As I sit on the couch popping saltine crackers, home from work today feeling nasty, I'm reflecting on a fun evening spent with Jim and Amanda and their kiddos. I immediately feel grateful for the kids in our lives. I couldn't possibly list them because I would leave some out. Our boys refer to them as "the big kids", the kids involved in our youth ministry over the years. They all line the walls of my heart; they still fill the pages of my prayer journals. Somehow they are becoming grown ups and getting married and having kids, but we will always think of them as "the big kids". They live in all parts of the country and even the world. My heart feels glad any time we get to connect with one of them.
I love thinking about the youth ministry interns Tim had over the years. Three of them are now youth ministers right around us (Don is faithfully loving on and building up kids at Bell Ridge, Nathan...we LOVE that he is showing Jesus to kids at FCC, and Jim and his wife Amanda have just arrived at Maryland). JB passionately ministers to and with kids in Owensboro, and Isaac, along with his wife, Maggie, is pushing back the darkness in Missouri. Julia is shining her light in Indy. Sara (ok, she was technically the children's intern, but I couldn't leave her out!) is building the kingdom with Andrew in Louisville.
Jim was the youth ministry intern a LOT of summers ago. From this picture (Jim is in the back row on the right), I think it was 2003 or 2004? Life's beautiful circle has made its way around, and Jim will now be our boys' youth minister. In fact, our Isaac (the little guy Tim is holding in the picture) was in our living room entertaining Jim and Amanda's toddler just last night.
How could we have known when we took that picture? We had no idea of the twists and turns. We couldn't have guessed where life would take us all. God had it all in mind even then. He went before us to prepare the way. He walked through it all with each of us. He is good. He is faithful. He is in charge. I adore him, and I'm thankful for the beautiful circles he makes in our lives.