"No one gets left behind" is my thoughts when I am praying for the young adults that grew up in the church I am attending. Actually, it is my prayer for any young adult who grew up in the Church and have decided to journey through the secular world. Probably that sounds literal to others especially because some have chosen to live an extreme lifestyle according to our thoughts but to God...they are worth the prayers and encouragement.
This past Wednesday night, I had a discussion with the girls I teach and we were discussing about the graduated youth who are now young adults and no longer attending church or serving God. There was also the discussion about Facebook and thoughts of what we see/read. Granted, some of the things posted is mind-boggling but that is what they have chosen and all we can do is keep them in prayer. One of the girls remarked how some have chosen to remove them from their list because the youth / young adults post things that are filled with either swearing, drama, or something ridiculous that we as Christians do not take part of. However, I admonished and shared that is any individual's choice to remove them from their friend's list because it is their accountability on what they see or read. One of the girls remarked how my son had been removed from a person's friend list because he was swearing and I already knew that he was removed and that is the choice of others who they want on their list or not.
Now, how can I put this without yanking up someone's underwear and go defensive? I can't but I will go on and say...there was a chance...an opportunity for that wayward individual(s) to read Godly posts that will hopefully put a check in their heart and remind them how much God loves them but now it is a missed opportunity because it confirms according to the thinking of the youth/young adult that everything is conditional and they cannot meet the high expectations.
Granted, they know what they learned in Church but we have to remember that they were coming on their parent's salvation. Not their own personal relationship with Jesus. So, what do we do as their former Sunday School or Youth Teachers? Pray for them from afar?
Well, let me share MY conviction and what God has laid on my heart...I knew these youth who are now young adults and I love them still no matter what... My heart and prayer is still for them to rise up and be the person God has called them to be. And I will not remove them. These youth/young adults will have to remove me first.
Because my prayer is that whatever I post through Scriptures or encouragement or when I check-in at church will catch their eye one day and they'll remember...and that God will use that opportunity to pierce their heart with a love they feel that will bring them to their knees crying out to Him and loving Him in their OWN personal relationship with Him...knowing that despite where they have gone that there is a way back to God before it is eternally too late.
Sounds very dramatic, doesn't it? But, it's not. In this day and age, we have resources at that tip of our fingers to reach out to those who have decided to turn their back on God to show that no matter how far they run...God is always there...and that no matter what they have done...God loves them still...
My husband used to be part of that crowd when he was a young adult and with the prayers...the running into individuals who was still serving the Lord that just showed love..unconditional love...left a door open for him to give his heart back to the Lord and start serving God with a unwavering love and commitment because someone believed he was worth it...
And these youth/young adults are worth it...
Then I said, "O LORD,You have driven me from Your presence. Yet I will look once more toward Your holy Temple. I sank beneath the waves, and the waters closed over me. Seaweed wrapped itself around my head. I sank down to the very roots of the mountains. I was imprisoned in the earth, whose gates lock shut forever. But You, O LORD my God, snatched me from the jaws of death! As my life was slipping away, I remembered the Lord. And my earnest prayer went out to You in Your holy Temple. Those who worship false gods turn their backs on all God's mercies. But I will offer sacrifices to You with songs of praise, and I will fulfill all my vows. For my salvation comes from the LORD alone." Jonah 2: 4-9 NLT
"Have mercy on me, O God, because of Your unfailing love. Because of Your great compassion, blot out the stain of my sins. Wash me clean from my guilt. Purify me from my sin. For I recognize my rebellion; it haunts me day and night." Psalm 51:1-3 NLT
"Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me." Psalm 51:10 NLT