The other day I went to hang out and swim with a group of teen girls from a local childrens home. There was about 11 girls in all from ages 12-16. Even though I only spent a couple hours with them, I got attached to them. Though I am a youth pastors wife, whenever I hang with teen girls I still get nervous. Life is so complicated for a young woman. You have pressure from every angle and there’s no safe place except home.. but these girls didn’t even have that. They either got sent to that shelter by the court, they went there because the foster system is full, or they got in trouble with the law.
There was this one girl in particular that I met today named Jamie. She was almost 15, and had such a joyful spirit! In the midst of whatever circumstances placed her there, she seemed upbeat and happy. I was shocked when she told me that she used to lived on Foster Chapel road before being sent there… it was the same road I spent half of my childhood on??! How can someone so beautiful and happy and so close to my home end up there? How many other people around have gone through something and me not know? I get so caught up in my own little world that I don’t see other people as souls. Compassion is so rare and much needed. I wished I could have stayed longer just to watch the girls have fun and so I could try to fit all their names with their faces. But I do pray that God showers them each with His love and opens their eyes to know how much they are worth.
I hope this story reminds you to pray for those around you. And to pray that God changes your outlook on life. To help you look beyond what you can see to what only He can.
I dont know what God is trying to teach me through that day. Maybe it’s gratefulness, maybe it’s to bring me back to earth and show me how each person is a soul. Maybe it’s to soften my heart. I don’t know. I might not know for awhile.. but it has made me rethink not only my life but also the lives of those around me.