Something that draws me back to teenagers time and time again is the way that they honestly seek to know who they are as they engage the questions of life. The intricacies of their personality and talents are in the raw, waiting to be unearthed and refined.
I was reminded of a night last trimester where the discussion led to our identities and how quickly we lose sight of who God has made us to be and too often take shelter in the place of “not enough.” Before we wrapped up the night, several of the teens requested that we take some time to encourage each other individually. We planned to come the following week with affirmations for each person in the group and ways we’ve been encouraged by each other. It struck me as I wrote each of their names on a sheet of paper that God has more thoughts and plans for each of them than I could ever begin to comprehend. His heart is always to speak his joy over us as his children, so why wouldn’t we do that for each other?
Although we often can’t save each other from present circumstances, we can be people that help brush off the dusty places in our hearts and remind each other of who we are and who God is.
One of the teens spoke over the summer and reflected on the story of Jesus in the wilderness. She brought to our attention every time Satan tried to undermine Jesus. He often tried to attack what Jesus was able to do. Jesus was confident in his identity and kept pointing back to who He was and not what he could do. She challenged us to remember that who we are is far more important than anything we set out to accomplish. Strength comes in recognizing that our identities are firmly fixed in a loving, unchanging God.
As we move into the next trimester, that thought stands out in my heart. Maybe what is most significant is not that we are fruitful in all that we set out to do, but that we are faithful and honest in our pursuit. Our call is to be a family that encourages and strengthens the foundations of who we are, spurring us on to a deeper love and service of each other and those around us.
Our kids ministry programs are looking for people to purchase and deliver new board games for our Tuesday & Thursday programs. If you are interested, please contact Megan McDermott at firstname.lastname@example.org.