For the past two years, I have held a small group of high school girls at my house each Wednesday.
Boy oh boy was I nervous to sign up for such an endeavor. In fact, on my way to the first meeting, I had almost convinced myself it would be a horrible experience and most definitely didn’t even like high schoolers. Perhaps I should just forget the whole thing.
I was wrong, though. I made it to that meeting, and met the initial girls that would soon grow to be our group. Each Wednesday since, I would vacuum my floors, lay out lime-aide and chai, or bake yet another batch of pink or yellow cupcakes for yet another special girl’s birthday–and I am filled with joy. With each face that enters my front door,excited to see each other, excited to be at group, excited for the pumpkin loaf or poppyseed muffins.
We chat, we dicuss our days, we tell funny stories, then we get to our study. We have poured over some incredible books in the past two years. Everything from Crazy Love, to Romans, and now 25 Lies Young Women Believe. My favorite is the discussion. We’re reading out loud, and it brings on a thought. A deep spark, rustled up in a young heart, something that God is teaching quietly, then profoundly in a soul for the very first time. As they share, I am inspired, and as I look around–so is everyone else. They each share, and listen about matters of the heart, topics which are never discussed in the often times scary and petty world presented to teenagers outside these walls.
Teenagers face a lot of crap each and everyday–something that I am reminded of each week. But here in my home is a safe place to learn and grow, to dig deeper into the word and our souls to find out that this life is not about the temporary, this life is not about the external, the material, or the status. But this life is about love. This life is about community, and service and sacrifice and seeing that our world is big and wide and full of glory, but also full of hurt and sadness. Hurt and sadness that we are called to help.
In our group we have been filled with love, and even uncovered deep hurt, shedding many tears on a road to healing. God is good. We push each other forward, the girls are growing up and investing in new ways to help others. As graduation looms in one month, two are signed up to mentor junior highers, two are preparing for a trip to Kenya to serve in an orphanage, two are experiencing God for the very first time, and each is finding true satisfaction in a real relationship with God, and love in their friendships with each other.
This week I invited the girls over early to watch a movie and have breakfast for dinner. We watched, The Human Experience on Netflix while I flipped pancakes. That movie is an incredible documentary of two brothers expereincing life from the view of others all around the world; a leprosy colony, a children’s home for the sick in Peru, etc etc. (Grab your kleenex, but it’s worth it)
Piles of pancakes, rivers of maple syrup, clouds of eggs and crispy bacon with your friends while watching a fabulous movie?
It was a great Wednesday night, as always.
God is a God of healing, inspiring, and making all things new.
(But my favorite thing we’ve ever done together is this)