Yesterday we took Nicole to a funeral. It was the first one she’d been to after the PNHS teacher’s (which was more of an event than a funeral). We took her along for many reasons, the largest being it was going to storm and I didn’t want her at home alone.
The funeral was for a long time friend who passed away, and we knew there would be a number of people there that we hadn’t seen in a very long time and it was true. Also most (if not all) of those people knew Nic before she even arrived on the planet and probably held her, talked to her and played with her while I was on staff at Community.
After that we headed to our church for a Community 4:12 event. Tony and I wanted to get back connected to Giftmart and felt that this was an easy way to go in and sign up. What we didn’t expect to happen was the connection we would make with a single ministry.
360 Youth Services is an orgnaization that helps teens and young adults navigate life. But they also help LGBT teens! This is something that for both Nic and myself is near and dear to our hearts. For me (and probably for Nic) it’s because we have so many friends who fit into this group. AND for many of them they’ve struggled with who they are over their life. When we heard that this is the one of the largest homeless populations as well I know both of us were very surprised.
I am not sure how we are going to get involved in this organization but I know we will. This morning as I was reflecting on this, the following verse came to mind Proverbs
22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go,
And when he is old he will not depart from it.
I know both Tony and myself want our kids to grow up to be accepting, loving, understanding people and after watching all of them, I can say we’ve been pretty successful.
I am looking forward to how Nic and I will fit into this organization and what we can offer. The person we spoke with said that we should talk about what our family brings and then sit down with them and say here is what we have. The one thing I can say our family brings is acceptance. Acceptance for who you are, acceptance that life hasn’t been easy for you, and acceptance that you matter to us and to God. It breaks my heart to hear that parents are throwing their children on the streets because they are different or don’t fit a mold of what ‘we’ expect them to be. This simply can’t be what God expects, it just can’t.
So we’ll be praying for what our next steps will be… I can’t say for sure what they will be and if they will be anything but this definitely feels like it has the hand of God in it.