They’re often overlooked in society. And when they’re noticed, they’re looked down upon. The high school dropouts. The immigrants. Teen parents. I hang out with young people like this more than once a week. I listen to them. I pray for their struggles. I hear their hearts.
What do their hearts say?
I’ve been abandoned. Most of the young people in the inner city are lucky to have one parent in their life. I only know of a few who have two. Parents are dead or in jail. Or they’ve simply walked away. Just last week—through tears—a young woman shared how her mom sent her away to live with her boyfriend, at age sixteen, because her mom was starting a new family with a new husband. And when I chatted with a friend who lived homeless for many years, he shared how he lost everything and everyone after having a mental breakdown.
I’ve been mistreated. They’ve been abused, neglected, and molested. They’ve been pushed down so many times they wonder if they can get up. They’ve been told they are worthless, sometimes with words. It’s just assumed by society that their lives won’t amount to anything. People who were supposed to love them hurt them. They find it hard to trust.
I’ve been told I’ll never amount to anything. No one expects much to change. No one encourages them to dream bigger or to dream at all. How their parents lived is how they’ll live—with the same daily struggles and addictions. Why even try?
What I tell them:
God chose you. God has always been with you, and He will always be with you. God loves you more than you can imagine. He has a good plan for your life.
God wants to heal you. He didn’t cause evil to happen to you, but He knows how the sin of others impacted you. He’s cried with you. He’s captured every one of your tears in a bottle. He wants to take your life and make something beautiful out of it. He wants to bandage your wounds and bring healing to your life. He sees worth in you. He sees you as priceless, and He desires to do more for you than you will ever ask or imagine.
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