Joy… finding the beauty in the ashes

6 So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you have to endure many trials for a little while. 7 These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.

1 Peter 1:6-7

I love our youth group. Jacob and I think of them as our children… for real… we have 60+ kids! CRAZY, I know! I absolutely adore the girls who are involved in Bible Study.  They are so precious to me. I pray continuously for them and I think it’s a glimpse of the love my mom feels for me. It’s insane!

Our Bible study group is on the journey of life together.  Sometimes that is exciting and carefree and full of giggles.  I LOVE THAT! Sometimes it is heart-breaking. Sometimes we just have to cry together. Sometimes it’s not fun and it seems unfair. Sometimes, listening to their hearts and their stories and seeing their tears, makes me cry, scream, pray harder than ever, and/or stand in awe.

I love life with them, but more important I love life with you, Jesus. You have promised in Your Word, and I know it’s true, that WONDERFUL JOY awaits us and that these trails, although they suck now, will refine these girls into women whose faith and love for you is pure, is lovely, and is good.  I pray that at the end of the things these girls are going through, some I cannot fathom, that they will still know YOU ARE GOOD. YOU ARE WORTH IT! You turn ashes in beauty. You turn mourning into dancing. You are not a God of confusion, but a God of peace and clarity.  You will replace weeping with worshiping.  You are good. You have plans for them. You have planned a future of hope for each of them. You will be with them.

This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. 
Joshua 1:9

Give them JOY, give them STRENGTH (but let them break down), give them HOPE, give them the ability to FORGIVE, give them YOU! We are trusting in you.

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