This weekend was amazing!! It was AWESOME!! Yes, I can say that because God definitely had His hand in this past weekend.
Imagine over 1500 middle school students coming together in one place for the sole purpose of worshiping God. Intense - yes! Awe-inspiring - yes! The fact that I got to take part of something so monumental, I am just blessed by the opportunity.
The topic for the weekend was Romans 12:2
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Tough to do any age, but especially tough in middle school. So much of our identity is truly built during these formidable years. What our friends, family, the world around us have to say about us will remain with us for the rest of our lives. The good, the bad, & the ugly.
The labels my girls internalize were heartbreaking. Most of these words they've heard from their own parents. Stupid, unwanted, unplanned, untalented, ugly, thunder thighs. Parents - we have a moral obligation to BUILD our children up, not tear them down. The words that we say, even in jest, cut to the core of our most prized blessings - robbing them of the joy of truly being loved. I, too, am guilty.
Thankfully, 1500 students got to hear just how much God loves them and what amazing plans He has for them. That God's plan for them is good, pleasing & perfect. That by focusing on how GOD labels them, they will be able to fight the negativity.
This weekend gave me the opportunity to share just a little bit of my story with my girls. I wanted to let them know that I can understand what they are going through. That the choices they make today can & will impact them. That listening to the negative labels can be detrimental. I felt like I was really able to connect with them. Some took what was said to heart. Others just heard a story. Either way, I shared what God nudged me to share and walked away from a truly wonderful weekend with 12 amazing teen girls.
I have been blessed with the opportunity to be a part of these girls' lives. Some I've known for 3 years, others for just the weekend. But I walk away from the weekend knowing that I was exactly where God wanted & needed me to be.
Let God be your label maker.....
*** bible verse taken from Biblegateway.com