for Journey parents: a vision for your kids

“I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory,may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe.” -Ephesians 1:16-19a

I know there are many of you back home who are praying for me, but I just wanted to let you know that I am praying for you too. God is knitting my heart into this continent but make no mistake, my heart is still very much knit into you, my Journey family. I love you all so much and continue to pray for you.

One of the groups that God specifically laid on my heart a little over a week ago was the kids of the Journey. I’m sure you all know how much I love and care about your kids. Though it was really difficult to say goodbye to so many of you, saying goodbye to your kids was the part that absolutely broke my heart. I feel so honored and blessed that many of you have entrusted me with a role in the lives of your children over the past few years and I want you to know that I do not take that lightly. I know that your kids are the most important gift that God has entrusted to you and I am so thankful that you have allowed me to be invested in their lives. Please know that I think of and pray for them often.

As I was praying for the kids at our church the other day, I was really struck by a lot of the difficulties and hardships that many of your kids have been or are facing. I know many of you have spent countless uncertain hours in hospitals over the past few years. There have been injuries, sicknesses, surgeries, unknown physical ailments, emotional hardships and many other difficulties in the lives of your children. Many of you have been under intense worry and stress as you have had to entrust your children to doctors and experts for care. I am amazed by everything the kids at the Journey have been through. You are so brave, as parents, to continue to fight with them. I have really been blessed to see how you have all cared for each other through some really scary times.

I was praying a lot for your kids the other day and God shared some of His heart with me that I really want to share with you guys. As I was praying, I felt like God was saying that He has BIG plans for your children. I mean REALLY big plans for the kids of the Journey Church. And right now, the enemy is trying to come against so many of them and strike fear into the hearts of your families and our church as a whole to somehow discourage the calling on their lives. 

I know that as parents, your primary concern is for each of your children and so while I’m sure you are all pretty well aware of other kids in the church, perhaps it doesn’t always strike us as strange when someone else’s kid gets sick. As someone who doesn’t have kids of my own but delights so much in your kids, I feel like God has allowed me to see that there is something happening on a larger scale that is affecting many of your kids. And I don’t think it is a coincidence that these medical scares and spiritual attacks have been involving kids who are growing up together under the teaching of the Word and who are being raised to believe and live out the Truth of the Gospel.

The enemy only attacks those that he is afraid of. And just as God knows what dreams and visions He is birthing in the hearts of your most beloved kids, I think that there is an unseen enemy who knows what incredible potential your precious children have to make a huge impact for Christ.

And I think that the enemy is scared of your kids.

As I was praying for your kids, I felt like God was saying that He is raising up a generation of men and women who are really going to take the Kingdom by storm for Him – and that generation includes your children. They might seem young and powerless now to pierce the darkness of this world with light, but while I was praying for your kids and missing their toothless grins and crazy amazing energy – I was seeing boys and girls who are going to become teachers, preachers, worship leaders, and ministers of the Gospel.

The passion, energy, excitement, and love for Jesus that God is growing in your children now is HUGE, my friends. Their stories are still unfolding and right now they need your prayers and care so much because they are vulnerable and helpless on their own. But their childlike faith, their hunger for more Bible stories, and their energy and drive in this season of life is something that I believe God is going to grow and multiply in incredible ways in the years to come. 

I just want to encourage you all because I know in the face of heartache, unanswered questions, illness, and tragedy, we can be tempted to believe that God has forsaken us. But He has not. He sees each of you. He sees your marriages, your families, and your children. And He loves them SO much and is watching out for them.

I believe that God wants you to be encouraged because He not only knows the plans He has for you – but He knows the plans He has for your children. The time spent discipling them in the Word, modeling Christ for them, and teaching them about the Body of Christ now – in this season of their young lives – can have powerful ramifications. Sweet mothers and fathers, continue to trust God’s heart for your children. He is watching over them and will guard and guide them! He is laying the foundations now for them to be the leaders that I believe He is raising them up to be for their generation.

I still remember some of the Sunday School lessons I learned when I was between the ages of 5-7. I remember hearing about missionaries for the first time when I was a little bit older than that and felt stirred in some way for God at that young age. God allowed some really tough circumstances in my childhood. He allowed a lot of heartache, tragedy, and division to be a part of my life as a kid. But He never took His eyes off of me and He protected me from so much and continued to summon me to Himself. I believe with all of my heart that God will continue to lead and guide your children in the same way.

Trust His heart. I think that He has so many incredible things ahead for your sweet children! I believe that He grieves as we grieve, rejoices as we rejoice, and hopes with us – knowing that He is so worthy of all of our trust and will fill us with even more measure of hope. He is victorious. He wants to be victorious in your lives and in the lives of your children and my goodness – I think He is SO proud of you for the amazing parenting you are doing. It is a difficult job but He has entrusted these precious kids to you and will continue to use you to grow and sharpen them and point them to Him.

I love each of you SO much. I love your kids so much. And I have so much anticipation and excitement for all God is already doing through your amazing kids and all that He has yet to do. My prayer is that your hearts are encouraged, sweet friends. Your children are SO important and I think that the kids of the Journey Church are a very special group that have some amazing days ahead of them. He who called us is faithful to complete the work that He begun! May we cling to that promise. His power is made perfect in our weakness and His love and care for us are constant!

Love you all and am so thankful for each of you!

May He flood and fill you with hope, joy, peace, and perseverance as you continue to live out your calling as parents to these beautiful little world changers.

love,

-s

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