I tend to worry more than I should. It's not a good quality - as in I even lose sleep because I play the worst case scenario repeatedly in my mind. Control freak (maybe?) I worry about a variety of things in my life but mostly our daughters.
With each stage of life there are new experiences, trials and changes. Ah change!!!!! Change and I are not good friends, we do not get along. Give me my structure, schedule and lists and it's all good.
Our family loves after church visiting. Generally we are one of the last families to leave. It was like that when my husband was the Youth Pastor and now that he plays on the majority of the music teams we can generally be found at the front of the church cleaning up music equipment and visiting.
One particular Sunday I was visiting with someone and I was sharing about our oldest daughter going to work at camp this summer and that she would be gone for four weeks! I don't know how I am going to handle it!!!!! She goes away to a youth retreat weekend, or a sleepover and I miss her terribly and have trouble sleeping. You know what my friend said to me:
"Do you think you can take better care of her than God can?"
Sometimes you need a friend to give you a kick in the butt. At first I was like, "Wow, harsh!" Then I slowly began to realize how true her words are.
Two weeks later I had an opportunity to exercise this new found wisdom. Our daughter left for a youth retreat at a Christian College that is a couple of hours away from our home. I dropped her off at the meeting spot - went back to my vehicle, paused for a moment and prayed for her weekend.
As she came to mind that weekend and worry began to settle in - I would stop and pray.
And you know what happened? I found peace and I felt freedom. It was AWESOME!!!
Whenever I would quiet my heart to pray for her, I would listen to what my heart was telling me to pray for. So instead of worrying I began praying that she would meet a mentor - someone that would be a positive influence in her life, that would be a good listener for when she needed someone other than her Mom and someone that she could connect with occasionally.
On Sunday I was excited to pick her up to hear about the weekend. I got to the church early and wrote in my journal while I was waiting anxiously for her return. Eventually my very sleep deprived daughter arrived and had enough energy left to share about the weekend. She had an amazing time - lots of fun activities, found a new love of lattes and she met an amazing girl that is a student at the college and just happens to be dating a guy from our church.
I could feel the smile in my heart, as I was so very thankful for a Father who listens, and cares and protects what we hold so very dear. This girl, this answer to prayer has attended our church a few times with her boyfriend's family and she always makes time for our daughter and the other teens she connected with that weekend.
There is freedom in giving our cares & worries to the One that holds us in His hand - that knows the number of hairs on our heads.
The next time worry sets in and steals peace and freedom from you, quiet your heart and place your worries at the foot of the cross. He's got this.
I am just overflowing with emotions. I don't know if it is the change of seasons, the state of the world or the mid-40's - but I overly affected and emotional about the events going on around me.
Mentoring has always been something that is so heavy on my heart that it pains me to see opportunities lost and the pain and silent suffering of those who needed that interaction in their life.
A young man that I knew committed suicide in our community. This is becoming too common and is not something that is talked about. And that just makes me mad! I am sorry for this family and their loss and that this is the choice that he made, as well as the other families in the community who have lost a loved on this way. But we need to get our heads out of the sand and see that this is becoming a problem and we need to help our youth. Why are they even considering this as an option?
As I look at this trend in my community I wonder who are the people that are involved in their lives, who comes across their path that could make a difference? When given that nudge in our spirit to say a word of encouragement do we choose to make the effort or do we continue on with our busy schedules?
As I am being consciously aware of my responsibility as outlined in Titus 2, I am noticing more opportunities crossing my path daily! It makes me wonder how many opportunities I may have missed. As I looked at the picture of this young boy the thought kept running through my head, "What are we as the “church” doing?” I do not mean that big building on the corner I mean those of us who are the hands and feet of Jesus Christ doing in our daily lives?
Scripture tells us to become more Christ-like. I heard an interesting description from Matt Chandler from The Village Church as I was listening to a podcast. He was talking about when Jesus was instructing his disciples to go and make disciples. The word “go” in the context is passive. It means as you go about your day-to-day make disciples.
I see it the same with mentoring, as you go about your day be an example of Jesus Christ. The church doesn’t need another program, we as followers of Jesus need to actively live our lives for the greater good.
I see so much hurt in the lives of teen girls today. I often ask myself what I am doing about it? Am I living up to what God has instructed me in Titus 2? Do the young women today aspire to be women of God? Why or Why not?
I am asking myself a lot of questions that are burning on my mind these days - What I have been finding in my own life is that I am too busy. That I busy myself doing things with my family, with friends, work, etc. But I leave little to no room for opportunities to be a positive example in the life of someone that God has placed before me.
In order to fulfill our calling in Titus we all need to “make” the time and be open to any opportunity that sets itself in front of us. The word mentoring doesn’t always mean taking someone out for coffee once a week. A new term that is being used is “lifestyle mentoring” which is more of what I am thinking about. That we be open to sharing our lives with those that enter our path as we go about our day to day.
Take a few minutes today to read through Titus 2 and may you start to become aware to whatever opportunity may cross your path.