Just two weeks ago I sat at my desk and finished typing these words for the 2020 Step to Change Retreat:
"Resilient: able to withstand or recover quickly from difficult conditions; strong, adaptable, flexible."
I wondered about resilience; the word God laid on my heart to give focus to our time together. "Is this the right way to go? How do I express the importance of being flexible in the coming adolescent years of change to these kids and parents? God, show me. Give me your words for this time for this group… for me!"
It seemed important. I knew I was in a spiritual battle due to the tears, anxiety, doubt, and fear that nearly overwhelmed my heart and mind in the days leading up to our weekend.
March 6-8, 4th-5th graders and parents spent the weekend discovering more about each other, experiencing challenges, facing fears, laughing, cooking, playing hilarious games, reading Scripture, writing and reading letters, looking for times we were resilient in life together.
Today, as I type this, I sit at home, stunned at how God certainly used the word resilience to prepare us for our current “difficult condition.” I commit to pray for families and especially the kids, as Paul wrote: “Rejoice in the LORD always; again I will say, rejoice…The LORD is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Phil 4:6-7).
Kids probably will not remember much of what I said about change, resilience, and development at the retreat, but I pray they will remember how they felt in community. And likewise, the kids will remember more about how they feel during this pandemic than what we say. We are in a spiritual battle and we choose the focus of our minds and hearts. This will not be easy. But it is an opportunity to become more resilient by trusting Jesus to guard our hearts and minds. I will be in touch with families in the days ahead. We will continue to move together into the remarkable love of Jesus Christ.
Here are a few questions to consider and/or discuss with your family or connection group:
- How have you experienced the need for resilience in recent days with your family?
- Can you choose to surrender anxiety and make your frustrations/fears known to God?
- Do you sense your anxiety or joy growing? Who sees it?