The month was full of conversations with students that sounded like this: “I just don’t know if God hears me. Sometimes I don’t even know if He is real.” This is going to sound strange, but these conversations have been so precious and dear to my heart. It shows me that these treasured teens are willing to ask questions. They are seeking after truth, and they are seeking to know God. He promises in Jeremiah 29:13 that when we seek Him, we will find Him!

One of these conversations happened the first weekend of February, when we took about 25 Jr. High and High School students to a weekend event called Acquire the Fire. The weekend was full of rockin’ concerts, truth-filled sessions that challenged the teens to stand firm and commit to being true disciples of Christ, and lots of time to simply worship our Lord together. Inbetween some of the sessions on the second day, I had a conversation with one of my Jr. High girls that started off with the exact words quoted above: “I just don’t know if God ever hears me. I don’t even know if He is real.” She went on to tell me that she had been praying for a sign that God was real and she hadn’t seen Him revealed in her life yet. She was losing hope.

As the next session began, we sat on the floor of the hallway outside of the auditorium and talked about the majesty of God, the fact that He created her and desires a specific relationship with her that will look different than the relationship God has with her parents, with me, and with anyone else around her. We talked about Scripture where God promises that He is always with us and will never leave us or forsake us. We talked about how God is so big that He can hold all of time in His mighty hands, yet He loves us so much that He chooses to be in every moment with each of us. He knows the thoughts of our hearts before we do. After talking about these things and more, this beloved daughter of God looked at me and said, “So, I guess I shouldn’t give up hope then, right?” Oh no, dear child. There is always hope.

After the final session, she ran to me overflowing with joy and said “He showed up! God showed Himself!” During that final session, when the teens were challenged to commit to being true disciples of Christ, she knew she had to stand up, but she had been struggling with months of leg pain after a surgery and slow recovery and didn’t think she could stand. All of the sudden, her leg stopped hurting completely (for the first time since before her surgery), and she could stand in that moment, committing to truly follow Christmaking the choice to believe that He is who He says He is. For God knows the plans He has for this daughter of His- plans for good and not for evil, to give her a future and a hope. She called to Him and prayed to Him and He heard her. She sought Him with her whole heart and she found Him. (Paraphrased from Jeremiah 29:11-13) Her journey is not even close to being over yet- she still has many things to learn about who God is and who she is as a child of God. But God is pursuing her heart and she is responding! Dear friends, do not give up hope. The Creator and Lord of everything knows the plans He has for you- plans for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. When you call to Him and pray to Him,

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