Sunday, February 17, 2013

{day three} at the foot of the cross I lay down my inadequacies...

 Do you know what happens when you sit among teenage girls?

You catch a glimpse of your thirteen year old self in the reflection of her blue eyes and braces.  And you remember all the awkwardness and angst.

Or you see yourself,  the nervous fifteen year old, wielding her driver's permit, yet scared to leave the driveway.

Or perhaps you sneak a peek at your sixteen year old self in the glimmer of her searching, brown eyes. You know, the same sixteen year old that followed the rules, while still following the path of popularity.  And yet always feeling like you never quite fit in, not only with your friends, but even in your own skin.

And then, just as quickly as she blinks her dazzling green eyes and laughs with the care freeness of any teenager, you spy her.  Your anxious seventeen year old self.  The girl facing graduation, acting as if she knew exactly who and what she wanted to be when she grew up, yet truly she didn't have a clue.

Twenty one pairs of eyes looked upon me last Sunday.  And I saw myself in each of her eyes.  I felt the anxiety and awkwardness.  I relived the frustration of emotions you can't quite explain. I remembered the drama and uncomfortable feeling of not fitting in your own skin.  I closed my eyes, if but for a brief second, and allowed her {you know, the teenage me} to speak through me. I wanted her to know that I get it. That I know exactly what it is like to sit in her chair, whether it be at church or school or home.  That I know the unexplainable feelings and frustrations that come with being a girl in middle school. And then high school.

 I know.

  I get it.

I was her.

In many ways, I'm still her.

And against all reason, I shared with them my embarrassments and failures.  I shared with them my struggles.  And the hard way that I did life at their age.  Surprisingly, it's the same way girls are still doing life. 

Striving to fit in.  Wearing the 'right' clothes.  Making the 'good' grades. Following all the rules.  Working hard to be good. 

 Working and trying and striving and struggling.

Working hard.  Living hard. 

Grasping.  Reaching.  Hoping.

My heart beats passionately for these twenty one girls.  

And so, as I prepare for another small group study, I lay my inadequancies at the foot of the Cross.  I let go of the worry that I may not say it perfectly.  I loosen the grip fear has had on my heart. I untangle all the emotions and lies I believed at their age.  And I step aside.

I open my heart so that He can speak through me.  I ask thatHe stand in the gap between all my inadequacies, so that His power is made known.

I pray that the Spirit falls fresh on these twenty one hearts.  In a way like never before.

What inadequacies have you had to let go of among teenagers?  Did you happen to catch a glimpse of yourself in the beautiful eyes staring back at you?

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