Monday, January 30, 2012

And in the end...

I guess I should start off by saying if you're here for the "daily photos"... just come back tomorrow.

And a warning - this is a rant {of sorts}

I've spent some time praying over this post... even shed a few tears in the process of it's creation. I edited and re-edited as I found myself being more and more negative and bitter... And that's not my purpose here.

I think perhaps I even run a bit of a risk posting this since a good group of my readers attend church with me. But I guess if you can't be real in front of your church family - then what's the point right? And, if you're a student of mine... well I hope you can see through most of this to the underlying truth that I love you. And I want what is best for you. And sometimes that's a HARD job. But in the end it's always worth it.

You want to know what the most thankless job is? It's not something featured on "dirtiest jobs"... it's
 youth ministry.
I've spent a good amount of time in a good amount of heartache these past few weeks months standing along side my husband in his job and pouring out my heart to the students we work with. Man, it's not been easy. But I guess nothing in life is worth having if you didn't have to fight for it right? (that's the therapist in me trying to spin the positive...)

If you've worked in ministry... or really any helping/giving profession... I'm sure you can attest to this.

I've worried for "my kids"... I've lost sleep for "my kids"... I've lost a bit of sanity for "my kids"...

And in the end... they walk away. And you just pray... you pray that God will protect them wherever they go. It doesn't matter how many years you spent with them... they just walk away.

And in the end... they stay. And you pray... you pray that God would break through that hard outer shell. The one that's complacent. The one that's apathetic. The one that always wants something different than what you can provide because it's not a personal relationship with Jesus that they are really after.

{for anyone who follows me regularly... Read Numbers Chapter 11. I referred to this chapter a few weeks ago - replace Moses with a youth leader and you'll begin to see how hard it can be...}

And in the end... I remind myself that I guess "thanks" is not what you do this for. You do this because you lose sleep, a personal life & sanity. You do this because you lose more of yourself to gain more of God and that's all I can hope for the students I work with.

In ministry you learn to live and thrive for a LONG time off the simplicity of one. note. That's all it takes and it reminds you... "Why the heck am I doing this if nobody seems to care?"

We received this in the mail this Christmas:

From a student we haven't seen in 5 years. It doesn't take much. Receiving this in a time where I felt particularly disheartened... made me have a little faith.


  1. I SO Know where your heart is Christina.... WE do it because of the notes like that , because of calls in th middle of the night from an ex youth gruop member who is a brand new unwed mom and they have no one else to call but you to see if you can help them get some food for themselves and diapers for the beby.. or thiey have a sibling who cas committed suicide abd they can't find anyone to talk to about it.. God puts us here to minister and we have no idea how far and how deep what we say do runs or even who it strikes a spark with....We do this becaus God shows himself to us through these kids in times and places we ae most unsuspecting of.. Bless you and Kevin both for reaching out to kids in Lakewood!- Mrs. B.

  2. I may be a little late in responding to this... but Lady your heart in this is so evident to me. Though I never like to say "I know exactly how you feel" (the counselor in me ;)) I do relate. I agree ministry in general is a dirty job. Youth ministry has the dynamic of young people who are in the midst of not only life hardships and stress which adults face, but they also have to face homormonal and bodily changes, while trying to figure out who they are and what they want in life. Those things mixed together make it tough. If you're not crying (disheartened, or heartbroken) you are doing something wrong... Take Heart. I always remind myself of Galatians 6:9 in times like these. We have to remember our job is to plant the seed, God brings the increase.


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