last night trisha and i were talking about several of our students that are going through some rough patches. some are making some bad decisions and facing the consequences, some are just caught in the middle of other people's bad decisions. it's tough watching those that you are seeking to shepherd in ministry go through seasons like these.
trisha remarked that it's especially tough when we've been walking with them for so many years and can remember them when they first entered our ministry. it's heartbreaking to remember a bright-eyed, unburdened, laughter-filled middle schooler and see them today caught in the middle of a messy divorce, or succumbing to the pressure of a bad influence in their life, or choosing lying and deception over honesty and taking responsibility.
it's hard to watch children become adults.
kids are full of optimism, hope, simple joy, and laughter.
adults are (sometimes) full of doubts, pessimism, depression, and tears.
while it's all at once disheartening to watch this change happen in so many young people we care about, it's also one of our biggest privileges in youth ministry to walk with them during times like these and offer them friendship, hope, direction, purpose, and most importantly JESUS.
as trisha put it, "maybe a big part of our job is just to be there with them while they go through it all."
no maybes about it.