I just drove home from church with tears running down my face. Tonight, I got to see a little boy (sorry, Payton, anyone under 20 is little to me now!) commit his life to Christ. I felt so honored to be able to witness that from him. I've spent the last five years watching him grow into this incredible person and my heart nearly burst with pride for Payton and his family! I've watched him grow from the obnoxious little boy who picked on his sister's friends into the young man who is polite, kind, loving, and a pleasure to be around. Seeing Jason baptize his son and give him a hug when he came out of the water is an image that will live with me forever and I'm so happy and blessed that I was able to see that.
As I was leaving I asked another one of the kids at church how things were going when she admitted things weren't that great. I cornered her again in the parking lot and she confided in me. I tried to offer as much guidance as I could, while knowing that at her age things are so much different and the rules change minute by minute so even though I mastered that age, it's changed, and it will change again tomorrow, and then again the next day. She's been handed a rough year, and adversity is hard at any age, but it's harder at her age. I ended by giving her a hug, telling her that we'd pray for her, and reassuring her that things may be challenging at school, but she has lots of people who love her, most of all God!
This was a significant night to me because I'm not one who loves kids. I don't love being around kids for the sake of being around them. Even when they're good kids, I usually prefer to let other people enjoy them. With that said, I genuinely love and enjoy both of these kids, and their families. I feel blessed that God has shown me these kids and shown me how much I can love these kids. These kids have shown me how incredible they can be. I''m in awe of what they're capable of. They are such strong Christians and I pray that I raise my kids as well as their parents have raised them. I wish I had had half of the fire for Christ that these kids do when I their age and I PRAY that my kids will have the same spirit! I really can't say enough about these kids. (I feel this way about Leah too, but she's at home with mono so I didn't get to see her tonight, in my fit of nostalgia!) They are amazing!
Reality sunk in when we left church. I was so blessed to see this milestone in Payton's life, but I will miss out on so many other milestones, when we move. I truly consider these kids part of MY family. I love these kids, I love their parents, and I'm going to miss them.
I may miss out on a lot of milestones, but these kids will be a part of my heart forever. If I never saw these kids again, they have changed me. They have made such an impact and they'll probably never believe it, but they've inspired me. (yeah, yeah, yeah, even though I'm old, I'm inspired by these kids!) These kids are truly amazing and I hope to take what I see in them, and learn from it!
So, tonight, I pray for Payton in his walk with Christ, and I pray for the teen who is struggling in her personal life, and I pray for Leah who has mono, and I pray for all of the teens that I never bothered getting to know and have missed out on. May God guide, protect, and bless them all, and I thank Him for letting me see how powerful they can be!