Sunday, May 25, 2008
Jenna from Down Under
I posted about my youngest daughters trip to Australia about two months ago, and I thought some of you might like and update. Most of her pictures are being posted on her myspace, but she is blogging at Turning Bright in the Sea.
I can hardly believe she has been gone two whole months...we get to keep in touch by a free webcam program called Skype two or three times a week. It has helped this mamma quite a bit to be able to see her as well as hear her voice. It seems like I can read my daughter better that way. She is not a big talker.
She has had an amazing time. She puts it this way, "it is really, really good, and really, really hard." She has had a few moments of homesickness, but not much. Jenna is a very social gal and has made a parcel of friends. What is blessing the socks off of me though is her growth in getting to know her God much deeper with a fuller understanding of who He is.
When I became a Christian at the age of 16, I was the first person in my family to come to know Christ. My experience after I started going to church was such that I found most young people being raised in church not very excited to be there. I was kind of horrified at that. What was wrong with these kids? They had good homes, and grew up in Sunday school. I had never had the blessings of Christian parents growing up. My folks got saved after my sister and I did. I realized down the road that most of these young people raised in church were like 2nd generations Christians and they had a hard time transferring from a faith that their parents believed into actually making it a personal commitment of their own. I prayed hard as a young person for God to help me not raise second generations Christian kids that would fall away from the Lord when they got older, but that they would come to know Jesus Christ intimately and personally for themselves. We ended up being led by God to changed churches to be able to offer our children the best opportunity to do that. Yes, for each one of our kids, we changed churches to find the right youth pastor that would connect with our kids and help them on their way to knowing God. We did all that we could to give them a great foundation as children, but when it came to being teenagers; they all had the need to make the faith of their parents their own. It has been unconventional for sure, others have not always understood. For all three of my kids it has been the right thing to do. I remember simply calling up youth pastors around the city interviewing them to find out how they were running their youth programs. Around here youth pastors don’t usually stay very long in one church, so maybe that was unique to us. I’m not advocating this for everyone else by any means; it was just what was working for us. Now as I am watching and listening to all that Jenna has been learning and all her excitement for God, I am once again assured that all three of my kids do in fact really know Him. This is turning out to be a redefining moment in Jenna's life for God. I am so happy for her and all that God has in store for this beautiful young gal. You can read for yourself her discoveries in getting to know Him more.