I wasn’t certain if or when the answer would come. Now, I’m starting to see some light break through. The past couple summer months of reaching out to youth in the neighborhood has been tough. There’s a battle going on for the souls of the young people of our community and it felt like we were losing ground.
But God is faithful. One of the youth that had been drawing back from not only me but even opening up to anyone about his life, has slowly been letting people in. After some group prayer of the youth ministers near the beginning of the summer, he spoke with his father. Midsummer we started small talking again. This past month he’s been sharing a little with another youth leader and about a week ago he started contributing again to small group at church. It’s slow going but I have been encouraged. Gosh, some people pray for years without seeing fruit and I was getting discouraged from just a couple months…I’m such weak sauce.
This comes around the time I have been getting much helpful perspective from others. First and foremost has been God’s word to me from Galatians 6:9 in which he reminded me – “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” This horticultural analogy has been a breath of fresh air. Like planting a seed, I am brought back to the truth that I cannot control the time for when a seed will break ground and bear fruit. No matter how much I desire it to show itself…it will not come forth with me just desiring it. So it is when you pour out your life and heart into another. All I can do is to keep on doing what I know is good.
Our caring shepherd over the youth ministry also reminded me that there are seasons of life for our young people…seasons that seem to change so drastically. For teenagers in general any given circumstance can feel like the end of the world (hehe I remember it felt like that for me in those times). These relatively volatile responses seem exacerbated with inner city youth, since much of the people and environments they are living around are already unstable as it is. There are seasons in which a young person seems to turn away from life and there are seasons when they come back to life…I’ve seen it this summer. My role is to let them know that the door is always open when they’re ready…and that I will keep praying for them regardless.
Seasons change, His faithfulness does not.
**no joke about 30min after writing this post I was driving out to youth group, praying for a couple guys I hadn’t seen in a while, and as I was stopped at a red light I saw two of them walking across the street directly in front of me. I drove back to where they were and caught up with them. They ended up coming out to youth group tonight and they were encouraged. I am so encouraged. Thank you God, for reminding me it’s worth it to persevere in prayer…even when I didn’t see anything happening.