Since I posted the Love Through Hate blog, I have not been able to stop thinking about Chrysalis and the teens I encountered. I have not been able to stop thinking about how God ties everything together in His timing for His purposes.
It started when I attended the Walk to Emmaus in February of 2005. My best friend and her husband sponsored my husband and me for the retreat weekend. I don't know what to say other than it was one of the most moving and powerful experiences of my life. I absolutely fell in love with God and had one amazing experience after another. [Cindy B and Rita G ~ if you ever read this, know that I think and pray for you two so often. You were the best W2E moms I could have hoped for. :o)] That whole weekend, things were revealed to me about purpose, grace, love, and forgiveness. Things I've always found myself struggling with, no less.
One morning while the ladies were getting ready for breakfast, I found myself in a bit of a rush to get ready in time. I was combing through my hair when one of the women attending W2E turned to me and said, "You have been so much fun this weekend. You need to be working with teenagers." Another woman chimed in, "Oh yes, I can totally see her doing that!" The first responded, "I know. Wouldn't she be perfect with those teens?"
I froze. Teens? Me perfect? TEENS? I didn't blurt out what I immediately thought, which was, "Oh, thank you, but I can't stand them." I stood there in shock, smiled sheepishly, carried on a bit more of the conversation, but kept thinking to myself, "She can't be serious. If she knew the can of worms I had....."
I quickly forgot about that encounter and went on with the rest of the weekend. I wanted, so badly, to be called on to help with the next Walk To Emmaus. I wanted to go and be with those women more than anything. I never got the call. Instead, my best friend proposed I be on team at Chrysalis. And in my previous blog, you can read all about my reaction to that.....just imagine snot, sweat, and tears. Leaking salty fluids out of every body part! When we were instructed to be the salt of the earth, I don't think that's really what God had in mind, bawling in panic and fear at a friend's dining table.
I went to Chrysalis. God changed my heart. I fell in love with those teens. I laughed with them, I cried with them, I was inspired by what servants they were and how they desired to grow closer to their Savior! I wanted to adopt every one of them and just show them as much love and encouragement I could muster.
At one point during the Chrysalis weekend, I ran in to that woman from the Walk. The one who caught me while I was combing my hair, and told me I should work with teens. The one who I thought was out of her mind. She was there, she recognized me, gave me a huge hug and said, "I knew it! You're supposed to be doing this! I'm so excited my daughters are here and with you!"
Her.....daughters? Enter lump in throat. When this woman suggested I explore opportunities to work with teens, she was saying this from her heart ~ her heart that was unconditionally loving her two teenage daughters. This mother of teenagers envisioned me ministering to that age group. I started to cry. I thanked her. I asked in my heart that I could be forgiven for thinking she was crazy, and for being so belligerent in not wanting anything to do with Chrysalis.
Since moving to NoDak, I've been hungering for more opportunities to minister to teens. I've been timid in approaching our youth pastor at our current church, as they have such a good program going and I wonder, "How could I contribute to make it more? It's already fantastic!" I know, though, I need to get on that. I want to be with those teens and walk with them in their relationship with Christ. I want to tell them the story about how this crazy woman at the W2E had God speak through her, how I tried to ignore Him, and how He brought me to where I am today.
I will never forget those weekends. I will never forget Mrs. A. I will never forget her two teenage daughters. I will never forget that God knows what's best, and I have no sense in fighting Him.