Never Alone

When God brought us to our new neighborhood, He compelled us to pray for the people around us. I made it a point to spend regular, intentional time on the front porch praying for God to do great work in the lives of my neighbors.

Over two years ago, I first saw a young man across the street, and he made it on my prayer list. All I knew about him was that he couldn’t seem to get enough of being outside. He would play with friends and by himself. He’d run and wrestle with his dogs. No matter what time of day or season of year, he made use of his yard.

One day, in the spring of this young man’s eight grade year, Cody walked into the weight room at Bloomington South High School. And he met me, his future freshman football coach.

God used summer workouts as an easy opportunity for us to connect. By the time school started, he was ready to come to the fall kick-off event for Youth For Christ Campus Life. Before I knew it, he was all-in, a regular attender at the weekly YFC gatherings. By his second semester, he expressed a desire to join a small group to learn more about Jesus.

That summer, after spending a week at camp with his group leader, Scott, Cody said yes to Christ!

Cody continued coming to the weekly Campus Life gatherings, his new youth group, and even asked Scott if he could start going to church with him on Sundays. Before our eyes, God continued to grow him in His truth and grace.

Looking back on it now, it is amazing to see the things God was preparing him for in his life. The next year, Cody’s home went through a great deal of change. Almost immediately after his big brother left for college, his parents got a divorce. The best way he could articulate his struggles was “loss”. It was as if as soon as he gave his life to Jesus, almost everyone he cared about walked out of his life… but even in those moments, God’s work was apparent.

One night after a gospel presentation, Scott passed out a questionnaire, and one of the questions was, “What does it mean to have a relationship with Christ?” In spite of what one would expect from a guy going through all that he was, his response was, “It means having a family, even without one; and never being alone.” What a beautiful truth the Lord of his heart revealed to him in his trials… even in a time of darkness, Jesus is his light.

As the months have gone on, it has been challenging for Scott and I to walk with him as he navigates this new home life. But it has been so rewarding seeing him become a new creation in Christ.

And even though the view from my porch is a little different as Cody spends less time in the yard, I’m humbled and overjoyed to have been a part of such a wonderful story of the power of prayer.

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