Life Update - Rachel
|Clothes shopping at Value Village|
It has been one year since I started working for Youth Unlimited Langley. Working with teenagers means experiencing the world through their eyes. Many days are filled with a multitude of ups and downs and it can be difficult for them to cope. As they come to me for help and care it creates in me the necessity to have a life that maintains my own balance. To function best in my job, my life must be peaceful. The risk is that I try to take on the pain of my young friends, but I realize that my effort alone will not help them heal. I want to see them transformed through the peace and strength of Jesus, the way I have been. Christ has been a pillar for me to lean on in times of distress and my peace comes from him alone. No matter the outer situation I am facing I am able to remain stable because his steadfastness and strength are always enduring. Many of these youth feel alone and the idea of God is very far away and foreign to them. In these times, the peace that I experience and share with them may be the first experience they will have of Christ.
You never quite know what to expect when you get random text messages from students. Michelle and I had talked about Christianity and faith only a couple of times. Michelle was feeling pretty down one morning due to a fight with her father and nothing to keep her going so she decided to pray. “God, I need you to show me you are real, not tomorrow or a month from now but right now. You have all the time in the world but I don’t.” Hours later, while at work, a man approached her with a stuffed dog. He said to her, “someone told me you needed cheering up today “. She asked who had told him that, to which he replied, “God did”. He gave her the stuffed dog and offered up his name, which happened to be Jeremiah. She thanked him and the man left.
Michelle messaged me about this, sharing how shocked she was that this happened. She had researched the name Jeremiah and found the following definition; “Jeremiah was set aside before birth to take a message to the nations, urging a change of heart and turning to the one true God. His message still applies”. The following is the unfiltered text message I received from her, “DOOOD. MAKES TOTAL SENSE. LIKE, I BELIEVE IN GOD BUT SOMETIMES IM NOT INVESTED, BUT THEN I DON’T EVEN THO THERE’S SIGNS FOR ME, BUT I GUESS YOU CAN SAY IM A FALLEN CHRISTIAN? BUT HOMES. THIS IS CRAZY…”. I hope that this story encourages you about the work that God is doing in these youths lives. Further, I hope that we can all be encouraged to speak up for Christ when He prompts us. You never know whose life you may change with an encouragement and a stuffed animal.
And the rest…
As of a month ago I have moved into my own place. The extra freedom and responsibility has been nice. My best friend has recently moved in with me and we will add a third person in time. Living in community is a core value of mine and I have had greater joy in doing it thus far. I have also recently had the opportunity to be a part of a Gardening Club. Something about getting your hands dirty reminds me of the simple joys of life. I now have the opportunity to do that and it has added richly to my life. Life is, honestly, really awesome right now.
- Rachel Tapp