I am so privileged that God has given me the gifts I have: exhortation, serving, mercy, teaching...What I do is so, so hard but I know God has me right here right now for a reason--7 reasons, 7 families who are struggling to help their teens stay out of trouble. They are so strong and so brave to invite me into their homes and into their lives every day.
How humbling it must be for a parent to say, "I just don't know what to do anymore" or "he's really a good kid, I just don't know why he's doing this to me"or "I stay up all night worrying he won't ever come back" or "my whole world is turned upside down" or "I try so hard to be a good parent because my kids are everything to me."
And then they ask for my help. How brave is that? When is the last time you asked for help (I don't ask for help much myself)? And then it's my job to say the right thing and to help them.
Sometimes it is so overwhelming for me to just spend an hour or two with them. Sometimes I just don't know what to say. So I just listen. I don't judge them. I look for their strengths. I encourage them. I ask them what I can do to help. And I tell them that I'm going to walk beside them through it. I love them. I do my best to show them the Grace God has shown me. And sometimes I get to pray with them and tell them Who taught me what I know and how they can know Him, too. Those are the best days.
When people say things like, "It takes a special person to do what you do" I have to stop and check my pride at the door. What I do is really hard and it wears me out. But I'm not any more special in God's eyes than they are. Or than you are. It's simply what He formed me for; what He called me to do for Him. It's incredible to see how He uses all my life experiences to make me the best servant for Him that I can be. Even all my shortcomings, sins and mistakes--because He works all things together for good.
I want to remember this on the really hard days: I am blessed, grateful and privileged to serve these kids and their families. I just pray that what I do shows them Jesus. Then it will all be worth it.