You are worth believing in.

you are worth believing in My dear girls and guys,

I had the unending honor of spending the evening with some of you last night. You never fail to amaze me.

Night of Prayer was last night and in all honesty, the prep for it was quite frantic feeling. But girls, and guys, as soon as our evening together began, I was flushed with this deep sense of awe. As Jake led us into worship with two intimate songs, you all gathered and sang songs of praise to our Father. And what a magnificent sight you each are! Whether you decide to sing or simply sit is up to you and I love watching you.

We then moved into a time of prayer stations, as you may very well recall. Things like writing our favorite verses on a poster board, planting seeds in soil, praying for people in our life who don't know the freedom-life Christ offers, writing out how He sees us.. and many more. Oh my soul, you kids.

prayer stations at youth group

As you may also remember, I had the complete privilege of taking over the foot washing station. I was really looking forward to this, but what I did not anticipate was the deep emotion that would actually overtake me as a whole. I was not prepared for Jesus to dig even deeper wells of love for you within my very soul. It began with my first contestant, Brenden. I could not help but tell him of Loren and my deep and real love for him. That we ache to reveal Jesus to him and that we are here on this earth to serve him as long as we are in this city. Have you ever experienced your eyes burning, trying to not open the floodgates of tear drops? That is what was happening every 2 seconds. I was ready to unleash Multnomah Falls upon your feet. As each of you allowed me to wash your beautiful feet, my heart exploded with joy and honor. I felt as though I was in the seat of honor. You may not even realize the depths of thanksgiving I experienced. It could have been selfish, the amount of joy I was being overtaken with. As each of you came, spent a moment with me at this station, and left to the next, I prayed for you. I prayed for your now, for your current life and for your future. I asked Jesus to love you so radically (which He already does) that you have no other choice but to fall madly in love with Him.

foot washing station

My kids, that are not kids and are not even mine, I believe in you. I care for you. I believe in each of you in very individual ways. My heart seems to be hallowed out and filled with love for you.

It hit me, as it usually does, that my heart for you does not even compare to Christ's love for you. That the only reason and the only way I am able to see you with these eyes is because of Jesus Himself. That His heart and His love for you is much deeper, much wider, much more. His love is sacrificial, selfless, saving, and offers freedom. This freedom-life He offers doesn't promise to be painless, but He promises to be with us IN the pain. And that is where the peace and joy is found, while we are broken, while we ache, while we cry ourselves to sleep. Because He is there and He defines us and He places an identity of Beautiful Belovedness on us.

I love you, students. But He loves you greater. His love for you surpasses anything any human could attempt to muster.

Your hearts and prayers are inspiring.

prayers

I pray that your day is well, while you are not at school. I pray that you spend time with Him in the quiet. Praying, reading, falling madly in love with Him because He is madly in love with you. Just as you are: imperfect and beautiful.

It is an honor to be in your life. You are so worth believing in.

With all of the love this human can currently muster, with the help of Jesus, your servant leader,

Natalie Brenner