Not Unredeemed

… living the beautiful tension between what is, and what will be …

“My Kids” – 31 Days of Truth {Day 30}

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Anyone that knows me well, knows that there is a whole group of teenagers and young adults that I affectionately call “My Kids”. The funny part is most of them are only 3-7 years younger than I! Growing up in a large family of 12 children, I’m 20 years older than my youngest sibling, and at some point in my teens I began calling the younger half of the family “the kids”. I was definitely the “second mom/sister” to them and a good part of the time I felt like they could be my own children. When I started in youth ministry the name transferred over to any teen or young adult I felt close too, lead a small group they were in – basically anyone I invested in.
“My kids” now consist of a group of young adults that the Lord has given me the honor to be apart of their lives for however long that season will last. To some I’m simply a sister, others a mentor, and all a friend. Nothing brings me more joy then to have one of them walk into my office for a chat or come and find a note from them. They bring me the most amount of joy in my life; and yet I never blog about them, probably because they are too close to my heart. A writer’s group I’m apart of had a get together this spring, and several of the ladies encouraged me to start blogging about the discipleship that I do.

It’s strange concept for me because the Lord is currently redefining for me what discipleship looks like. It used to just mean meeting one-on-one with “my girls” and digging into scripture, but it’s turning more into a lifestyle. It’s leaving my door and my heart open. It’s asking them the tough questions and holding them accountable, it’s listening to them with one ear and the Spirit with the other. And as they grow older a lot of relationship counseling.

Today one of “my girls” sat across from me and told me the Lord was calling her to be more intentional in her church about discipleship, to use the things the Lord was teaching her and more. It means we will no longer have the time for weekly meetings. We will still be in touch and I’ll keep checking in with her but tears filled my eyes as I blessed her one last time. My job here was finished, my mission complete: That He is the One I

 “proclaim, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ. To this end I strenuously contend with all the energy Christ so powerfully works in me.” Col 1:28-29

I watched her walk out of the room more mature in Christ, with a new calling and a mission of her own. But oh how I’m going to miss her. How can I be so proud of her and so sad for me? Parents tell me all the time this is how they feel. Maybe that is why I call these friends, these fellow labors of Christ “My kids”?

The thing is, I think “my kids” teach me way more than I ever teach them. They are the joy of my life. I cry as they grow and move on and take a piece of my heart with them, but it is aways worth the pain. And somehow the Lord never leaves my heart empty – He always has someone else for me to love waiting in the wings.

 
Several of “my kids” all started dating each other this fall (spring love came early this year!) and I burst with pride every time I see them making godly decisions and putting the Lord and then the other person above themselves. There is hope for this world! I echo John

I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth. 3 John 1:4

And that is my Tidbit of Truth for Today: I truly have no greater joy then to see “my kids” walking in the truth. 

The longer I walk with them, the more my heart opens to them: “my kids” become “my friends”. And for that I am incredibly grateful. I used to worry about the lines blurring between youth leader and teen, mentor and student, but in discipleship, the field levels a lot more. We are all heirs together pursing growth in Christ. They teach me and by His grace I can humbly show them my weaknesses and we learn together. Lifestyle discipleship is less about a role we fill, and more about a life we live. Discipleship is living everyday to the glory of God in front of other people and inviting them to join you on the journey.

 Discipleship is so much more than teaching, it’s living and doing life together in His name. 

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Author: notunredeemed

Jesus follower, people lover, truth scribbler. Addicted to pain (growth). Passionate about relationships, identity and the transforming power of Christ.

8 thoughts on ““My Kids” – 31 Days of Truth {Day 30}

  1. Interesting and true turning of discipleship.

    Hope you are not doing dicipleship with males, though : ). I firmly believe man should counsel and advise and disciple men. : ).

  2. So thankful for the time of discipleship we had. Love the reminder that it is a lifestyle…

  3. I would agree that Women should not disciple or mentor men on a regular basis. However their insights into matters are of great worth and women have so much insight from God from a different perspective than men. God created women to be a helpmate to men. As such they often have valuable perspectives. Remember that the old testament has prophetesses, and that had their counsel been ignored, it could have been disastrous for Israel. So although yes on a regular basis women should not necessarily disciple men I believe that the truth that women and the female friends in my life can and do impart is valuable and God given. As such I greatly respect when my female friends impart what God has been teaching them or when God gives them thoughts into a struggle I have shared or had. Life in the Christian walk is about community and fellowship. Acts 2:42 the early church had all things in common together, male, female, young, old, rich and poor….all to encourge each other to strive to honor and grow in the Christ we all serve and claim as our Lord and Saviour. We cannot do it alone but only with the support and strength of both men and women in our lives.

    • First of all I have to say Thanks to Katie – I too have “My kids” . . . and now they expand from young’ns through college age and even married ones!!! It is a joy to watch someone grow up and make the right decisions and it is a heartache when others make the wrong decisions. I will always pray for my kids and leave the door open for communication etc. I believe one of my largest callings in life is that of a diciple-maker and I see that in so many ways. Yes there are times to have one on one counseling and diving deeper into the Scripture together. There is an importance to be brutally honest, and accountable not being afraid to ask the tough questions, but more so – how are you living your life with them? So many deep questions and talks have happened while sweeping the church, working in the garden, raking leaves, cooking, or putting together a bulletin board at church. When Jesus walked with His diciples here on Earth. He didn’t just preach with them, He shopped with them, fished with them, ate with them, etc. Everything around Him was an object lesson or a reminder of the men the disciples where called to be and the purpose of the Messiah. So, take heart I think you are on a great path looking at the bigger picture of discipleship!

      Also I have to agree with Dan. There are times where God may cross your path with a young man that needs that encouragment or brutal honesty. It’s good to be prepared with an answer and its GREAT when you have a guy friend you can have step into the process. I don’t ever want any of my boys to think they can’t talk to me, when they are seeking help, and I don’t ever want them to feel that I don’t care for them by sending them away to another man. I love on em, pray for them, and walk through the transition that they might have a Godly male mentor in their lives. – Thanks Dan for using the scriptures that came to mind =)

  4. Hei,

    I partly agree with you on the community-church relationship between brothers and sisters – a wise person will learn also from the opposite sex.

    BUT… there are many dangers in this close fellowship between a man and a woman, since God designed it to be primarily for family and marriage. There are emotional attachment, relational closeness etc which are fine as long there are certain boundaries and clear limits – which for me, who am a disciple-maker, are truly very clear and indeed many. I firmy came to the conclusion there is no true deep close friendship between a man and a woman except in marriage and within family-couples of friends (where several couples are all friends).

    Besides, in the history of church and society, you don’t find this “”free interaction and fellowship”” between members of the church of the opposite sex. And I suspect this happens only when you are SINGLE. When you get married, you kind of don’t advice your males friends anymore, and you don’t spend time with them, and you don’t mentor them in any way. Isn’t it so?

    So….more to think about all these.

  5. Pingback: The Conclusion – 31 Days of Truth {Day 31} « Not Unredeemed

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