Validation

Last Sunday we had our Student Ministries staff celebration. We have an amazing team of volunteers who serve in a variety of creative, inspirational, and courageous ways to our 12-18 year olds at Newsong. I adore watching them "love in action" and minister to our students and their families. One of the night's surprises was an 18-minute video that one of our high school girls who's also a small group leader in our middle school ministry made. Christie was actually one of girls in my first leadership group when she was in 7th-8th grade. Now, she skillfully shepherds a group of 8th grade girls with integrity [Psalm 78:72]. It's such a satisfying and rewarding picture of what 2 Timothy 2:2 envisions for us. The video Christie prepared was of countless students who were saying "thank you" to their leaders in ways that only 12-18 year olds can: Beautiful. Raw. Meaningful. Unedited. Unfiltered. Authentic.

When Mychel was saying "thank you" to me, something hit me in a new way: one of the gifts of infertility is that it's validated my ministry and personal relationship with God. Mychel was saying that she loves me because she's seen me go through really hard stuff in life and still love God. So that's validated the advice and counsel I've given to her over the years. My pain has produced validation to my words.

If I had a fairy-tale-only life, I'm not sure that my experience with Jesus would carry the same weight to the people I serve as they do now. The rubber of my faith has hit the road. The proverbial crap has hit the fan in my life, and I still believe Jesus is the best and truest thing going on. The God of Scripture has become more real in the pages of my life. For that, I am grateful for infertility.