When you want to write a post on exhaustion, but you are too exhausted to even think of how to start the post, does that mean you are past the point of exhaustion? My last few weeks have been wonderful, but they have literally left me at a point of exhaustion. This post has been sitting here in draft mode, ready to be finished, for the past week and a half and I am just now able to put thoughts to words and finish the thoughts. The past weeks have been full of wonderful meetings with my personal friends, mothers of teenagers, committee members who support North Dallas Young Life, middle schoolers and high schoolers. Being deeply involved in the lives of others is a wonderful thing. To know the joys and good times, the hurts and temptations is both wonderful and heartbreaking.
Mothers tell the background of what is going on: who is affected, the concrete details, where the events have happened and then ask deep questions, searching for answers as to why their precious young teenagers are having to deal with situations that they could not even imagine going through in adulthood.
Teenagers give me tearful emotions, crying out for answers as to why their world is so broken. Middle schoolers and high schoolers alike come asking the same question: Why is their world falling apart? Why are their friends “experimenting” with sexuality and what does that mean for them? What do I believe is truth ? Is there really truth? Why do I not have any friends – everyone in my class smokes pot and sleeps around? Why do I not fit in with anyone? Why is my family life chaos? Why does no one love me – what do I need to do to get someone to love me? Their questions are not always out loud – sometimes they are only seen through their actions or told through their stories over ice cream at Pinkberry. The deeper I gets into these relationships, the easier it is to pick up on the questions, and the easier it is to go home every day with a broken heart.
This is my work world – day in and day out – it never ends and always changes. It’s wonderful and heavy. And it is hard to come home. Once I come home, I face the reality of my own life, its struggles, questions and temptations. These struggles in my own life weigh me down tremendously but I can deal with it in my life. I have the people/support/God in my life to wade through those waters with. However, it angers me that my teenagers have to work through the same struggles.
My own life is not rid of similar struggles. Throughout my life, I have struggled and fought my way through life with the Lord. Today, I am still walking in the midst of all the struggles that have followed me through high school, college and post-college life. It is a daily fight. I do not know why the Lord has me walking through so many things, but for some reason, this is the walk He has for me. I have accepted this war as my life and am ok walking through it, only because I have hope that my Savior will save me and there will be a day in my future where I am free from all the struggles in this life. These things cause me to daily come to the Lord, crying out for help.
But most of the teenagers in the schools I work in do not know my Savior, therefore they do not have this hope. Many of my teenagers do not have a glimpse of a day where there is no more pain and struggles in life. Without Christ to see through the struggles in this world, they look for other saviors, that only end in even more pain. There is no way I can navigate them through these waters without talking about Jesus. He is the only one to heal this chaos. The craziness in this life will still remain; the tv shows will still show teenagers in same-sex relationships and free flowing alcohol, the music will still talk about a teenage dream, and hallways are still full of mean girls and teenagers with broken families. Therefore, my heart cries out for my Savior to save these teenagers, who are too young and innocent to know how to walk through these waters their middle schools and high school represent and who desperately need a Savior, to save them from this life, from themselves, and from their sin. Lord, please come soon and end this chaos….and please save our teenagers.
Give us the teenagers that we may lead them to Thee. Our hearts ache for the millions of young people who remain untouched by the Gospel and for the tragically large proportion of those who have dropped by the wayside and find themselves without spiritual guidance. Help us to give them a chance, oh Father, a chance to become aware of thy Son’s beauty and healing power in the might of the Holy Spirit. Oh, Lord Jesus, give us the teenagers, each one at least long enough for a meaningful confrontation with Thee. We are at best unprofitable servants, but thy grace is sufficient. Oh, thou Holy Spirit, give us the teenagers. For we love them and know them to be awfully lonely. Dear Lord, give us the teenagers.”
– Jim Rayburn, Founder of Young Life