Lately, I have been taking extreme pleasure in reconnecting with old friends from my younger years . Networks such as Facebook and Blogger have given me a time warp back to the days when I was a punky kid to a teenager and college student trying to figure things out.
There have been times when I have looked back and have regretted not keeping in better contact with those people that had walked through my life and burned memories in my heart.
So, the past few months have been exhilarating chatting up with elementary school buddies that I haven't heard from in probably 20 years.
But probably the most profound people I have cherished "seeing again" are a few young people that over the past 15-20 years I have thought of often and at times I have called out to God in prayer for.
In high school, my faith sprouted up quickly and instantly went into service mode. I was blessed to be at a vibrant church that had so many opportunities for young people to serve in different ways. So when I graduated high school, I took a huge leap of faith and joined the Jr. High Staff at our church, which then led to a year on High School staff. Through those years, I had the privilege of "hanging out" with some of the most incredible Jr. High & High School girls ever. As staff, I led small groups, had sleep overs, did a lot of toilet papering and took on being a counselor several times for a week at Hume Lake.
I loved it....and I loved those girls. Watching them grow up and learn and question and fail and get back up was the best lesson in faith for me. There were times when I would be sitting with some of them and I would glance at them.....and not see the hormone infested body of a teenage girl....but the beautiful woman that God was molding them to be....and I would often be left in awe.
I remember having "my group of girls"......but my awe always extended farther to other kids that weren't in my small group.
I look back now and think I probably wasn't the best "role model" for the girls. I sometimes think I did more harm then good.....but then there are times when I hope that at least they felt loved....at least they felt accepted in a time in their lives where acceptance and love don't seem to be given out unconditionally.
I say all this, because in reconnecting with some of these people.....it brings about emotions of .....
I don't know...pride?....joy?.....I don't know....it's hard to explain.
The best description I can give is it's like a mother watching her children growing up and seeing the possibility and the potential in your child come into bloom as their child becomes an adult, gets married and has their own children.
But they aren't my children.....they are someone else's and they ultimately belong to God.
Today I read a blog of a girl that used to be in my small group.....and I sat there and cried ...just filled with joy in seeing beauty come into full bloom.
That's what I do.....I see their pictures on facebook and get to peek into their grown up lives and I get all teary.
So although I may not see them, hang out with them, or even talk to them.....I value them and love them......and am so pleased that in their grown- up lives they have still held onto the Hope that was created in them long ago.