One of the reasons I love Student Ministry is that I get to spend vocational hours just hanging out with kids. Tonight after youth group it was great to just hang out in the youth hall with a couple of my students and talk. It is in those quieter moments that you really get to invest in a kid.
I love the way bonding occurs during this time. Inside jokes are referenced, secrets are told and fellowship truly occurs. Investing in students is an incredible thing. I just love sitting and talking with a kid and finding out about them. Tonight it was as simple as a girl telling us that she had written a metaphorical poem about her struggles with God last school year and the way He revealed Himself to her in a new way this summer. She used one of her favorite pass times to describe that struggle and victory --- swimming.
Now, I remember those struggles she went through last year. It hurt my heart to see her rebelling and pushing the envelope of her faith. Now, after a talk tonight, I see how God had His hand over her as she walked away. He lovingly taught her things even in spite (and possible through) her sins. She realizes the err of her ways now and appreciates her relationship with God on an entirely different level.
Don't get me wrong. I am not advocating teens walking away from their faith at all. The ideal is that they would stay on the righteous path and grow without any huge hiccups. I was just encouraged by this girl tonight as she reminded me that God's plan trumps ours every time.
God is really reminding me in this season that it is all about Him. He makes things happens. He keeps things from happening. He designs all things and I am just an instrument for His will. I need to learn to walk closely beside him as he guides my paths. He wants me to trust that He has placed me in this position for such a time as this and leave the results to Him. He proves this to me time and time again. It seems that honestly, when I am at my weakest, He is at His strongest and he uses me to do amazing things in spite of myself. That is exciting and mysterious to me.
Deep ponderings can come from sitting next to a senior in high school and listening to her seemingly random conversations. In those moments I hear God's laugh. I sense His presence. I listen to His voice. He is saying, "I have an amazing plan and I love you enough to let you be a part of it". Personally I think that is pretty cool.