I'm not sure why we didn't peruse her better when she left (maybe we did and I don't remember) but as she told me about the next 4 years of her life it made me really sad and angry. She told me story after story of struggle and betrayal. People that should had taken care of her but didn't. I couldn't help but wonder "what if"?
What if when we didn't see her around one of our adult leaders had pursued her a little more?
What if she had felt such a strong community connection that she didn't wander off?
Here's the cool thing. As I told her I was sorry for things that happened in her life she told me she doesn't really regret her past, she actually appreciates it. It's as if she can see God's hand directing her on a journey, some of the journey enjoyable, other parts miserable but all for her good to get her where she is today.
She's now graduated from college and says she's fulfilling her purpose and passion in life. She's teaching special needs children. I could sense the joy in her words as I read them on the bottom right corner of my screen.
I'm so proud of her.
So, why did she "im" me last night? She just wanted to make sure I knew I had made a difference in her life, that's all.
Until she told me I didn't realize it. To be honest I really needed to hear that from her. It's funny how those we serve eventually end up encouraging us.
As I've thought about my chat with her last night here are 3 thoughts for you and me.
- If you work with students you're making a difference whether you realize it or not. God gives the increase and many times we don't see it this side of heaven.
- There's probably someone you need to send a message to today and tell them thank you for the difference they made in your life. As you know that little glimpse of how God has worked goes a long way.
- God works in lives of those around us even when we're not there. Yes, God can get things done without us.