recently, one of my best friends from tampa asked me to join her prayer committee for her youth ministry at her church. she is amazing at her job and has such a heart for middle school and high school kids. it has been so exciting to pray for the ministry and see what God is doing in the community and the lives of these youth. my biggest prayer has been for the "veil to be lifted", meaning that these teens would see and experience God's love fully. i can remember being so confused when it came to my faith during middle school and high school. i grew up knowing about Jesus, but never really understanding why He was so important. i can still remember hearing the Gospel for the first time and not knowing that what i was experiencing was actually the Gospel.
even after i had realized i was broken and accepted Jesus as my Savior, my faith was so hazy and like a veil. i am thankful that the Lord has revealed Himself to me throughout my life thus far (and i don't even want to think about what i would be like without Him!) and i can only hope and pray that for those who are searching continue.
i recently finished the sequel to The Swan House, The Dwelling Place by Elizabeth Musser. both books capture the beauty and raw emotions and questions of people searching for God. i highly recommend both books. they are so well written and such great stories about an Atlanta family during the 1960s and then present. reading these stories recently has only fueled my desire and excitement for these youth that i am praying for.
i can still remember memorizing my first Bible verse (and not knowing what the numbers and the colon meant) : "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future" Jeremiah 29:11
when i was first learning this verse, i never went further to see what the next few verses said, AND THEY ARE SO GOOD! they really speak to this idea of searching and wanting to know God: "Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart" Jeremiah 29:12-13 ah, so great! what a wonderful promise from God. He wants us to know Him just like He knows us.
so, do you know that you are dearly loved? on my way home for work today, i was listening to one of my favorite worship songs, "Dearly Loved" by Jimmy Needham (which led me to blog about this). that song always takes me back to the days that i didn't know Jesus and it is always a good reminder of how blessed i am just to be loved by Jesus.