Rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep. Romans12:15
We find it easy to talk about our successes , our achievements but of our pain, no. Why not, you might be asking ? It is not that we do not want to share . When we open up and share, we do not present you with a trophy of achievement or a certificate of accomplishment, we present you with a wound ,a pain that has infiltrated our heart , soul and mind.
Successes, achievements and accomplishments need to be celebrated. We acquire knowledge and skills that leads to our successful achievements and we call on those closed to us to celebrate with us.
The pain that many of us carry was given to us. What criteria was used to admit yes she qualifies for this reward : pain. Is it something to be celebrated ?
Characteristic of the landscape of the world and communities is violence, poverty,suffering, pain ,single parenthood ,fatherlessness and teenage parents.
I never thought i would see this day in the church. Teenage girls and guys, who have grown up without a Dad, were well prepared to share with the church their personal experience. But they could not . Not because they did not want to. They were going to share with the church their pain.
Successes and accomplishments stir up emotions of happiness and joyfulness which we share joyfully.On the contrary pain create emotions of sadness,hopelessness and tears.
The overwhelming emotions associated with the pain made it impossible for them to share. They just stood there and cry.
The church saw their tears but did not hear their story and their pain. What i saw was youth workers standing up to support these young people . Their presence speaks of hope.
My training ground has been my home. After my husband death , i as a widow, a sole parent had to care for my two daughters in the absence of their Dad. I have personal experience as a child of God of the pain, the tears and desires of my young girls as they made the transition from teenage to young adulthood. I witness how the following affected them:
- Adults and their peers in the church avoided them
- The telephone stop ringing.
- Nobody came to visit
- Nobody ask them ” how are you doing”
- Those who did speak to them said hurtful things.
The result they stopped attending church. But today they are young adults and for the grace of God they have kept the faith but are lost to the
Are the church ” God people” ready to take care of this vulnerable group of young people or must the church be left alone to rejoice only with those who rejoice? Is the question.
Supporting a young person who is entering into the adult world without a Dad , does not mean you can apply a bandaid strip to their sore and walk away. From personal experience it requires of you to:
- Ask God daily to equip you for this calling and this task
- Show up . Support and encouraging these young people requires you to go and pray with them and not just say i will pray for you.
- Sharing your time with them means you care about their spiritual health.
- I will phone the one God has entrusted into my care, not only send a whatsapp message
- I will go and visit them and invite them to my house.
- Share God’s word with them not what i think they need to hear.
My journey with my daughters has not been easy but it has been possible. Knowing who i am in Christ has equipped me for this God given task:
I am a Child of the Living God. Romans8:16,17
I am a daughter of the King . Galations4:7
I am a Receiver of God’s grace every day. My grace is sufficient for you, God said to me, for my power is made perfect in your weakness. 2 Corinthians 12:9
The challenge we as God’s children are facing is, are we willing and available to God to use us. In Psalm 68:5 God’s word says i will be a Father to the Fatherless. Are we prepared to allow God to use us to accomplish his purpose.