Thursday, September 22, 2011

Lessons from my 8th Graders


18 8th grade girls. They are beautiful, funny, loud, tenderhearted, honest, loud, serious, outspoken, silly, and did I mention loud? :)

Two leaders sit with them and we talk about the word beautiful. We ALL share our funny quirks. (Like counting the number of strokes of deodorant we put on) We talk quite frankly about struggles and I am amazed.

Amazed at their honesty. Not many adult women would sit in a room with 18 other ladies and share their personal struggles with the word beautiful.

They remind me of myself at that age. More than ever I feel the urgency to pour truth into them. We want them to not just "know" they are precious, we want them to BELIEVE it and walk in that. We want them to know how valuable they are and that God's plan for their life is so much wilder than anything they can imagine! That His ways are best. They are not always easy, but they are the best.

Last week I asked them to read Psalm 139 and ask God for a "light-bulb" verse. They were to write that verse on a notecard and work on memorizing it. I was blown away at their response. Of those that shared their light bulb verse,(Like 14 of them!) few had the same verse. That group almost memorized all 24 verses!

I fully expected verses 1-4 to be popular and even 13 and 14...but two girls picked the tough ones. Verses 23 and 24.

Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

I was a bit shocked that two girls picked these two verses to memorize. They aren't the "feel good" verses. Nope, they are the hard ones.

They are the verses that say, "God, take your flashlight and shine it on my heart. Illuminate my motives, my ambitions, my worries, the junk that needs to go. I give you access to point them out. I am listening. Show me what does not line up with your word and show me the next step to take."

These girls were giving God free reign to point out what needed to be changed.

Brave aren't they?

They totally challenged me this week to pray the same prayer.

I can not wait to see what they teach me next week.


Leah @ Point Ministries said...

A couple of years ago that entire chapter was my memory work for the year. It is a power packed chapter to be sure. Girl, the work you are doing with those girls is creating a beautiful part of your legacy! My prayer for all young women is that they would understand that everything they do and say is part of the legacy they are leaving. Everything.

fuzzytop said...

It is amazing what you are doing for these young girls. Our girls are under such attack. Praying richest blessings on this!


ocean mommy said...

thanks sweet friends. God is doing as much work in this heart as he is in their hearts! Leah, I've thought about so much that these middle school years are so critical. I don't think I've ever felt a burden to reach this age like I do right now. Can't describe it.

jodi said...

I feel the same way about the 7th grade girls I help teach on Sunday mornings. I never knew I could feel such passion for girls I don't even know. But when i spent a week with them at camp this summer, which I honestly only did because my friend needed help and I couldn't tell her no, I just gained a heart for them. Truly God given! It's a joy!

Lisa said...

There's nothing quite like 8th grade girls. And the topic of beauty is always a tender one. I'll be preparing to speak on just that topic the end of this month to teenage girls. I'm sure God will have much for me to learn in the process.

So glad I popped in!

By His Grace,