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They Were All Little Once

I’ve been working with teens since I was a teenager. I love it, and I love them. It is awesome to know so many amazing high schoolers and to get to spend time with them and help them grow in their faith in Christ. But it wasn’t until I had my own children that I realized how special it is to be allowed to be a part of their lives.

Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it. Proverbs 22:6

001.jpgLooking through old pictures of my daughter and I realize how much she’s grown up and changed. She’s no longer this tiny toddler who needs me, she’s a big girl. She’s smart and funny and has her own little life where she doesn’t need me for everything anymore.

I drove away from my daughter’s school the other day I got to thinking about how fast time moves and how she’ll be walking across the stage at her high school graduation in a blink of an eye. But no matter what, she will always be my sweet little Sienna. Then it hit me, the teens I work with were once little like her.

I mean I knew that they were kids once. It just really became real to me. It doesn’t matter that they are grown up and are in high school, they will always be someone’s baby. This morning my heart connected with what my brain has always known. It is an honor to be a part of teen’s lives and to join them on their journey of faith. Don’t take it for granted that you are allowed to know them and be a part of their life story.

Proverbs 22:6 Says to raise kids the way they should go, and they will never leave it. I feel like sometimes I get caught up into all the things we need to cram into the four years they are in youth group, that sometimes I don’t take the time to cherish who they are and that they are a gift. I am already praying for the adults that God will bring into Sienna’s life when she is a teenager. I know that she will need another voice in her life, to guide her on the right path. And I know that many parents have been praying for me as I share the gospel with their teens and disciple them. What we do as leaders in our churches is a BIG deal. You get to be a part of something huge in another persons life. And one day someone will get to be that person in your kid’s lives.

Recently I went through a rough patch as I said goodbye to my foster baby, and my friends and family came around me for encouragement. If I didn’t have those words and prayers I don’t know that I could have made it through it. I needed community, and everyone does. If you work with teens you shouldn’t just stop at loving the students in your ministry, but you need to love their parent’s.

Take the time to thank them for letting you be in their teens life, and encourage them as well. Let them know they aren’t in this alone, you stand by them! Send them some love this morning, it will be a great way to connect to parents and build a stronger relationship with the teens you work with.

Remember today and always that everyone was little once, they are cherished and beloved to someone. Look at them with new eyes today and love harder!

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