"If People Knew You Like I Do"
“Do you actually like hanging out with me?
“Yeah I do, T”
“Do you think I’m annoying and weird like everyone else?”
“No I don’t. I think if other people just understood and knew you like I do, they wouldn’t find you annoying…oh, and as long as you don’t forget to take your pills - we both know how that goes, haha.”
This school year looks different, but I’m glad I get to see this guy just about every day.
I mentioned this in a newsletter this past year - but for this young man, getting him away from the influence of others at the exact time of lockdown was a gift from God. He’s someone I’ve spent a lot of time with, had to have many heads-up conversations with school staff about, and I honestly just had more safety concerns with him than I have had with most teens. This time last year he was diving into situations with peers and friends that were ending either violently or very very poorly, and knowing and caring about this guy since end of grade 7, yeah, I was getting worried about the influence of others on him. It’s been just over a year since our community lost another young man in a similar way up at the skate park.
But now? Things have settled down for T- big time. For him and his safety; I’m so glad.
I’m grateful for the problems that we get to talk about now: His loneliness, family dynamics, COVID, school, sick loved ones. The gratefulness bit admittedly sounds funny, but it is true. When we’re looking at the holistic health of someone, these bigger things have to get taken care of first before the inner work starts. It’s all a part of the reality of being consistent in the mess of life with someone.
I’m grateful that I get to do it; it’s an honour to be included. We are still having to adapt and change how that looks, so in addition to school, we’re leaning into more online programming and connections again. With the weather and household restrictions, a lot of teens, like the rest of us, just aren’t doing much. So we want to always continue being responsive to their needs as they arise.
I’m eager to start moving forward with programs and new ideas, but God continues to remind me to be patient and serve as best I can in the reality we have.
Thanks for journeying with me friends,