I love that my teenage boys have been able to find their place in our program. I pray everyday for their hearts and lives.
I how long their dad has been locked up, talk about feeling lonely, talk about being scared to get baptized, talking about how their friends are getting high and having sex. This is the moment I can pour love and hope into them, this is the moment where I can ask them real questions about their lives. This is the moment where I can tell them how proud of them I am because they could be anywhere right now and they are here with me sharing their hearts.
The other part of this way that others were taking notice, kids I don’t yet know, but am confident I will were coming over to ask why we were just sitting in a car, a boy who previously wouldn’t speak to me because I think he feels I will judge him for his choices engaged in our conversation, in this moment it’s taking everything in me not to burst into tears because these are moments I treasure, these are the moments I have prayed for, these are the moments I want for all of my kids.
So much that, a few weeks ago I attended a conference in Tennessee and it changed the way I think about a lot of things BUT even more than that it changed the way I wanted to do things in my ministry life as well as my personal life, there are two major changes I have implemented into my life already, one of them is that I will not allow “work” to get in the way of spending time with the kids, because the reality is they are my “work” so I am back to making to do-lists and at 3 p.m. when the kids knock on the door it’s time to laugh, time to play basketball, time to pick a kid up from school and spend two hours talking about life and Jesus, draw hearts on the sidewalk with chalk and blow bubbles until I can’t do it anymore. The second thing is, I will never let a kid leave my house before I pray with/for them, this has changed the way I view my kids and today as one of the kids was leaving they said, “Wait I can’t leave, we haven’t prayed yet…” I literally wanted to burst into tears I was so excited! My kids have begun to hold me accountable to the things they expect from me now, and I love it, I love that we have a relationship where I can gently but firmly remind them of things they need to be reminded of and they can (most of the time) gently but (all the time) firmly remind me of what I need to be reminded of.
Over the past few months I have begun to focus on a few key areas in which I want to grow my ministry, one of them is the Gospel, I want my kids to know all about Jesus in real tangible ways, I want to see them accept Christ into their lives and I want them to publicly profess their faith through baptism. I want them to know that there is hope that can only be found in Jesus. Today I felt a little glimmer of that hope in my life and in their lives. As I end my day today I am praying for each of my “babies” I got to share life with today, I am praying for each of their prayer requests, I pray that they know my car (and my home) is always open for them to come and share their hearts, to hang out and to find a safe refuge. I am so excited about what the future holds for my kids, and I am so excited to plant seeds in them to sow and grow in the Lord.