Friday, November 9

a slow opening rose

i started volunteering with teen mops two years ago. when i volunteered, i figured that it would be a once in a while thing that i helped out at as needed. but that first meeting sucked me in. and so now, in the third year of helping, i'm co-leading the group.

the first two years were rough. not a lot of organization, not a lot of outside support, not a lot of volunteers, not a lot of feedback from the teen moms. it seemed like they were basically coming for the free stuff - food, diapers, baby clothes. many of them would talk through meetings, text, get up and walk out and come back ten minutes later. they would see what the food we had brought was and then leave to buy chips and coke. they would not really participate in many discussions. to be honest, by last may, i was about done.

but for some reason, i stayed. for some reason, i thought i would give it another shot.

and this year has been amazing.

we finally have a great team of plenty of volunteers. we have a childcare coordinator and enough help in the nursery. our baby store is literally overflowing with donated items. we have diapers each week.

and most importantly, we have a lot of teen moms who desperately need to hear about how Jesus loves them - and who are willing to listen. we are up to 22 girls on the roster. 22 young moms who have been coming, who participate in small groups, who help with set-up and clean-up, who pour their hearts out to us, who tell us thank you for how we are helping, who ask for Bibles so they can read them, who ask us to pray for them and their baby daddies, who are taking an active role in being better moms and making their babies lives better.

i know that serving God is not all about me (or even a little about me). i know we are asked to follow unconditionally, and often don't see the results of our work. but, every once in a while, God is gracious enough to allow us to see how we are part of His plan, how we are part of building His kingdom, and how we have helped to share His love. and that's what He has let me see this semester.

C is a young mom who joined our group last year. she has a little boy who she loves and is doing her best to be a good mom to. we know she wasn't going to school as regularly as she should and she wasn't very involved in the meetings. she didn't talk, she didn't answer questions, she would text or leave in the middle of speakers. we had some issues with her that made us question if she should be allowed to be part of the group. and honestly, i was kind of hoping she just wouldn't come back.

but she did come back. i don't know what clicked, but God did something in her life. she now gets to most meetings early to help with the store. she is the first one to offer to clean up after meetings. my co-leader goes to a teen mom group at C's high school once a month, and C is constantly talking up teen mops, saying how great it is, talking about how she is learning to pray for her son and learning how to be a better mom.

night and day.

i'm so thankful that God didn't give up on her like i would have. and i'm also humbled and thankful that he allows me to continue to be a part of his plan and to see that he doesn't give up on these girls.

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