WHEW! It's Friday morning and I am READY for a rest this weekend! I was up LATE last night because I couldn't sleep. My body was tired but my mind was racing with ideas, my sermon for this weekend, Ntokozo, Kieren, ministry, friends, things to do....... I could not shut it off. I use to have this problem all the time but really had been able to rest well in the past months, so I realized this morning that I am NOT doing a good job with balancing everything. There has been TONS going on, but throw Ntokozo in the mix and that adds a whole 'nother level to everything. Part of it is that I am preparing for a sermon for this weekend on parenting and I am really going to invite our church to enter into the brokenness of our youth and teens in Ocean View with Christ's heart. Living with Ntokozo, I am getting a glimpse not only into her world, but also into the teenage world of Ocean View and Masipumalele (a black township down the road, and many of it's teens go to Ocean View High). It is a HARD world for a teenager around here; full of violence, sex, and drugs and I am learning about it as Ntokozo shares about it. In some ways she really keeps away from it; she is an outsider from another part of Durban and very shy. HOWEVER, she is also a teen mom herself, and so OBVIOUSLY she is not completely naive. Brokenness is something that Lucinda Dooley preached about at Hillsong last week and it's something that happens to us but can also be something we chose. The brokenness of the youth in Ocean View is so painful and foreign to many Christians that they just stand at a distance and judge and keep them away as much as possible. But to choose to enter into their brokenness, knowing that their 'naughty' acts are only a symptom of something much deeper that is hurt and broken, is a hard thing, and feeling it this week it is threatening to break me for sure. It's just a hard world, and it challenges the power and truth of Christ. But I know God sees these teens and weeps and longs to enter into their lives, if only we would reach out to them, and be His hands and feet. So that is the mandate, the prayer, the urging, to our church, and it's one I am walking alongside them in. Casey and I have been meeting with youth pastors in Ocean View and had a big braai on Wednesday to start having a monthly gathering for all the youth ministries in the View. It's going to be cool; I am excited and terrified and exhausted all at the same time. And then there is Ntokozo, in my own home. We laugh and talk and make chit-chat, but so easily something heavy and difficult comes up in our conversations, and I must choose to enter in. I am seeing God begin to redeem and heal her, but the brokenness still there can be overwhelming. So pray we will continue to step in, choose to walk with her in her pain, and pray that God brings this experience out in my sermon this weekend - if I make it :)
Thankful, tired, and still loving life. Wouldn't have it any other way.