At times like this, it's hard to remember why we've chosen such a hard norm.
Knowing that my other option was moping around the apartment, I said yes. I even got a little excited. I love counseling, particularly with teenagers. And this girl sounded a lot like me a decade ago.
As it turned out, she was exactly like me: sharp, self-aware, and trying to navigate huge traumas with the grace and wisdom of someone twice her age. We talked for three hours straight. About depression, about self-care, about God. It was one of those conversations that makes all the junk you've been through seem worth it, because you know just what to say, and thank God for that, because the girl just needs a little hope.
At the end of the conversation, as the reality of our empty apartment flooded back into my mind, I felt the Holy Spirit ask me a familiar question: "If I brought you here just for this one person and nothing else, would it be worth it?"
Not because I didn't miss my family. Not because life was easy. But because this young lady was so precious—to me and to God.
If God asked me to leave my country and my family behind to go and talk to her, then he is exactly the good shepherd he says he is in the Bible: leaving the flock of ninety-nine sheep to go after the one lost in the wilderness. He is exactly the kind of lovesick, sacrificial God who would die to be with us. And whether I am on the giving end or the receiving end of this ministry, I know that His is the kingdom I want to live in. The kingdom I want to build into.
Because it is the truest, deepest kind of love I've ever seen. The kind of love that lays down its life...even for one person.
What an amazing God we have, that he would love us in this way. And even more, that he would teach us to love each other with laid-down lives.
Oh, my friends, it is worth it.
In His love,