A little encouragement for your day.

Today I met with two people, because that is part of my life. During those very real conversations, I was reminded how grateful I am to be where I'm at, I am so grateful to Jesus.

I am grateful to be in the lives of so many young girls. As I shared about my girls with two different people today, I teared up. I let one tear drop, but besides that, mostly just pooled wet eyes. I couldn't help but share encouraging stories because these girls are this generation. These girls {and guys} will speak into my kids' lives. These girls will be our governors and dentists and teachers and Jo Anne's employees and writers and church planters. These girls love Jesus. This is the real deal: we aren't playing youth group, we aren't playing Christian, we are living the Bible. I am tearing up thinking about them, friends.

Today, I shared about the girls. I got to encourage older ladies by telling real stories about younger girls who are sold out for Jesus. The 12-14 year aged girls who bring prayer requests like this to small group:

"This guy _____ in Science class is so mean. Every day he cusses and calls me names and is so insulting to the teacher. He writes bad words on the board. He makes fun of Jesus to my face. But I know that it is because he is so broken and doesn't know the love of Jesus Christ. I know that he doesnt realize how loved and valuable he is. So, I want to pray that I can have patience with him and that he would experience Jesus for real and be saved."

I sit staring at my computer screen, in awe. Every week for the last 3 years, I have witnessed these girls carry this heart.

1 Timothy 4:12 Don’t let anyone think less of you because you are young. Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity.

Did you know they are on fire to fight human sex slavery? I mean real life sex slavery in our neighborhoods. We had Liz from House of Engedi visit our youth group to share about it (read that post here). Since that time, we had 4 girls do research projects for their 8th grade Mock Congress on Human Trafficking. We had 3 of them represented at the Opening Celebration for House of Engedi, highlighting their goals and dreams in comparison to a victim of human slavery. We had 4 of them play a part in the House's informational video, which I will post when it comes out. These girls get angry, I mean fiery angry and broken and filled with a passion to DO SOMETHING in the name of Jesus Christ to fight for these victims. These girls know how valuable they themselves are, they walk in the light of Jesus every day, facing the struggles of Middle and High School. They want to share this same light and grace with the victims of the darkest of darknesses: sex slavery. These girls are world changers. They're heroes, but not because of what they've done - they are heroes because they have experienced the transforming love of Jesus Christ and desperately want everyone else to, too; they are passionately pursuing ways to share His love.

Yes, they get excited and worked up about pigs and dogs and cats and bad grades and new clothes and all of that. But they keep their eyes on things that matter and their hearts pursue something greater than themselves: Jesus. They are all about Jesus.

When you feel discouraged about this world's future, remember these small snippets I have shared. Remember the young girls who are chasing Jesus and fighting this battle, through Jesus. Remember that 12 year olds are on mission with you and there is hope. I know there are plenty more out there than the few I know. Remember that Jesus offers more than we can comprehend. Remember that and then chase Him.

Jesus always offers hope.

Humans. They are worth investing in. Young lives. They will change this world.

I am deeply grateful for where I am right now. All glory to God the Father, who through His mighty power can accomplish infinitely more than I can ask or think. (Ephesians 3:20). That verse has been so true in the last 3 years of my life. I believe it will only get better.

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Linus Pauling 8th grade graduation

Husband + I at 8th grade graduation. Love living on mission with him.

Linus Pauling 8th grade graduation

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