“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
After starting off the year by beginning YoungLives parenting classes at three new high schools, adding ten new volunteer mentors, hiring two new staff members, and meeting over forty brand new teen moms, it seems only natural that this verse would be one that I cling to.
I am tired. At times even weary.
I am tired of watching the moms we work with struggle to feel loved and accepted.
I am tired of getting phone calls from girls who are in abusive relationships, and I’m even more tired of watching them return to those situations.
I am tired of seeing families struggle to keep their heads above water, and I am tired of girls and babies who have no place to call home.
I am tired of “the system,” the policies, and the feelings of helplessness to get my friends out of hard circumstances.
I am tired of the cycle of poverty, the overwhelming amount of violence and murder in their neighborhoods, and the feelings of fear that live so presently inside their hearts.
I am tired of people telling them that they will never make it as a teen mom, and I’m tired of watching them believe that about themselves.
I am tired of the number of funerals they attend and the way they carry around loss.
And I’m tired of feeling like I can’t fix teen moms, their situations, or their emotions.
I am NOT, however, tired of watching God show up in the midst of exhaustion.
I am not tired of watching a mentor be the first one called to share the news that their baby's father has finally proposed.
I am not tired of seeing teen moms graduate from high school, get their first jobs, and celebrate that first paycheck.
I am not tired of teaching a group of them how to read and understand the Bible, and I am definitely not tired of text messages telling me what they have learned on their own.
I am not tired of hearing outsiders call them “amazing mothers,” and hearing the girls acknowledge that truth about themselves, as well.
I am not tired of taking them to church and seeing a congregation so very different from them, love them so well.
I am not tired of their laughter, their crazy dance moves, or when they sing worship music (or Adele) at the top of their lungs.
I am not tired of telling them I love them and hearing them return those words and mean it.
I am not tired of the energy and perseverance God continues to equip me with as I run hard after these precious teen moms and their babies.
And lastly, I am not tired of being surrounded by an abundance of love and support from the community of people involved with Nashville YoungLives.
Written by Lindsey Hearington.