I like it when kids give me stuff they make. Like this picture. Terrionna gave it to me yesterday afternoon while I was at her house visiting her family. Apparently, roosters eat popcorn kernels. Who knew?
Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve found out two 15 year old girls whose families we work with are pregnant. Both are freshmen. It’s heartbreaking. One of them I met at Rose Plaza. Unfortunately, I wasn’t suprised to find out she is pregnant. She’s been in all kinds of trouble and running with wild crowds in the 3 years I’ve known her. The other girl, who I met at the North Grand Villas, I’ve known for 5 years. I’m very close to her whole family. And that one shocked me a bit. It stung pretty badly, to be honest.
Why am I talking about a rooster picture and pregnant girls in the same post? It’s just that I pray for the little girls I work with like Terrionna. So many of them – a ridiculous percentage, actually – end up pregnant before they graduate high school. For many, they think it’s their destiny. For many, it’s a desire.
And the hard part for me is – I can’t follow our teenage girls around all the time to keep them from making stupid decisions. I can teach. I can preach. I can pray. I can talk. I can introduce them to some godly women. But I can’t stop them. And that’s tough.
Jesus told the parable of the sower and the seeds. Some land on good soil. Some don’t. I’ll stretch that a bit and compare it to popcorn kernels. I love to microwave popcorn and eat the whole bag. But the annoying thing is that not every kernel in the bag pops. There’s always a handful that don’t. They undergo the same process as the ones that heat up and pop, but nothing happens.
I have no control over it. All I can do is push the popcorn button.
Working with my kids is the same way. I have no control over the results. But I still have hope. I have hope that girls like Terrionna discover that they are valuable. That there is more to life than searching for a man (or boy) who will love them. That they have more of a future than having 5 kids with 5 different men.
My job is to introduce them to the overwhelming love of their heavenly father. Some get it and it changes their lives. Some don’t. I’m having to learn to be okay with that.