and they know it. The world isn't an easy place to live in...and they know it. Popularity means nothing outside of high school...and they know it. Praise God that they also know Him and are seeking to know Him even more. 

The beauty of God working in each of truly translates through our relationships with this sweet group. If you saw some of them on the street, you take your child by the hand. Yet, their hearts belong to Christ, while the tattoos and piercings will be left behind when their time comes to join Him eternally.

Please pray for us and for them. Praise God for all that He is doing in each of our lives!

In His Holy Name,

Big Charlotte Mason fan? So are we!