Hope in the Suffering

A few months ago my mom called me, I could hear the anxiety in her voice as she said “are you home?  I just need to talk to you when your home.”  It is when my mom asks if I am home that I know she has awful news.  I put my car in park in front of my apartment as my mom told me the doctors found a spot in my Grammie’s lung & they had fear it may be cancer.

I prayed.  I text my closest friend and he put it on his prayer chain at his church and I text my friends on the church staff and we prayed.  I prayed for God to remove the mass and for the doctors to be in SHOCK that following week at the scan.

At that next scan or maybe the next, it becomes so jumbled when your looking back.. the doctors revealed the mass was cancer, but they would do a surgery to remove it.  It seemed like no big deal almost, cancer seems scary, but removing it seemed wonderful.

We prayed.  God please let this mass be gone.  Perform a miracle, but thank you for the blessing of a hopefully easy surgery.

A few weeks later it came back they couldn’t remove it due to size so my Grammie would need radiation, but maybe not chemo.  Here is where I want to pause and share with you my real prayer.  Not the fake Facebook prayer in which zero pain is revealed, but my “yes I am a pastor, but it doesn’t change my REAL pain right now” prayer.

GOD WHERE ARE YOU?  CAN YOU EVEN HEAR ME?  I AM SO FRUSTRATED.  I AM SO SCARED.  DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA HOW MUCH MY GRAMMIE MEANS TO ME?  HOW IN THE WORLD COULD YOU NOT CURE THIS?  HOW IN THE WORLD COULD YOU NOT TAKE THIS FROM MY FAMILY?  IN WHAT WAYS AM I NOT ENOUGH FOR YOU TO HEAR MY PRAYERS?  GOD, WHERE ARE YOU?

That was my prayer.  Raw, real, sad, and scary, but that was it.  That was my prayer not just once, but multiple times that week and the week or so to follow.

We prayed. Lord no chemo please no chemo.

New results return, she needs radiation and chemo.  She may not lose her hair though!

We prayed.  God please let my Grammie keep her hair.  

My grammie lost her hair.

….I think at this point of my blog you are realizing why my previous prayer was screaming at the Lord.  I also realized a miracle wasn’t occurring, at least not yet.  I realized I had two choices.  I could be terribly mad at God, or I could keep praying (even sometimes angry prayers) and I could have hope and peace that only could come from Him.  I chose the second one.  As I changed my prayers a little, God gave me verses like this in my daily devotion (GoTandem is the best if your seeking) and in my Bible as I studied his word…

“I wait quietly before God, for my victory comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress where I will never be shaken.” Psalm 62:1-2

“I am the one who answers your prayers and cares for you.” Hosea 14:8

Slowly, but surely regardless of what the doctors say, regardless of what they continued to say I maintain a hope that surpasses all understanding.  Although if you read my story you may ask where is God, but as I awoke today and felt so heavy for my grammie and just started to get that fear again, this was my daily devotion today 5.27.17,

“I cried out to the LORD in my great trouble, and he answered me.”Jonah 2:2

Here is what I hope this blog says to you, I hope as you read this you see a pattern.  A pattern of our God who is constantly hearing your prayers, burdens, and struggles.  A pattern of love and grace.  A pattern of a child of God crying out to her God and although you cant see a mighty miracle from the outside He is constantly calming the storm within her soul.  I hope if you read, see, or hear nothing else that you can see the love of God as he speaks to me through his word.  I pray and hope that you can see a story that looks as if its hopeless and scary, but realize I have more hope and confidence than ever before.  I hope you read this and wonder, “How in the WORLD could she be so sure its going to be okay?”  That you re read the scripture God gave to me and realize even when we cant see, He is speaking, He is hearing, He is MOVING.  Here is my prayer today, it looks a little different than the one above…

Father,

Thank you for hearing my cries.  Thank you for taking my burdens.  Thank you for being my rock.  Thank you for taking care of my grammie even if her health isn’t great right now.  Thank you for every memory, every laugh, every single moment that fills my soul because you made her my grammie.  Thank you for your miracle healing that I know is upon her.  Thank you for working all things for the good of THOSE WHO LOVE YOU even if I am a little unsure what that means for us right now.  Thank you for my papa, and for showing my grammie how strong he is.  Thank you for my mom and for keeping her right where she is, in Sylvania for such a time of this for my family.  Thank you for every single blessing you are giving to us that we sometimes cant see because of this illness.  Thank you for the doctors and nurses caring for my grammie.  Thank you for calming the storm in my soul, for being my father, and for holding me in a time when I have never been more scared.  I love you God, I feel you, and I just please continue to ask for your love to surround my soul, and my grammie’s every single day in this journey.

Your daughter,

Chelsea.

Praying today you feel the Lord and the peace and joy of the spirit, even if you feel like the storm is too big.  Remember, He created it all, what is a big storm to us is a small rain cloud for him.

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Night is coming.

I started today right away in the busy.  I woke up, had to run to Gordons Food for our youth group Christmas party, hit up a quick stop at Starbucks to see my new friend who works there that I have been chatting with there and getting to know, got to the church just shy of 10am and unloaded all goods and supplies to youth room.  After, I came up to my office and instantly got carried away in the hustle of ministry.  I stopped around 11:30 and decided to get time in reading my Bible and studying God’s Word before the day got any busier and I approached John 9:1-34, Jesus Heals a Man Born Blind.  The best part is I got to verse 4 and read it over and over, then I looked over to my study Bible and read the comment, “Jesus was referring to the time between his appearance in Bethlehem and the end of time when all evangelistic opportunities will end”.  I felt a lump in my throat as I traced back my steps today, a quick but rushed hello to the people at Gordons, a simple smile and how is your day to Isagani at Starbucks (of course they had an hour line so we couldn’t chat much anyways), a very rushed walk by of the 5 men doing the carpet in the church, an even quick speed by the 3-4 men who are fixing the office heat at the church, and a quiet moment in my office before the day truly began.

One thing that has been consistent all morning = my rushed acknowledgments.

As I read those words in John chapter 9, “As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me.  Night is coming, when no one can work.  While I am in the world, I am the light of the world”, I couldn’t help but realize I do not live my daily life as if I would never be able to discuss God with one more person.  I instantly realized I had to spend time not only in prayer and the Bible, but also blogging to share with everyone I know that we are short on time.  Would it have killed me to ask the cashier at Gordons how her day was going?  Could I have sat at Starbucks and let the line go down to have a conversation with my new friend?  What if I took time to offer cookies or hot cocoa to the carpet men?  What would the men fixing the church heat have thought if I offered them water or Starbucks run?

I am not trying, in anyway, to make you think you’re not enough, BUT I think you can offer more because SO CAN I!!  I think we approach every day with a list, I don’t know one person who doesn’t think of a list in their head even if they don’t write it 100 places like some of my closest friends do.  I know that you woke up with responsibilities today and a list, but are His people on that list?  Did you carve out time today to bring Christmas cookies to the staff at Target?  What about just making time to ask the cashier how their day is?  I think you make attempts everyday to talk to God’s people, but I think you can do better.  I think your smile and hello can become a daily relationship with that person.  I think you often have God and His people on your heart, but I think you can do more.  I know you can do more.  Today, I just want you to know we don’t know the time we have left to share His love and there may not be anyone like you in your community.  You may be the only one Cheri at Taco Bell can relate to and if you don’t carve out an extra 5 minutes you could miss out on a chance to love her.

Today, this season, this month, this year, I challenge you to tell God you are ready for His divine appointments, and you are ready to make more time to have them, no matter the cost.  I know you already do this, but I challenge you to do it as if its your last week to do it.

“As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me.  Night is coming, when no one can work.”

 

 

In the Eye of the Storm.

This past week seemed to be a week that would never end.  It was full of “Chelsea, you can’t miss my game, your like my second mom”, “Chelsea, please call me back”, “Chelsea, you never slow down, your going to get sick”, “Chelsea, I am frustrated with you”, “Chelsea, I need to talk to you about these struggles”, “Chelsea, I drank this past weekend”, “Chelsea, my family lost our house”….

    These types of weeks are nothing short of typical in the life of a youth pastor, but this week more than the many that came before it I felt like I was going to absolutely explode.  During the course of my last 7 days I felt many emotions, and I want to share those emotions with you in hopes you need to read a blog post just like this and you can relate to it and know you are NOT alone!  This past week I felt less than enough, I felt helpless and maybe even a bit hopeless, I felt unworthy, I felt frustrated, I felt alone, I felt overburdened, I felt discouraged, and most of all I felt broken.

As I reflect on these feelings I want you to know that it is TOTALLY normal to feel all of these things.  If you are reading this going, “GIRL THAT IS MY LIFE” please realize you, are very normal.  In fact, I would argue if you always feel perfect and happy maybe you aren’t in a place with God that you should be, but that’s for another blog.  I will disclose to you that as my week was coming to a close and I was heading into Sunday night High School youth group I thought, “Thank you God that this week is almost over.”  I have a feeling God laughed a little and you’ll get why as I share the story of my Sunday evening.

My Sunday evening began with a phone call that we weren’t going to have dinner for our Sunday night group which was no problem because we hadn’t went out with the students in a while so I decided a night out with just me and 8 of our HS students smashing pizza would be perfect!  As we get there we had one unfortunate event after the other that I  wont disclose because I didn’t get permission from my students or their parents to share the details of a night that ended just really rough.  I will tell you after it all ended I found my stolen cell phone shattered (Thank you Trader Joe’s office staff and the man who returned it).  The point of this blog post is not all the little details that made me want to rip every piece of hair out, and quit ministry forever, my point is I survived and I think God wanted me to share this awful ending to a crazy, overwhelming week because someone else is struggling too.

You see, in the mix of the horrible things and the long nights, and those heart breaking calls, and situations I was in with students this week God was still speaking to me (even if I wanted to cut the phone lines).  As I entered the office today, took time to pray, and began reading one of my books, I was given a Bible verse, Isaiah 43:2.  This passage was meant for the nation of Israel as God was promising to protect them in their trials, but God was using this passage to remind me that every little thing was going to be just fine.  God used this short, powerful passage to remind me that as I walked through the heaviness of this storm with many broken teens that He will carry me through.  I want you to know that if you are in a place right now where you are ready to send your two weeks notice to God, I fully understand and so does He, BUT He promises to be right there with you through the painI just want you to know, if you are reading this and carrying burdens, pain, heartaches from your students/children/friends/church members, you are hurting and overwhelmed because God gave you a heart like Jesus.  You are hurting because you love the way He needs you to love.  Just know that as you hurt He is seeing your pain and hearing your prayers and He and He alone, will be with you to the depths of your burdens.

 

isaiah

I love you.  God loves you.  He will be with you always, no matter where you are, the Lord over all will be there with you.

Chelsea.

#LifeinYouthMinistry

 

10/1,000,000 reasons my mom is my hero..


Typically I share stories of my journey in ministry, but with it being the night before Mothers Day I felt inspired to just share with anyone who reads 10 reasons my mom is my hero!  My prayer is everyone who reads this can name a million & 10 reasons their mom is their hero too..

10.) My mom always has my back. 

I will never forget the moments I had boyfriends make me feel ugly, friends make me feel small, & even family make me feel stupid, my mom was always reminding me how wrong they all were.  She never hesitates to remind me of the woman God wants me to remember I am.

9.) My mom never went 50%.

I don’t even think my mom knows how to do something halfway.  From (like 7, seriously) surprise birthday parties, to Easter baskets, to celebrating good grades or a sports win my mom NEVER did anything but went 100%.  

8.) My mom enthusiastically played “Taxi Driver”.

I can’t even begin to name the activities I was involved in since the age of 11, but the list was insanely long and my mom drove me with zero complaints (we’ll mostly 0).  

7.) My mom doesn’t forget.

I am 25 years old and I can’t ever remember my mom forgetting anything, ever.  She never forgot a sports game, a uniform that needed washed, or a rehearsal I needed to be at.. She remembered it all, talk about a superhero.

6.) My mom celebrates every moment.


My mom has taught me that every moment deserves a celebration.  She celebrated grade cards, sports game wins, prom and homecoming dates, new jobs, new dreams, graduations, weight loss, and everything in between.  One time I was traveling (at age 24) for a Pastor conference and she actually gave me a “gift basket” for my 3 day trip that actually came with a “have fun” card.  Yes, my mom celebrates every single moment.

5.) My mom never just said “yes”..

It may seem weird to hear, “my mom is my hero because she never just said yes”, but truly it is one of my favorite things about her.  She would never just agree to my questions without a conversation.  She ALWAYS needed additional information, details, and of course a blood sample of the friend of which I would be staying at.  My mom never made it easy for me to be “out of her hair”.

4.) My mom always picks up the phone.

“Mom, I need you to pick me up from school I am sick”

“Mom, I forgot lunch money please come bring me some”

“Mom, I forgot my house key”

“Mom, I have no money and I need gas”

“Mom, we broke up”

“Mom, we’re getting married”

“Mom, I can’t have kids”

“Mom… I just need you”

… No matter what, I’ve never had to leave her a voicemail because she always picks up the phone.


#3.) My mom knows the “lump”..

Do you ever have stuff going on that is really getting you down and you’ve got that weird lump in your throat and you want to cry, but your holding it in because your too busy to talk about it or cry about it?  My mom can hear that lump from miles away, every…single…time.

#2.) My mom supports everything I do, literally everything.


My mom may have had moments where she thought I was crazy, but she never told me that’s how she felt.  From wanting to be a superstar, then a lawyer, then a teacher, then drop out of college to be in business, to Herbalife, to being a full time Pastor my mom has supported each and every dream.  My mom has not only always been my #1 fan, but she has always told me “if anyone can do it, you can”.

#1.) My mom has my heart.

The #1 reason my mom is my hero is because nothing (aside from God) has a larger space in my heart than her.  In almost every moment of my life (big, bad, small, fun, dumb, etc) the first person I want to call is my mom.  When people ask who my best friend is the first name I think of is hers.  When I think of someone I would die without, it’s my mom.  My mom is just angel.  There is no way to explain her except that she is the most incredible, selfless, beautiful, inspiring, and supportive woman I have ever had the incredible honor of being loved by.  The #1 reason my mom is my hero is because throughout the many years of fighting and parenting she has somehow found a place so huge in my heart I can’t describe it with words.. 

  • I love you mom, with all of my heart.

When I grow up I want to be a…

I just remember being like “what in the world am I supposed to do?” I wanted to be a teacher, but that didn’t work. Then, I wanted to be a lawyer.. That much schooling? No way. I wanted to be a SUPERSTAR, but that wasn’t a degree. I just had no idea what in the world I was supposed to do or who I was supposed to be.I remember the day I decided my major in college just wasn’t what I wanted to be (3 times).  I remember the day I realized being great in sales wasn’t what I wanted to do forever.  I remember the exact minute I realized being a General Manager really wasn’t all I wanted in life.  I remember the day I thought, “hmm being a business owner is great, why do I still feel like this shouldn’t be my career?”  What is tough is that in the life of being a 25 year old woman I see and hear people around me suffering with these exact same emotions I battled with. 
Who am I?

What am I?

When I grow up I wanna be.. Wait… I just don’t know.

  
There are hundreds of Bible verses you can use to explain that Jesus wanted us to seek Him in order to find our true purpose, but this one if by far my favorite. 

“Whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it” -Jesus

I did not discover my true purpose until I gave my life for Christ.  I say to you TRULY and genuinely that I first discovered a real relationship with God.  As I worked on that relationship, and put God first in my life as I discovered my Faith, it was then; that I discovered who I felt God calling me to become.  I remember out of nowhere one day I was sitting in a prayer meeting and my heart felt like it was on fire.. The fire was my call to become a Youth Pastor.  

*Not everyone’s call is the same or the same job, please hear my heart that your call may look different than mine*

As I explored my call into the ministry I realized I almost went my entire life writing off religion and faith to do life “my way” and to continue trying every job I could to discover my purpose.  I thank God everyday that He came to me so that I could live a life that is so full words can’t truly do it justice.

My point:  losing my life for God happened because I asked myself this question.. “What if Hell is a real place?  What if we really do have a God?”

My heart stirred to answer those questions and as I prayed for this God I didn’t believe in somehow my heart was opened & I was able to truly believe the truth.  

Stop asking the world what your purpose is.  Stop asking the world who you are supposed to be.  I promise the answers you are seeking aren’t of the world, they are of the one who created you.

When I grow up.. I want to be.. Exactly who my God created me to be in His image.

If your struggling with who you are, or who you are supposed to be in this world, let me assure you your identity is worth discovering.  As you discover who you are you discover the one who made you, and that discovery is what will give you the rest of eternity to be that person ❤️ 

#Servant #FreedominHim #LifeinHisPurpose #LifeinYouthMinistry

Jacob.

I have been feeling very convicted to share a story with you that happened during my week.  I have to start from the beginning though so bare with me.  My husband and I have never been “rich” financially,  we have built two great businesses and closed them, explored Corporate America (Tyler is still there, it was not for me), and most recently I have accepted a call I feel so strongly about in the Lord to be a Youth Pastor and I have answered that call and am currently serving the King.  My point in explaining our history is to explain that we have never had the cash flow to serve others (specifically the poor) like I would like, but that has never stopped me from my passion and purpose to serve God’s people.  You see, I have worked in countless homeless shelters and worked with the poor most of my adult life and way more in the last few years and I have realized you don’t have to have millions to serve, thank God, but I am convicted to share truth with you tonight and I am not entirely sure if everyone reading this will like it.  Then again, we serve a God who sent his one and only son to die for us and that story is one many don’t like either and I share that on a daily basis so here goes! 

“I just want to make sure we go in the daylight so it’s safer” -One mom in regards to taking her child to one of the shelters I served at.

“Maybe when he gets a little older, I feel like 11 years old is too young for him to be exposed to that” -A mom in regards to her child serving at the shelter 

“Don’t you dare pick strangers up on the side of the road, you could die” -My husband.

You see, these all have a pretty common theme.  I am NOT saying that these parents and my husband don’t have a point because they absolutely do, BUT here is where it’s time for me to speak TRUTH to you if you are reading this tonight. 

34 “Then the king will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who will receive good things from my Father. Inherit the kingdom that was prepared for you before the world began. 35 I was hungry and you gave me food to eat. I was thirsty and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger and you welcomed me. 36 I was naked and you gave me clothes to wear. I was sick and you took care of me. I was in prison and you visited me.’37 “Then those who are righteous will reply to him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you a drink? 38 When did we see you as a stranger and welcome you, or naked and give you clothes to wear? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’40 “Then the king will reply to them, ‘I assure you that when you have done it for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you have done it for me.’

Matthew 25:34-40

Theologically you cannot argue that serving isn’t something we are called to do. Mark 10:45, Phillippians 2:5-7, 2 Corinthians 4:5, Mark 9:35, Galatians 5:13, Colossians 3:23-24, I feel like you understand my point with just these verses although I could go on and on with scripture proving we are called to serve all day long, but that isn’t my only point in this post.  

Let me share with you the story of Jacob.

Last week I had just went to Old Navy and purchased a new winter coat ($15 on clearance – WIN), and then decided to stop at Family Christian (cheesy Christian TSHIRT – WIN), then I decided to head home because we had a complete white out!  The snow was insane blowing everywhere and the roads were bad within 15 minutes of the crazy snowfall!  As I started driving home I noticed a man on the side of the road walking.. His uncovered red snow covered hands covered his face and a light black jacket and light black pants covered his snow covered body as he trudged through this insane (brief, but insane) snow storm in the 13 degree weather.  I drove by, turned my heat up and all of the sudden my stomach got sick. “How dare you drive by that brother?” I got afraid like I was going crazy imagining the Lord saying that to me.  As I drove another mile I couldn’t shake that feeling.  I called my husband to tell him I could not keep driving, I had to pick this man up.  My husband got furious.. He said, “we are outside of Detroit you could be killed” as I made the (wrong) decision to hang up on him I safely informed him of where I was and that I had no choice.  I pulled my truck over to the side of the road only to see the shaking young man white as can be with snow all over his body and I unlocked my car door and said “get in”.  I felt no fear, I just felt confused.  “What are you doing?!” I asked with complete shock.  He answered, “I have been walking for a couple miles almost and waving people down but no one would stop for me, my bike tire popped leaving work and I don’t have anyone to call so I had to walk and people kept flicking me off and cursing out their car windows at me when I waved people down to try and get a ride so I just figured oh well I’ll have to walk the 2 and a half miles home”.  I proceeded to drive Jacob home to his trailer park as we discussed the church he sometimes walks to and his life in this rough time, as I dropped Jacob off I told him to please be safe and I would see him soon (trust me, this isn’t the end of our friendship).  

My story about Jacob is not to hear you tell me what a good person I am.  My story about Jacob is to hopefully OPEN OUR HEARTS, our EARS, our EYES to the need that is EVERY single place we look.  My story about Jacob is to explain to you that it may be scary, it may be hard, but JESUS asked us to TAKE CARE (LOVE) HIS PEOPLE!!!!!  JESUS!  Jesus asked us, but we so easily drive by because we are afraid.. Because we are uncomfortable by the unknown.  I am not encouraging you to pick up every strange man on the side of the road, but maybe I am?  I don’t know what God will put on your heart after you read this blog but YOU HAVE TO DO SOMETHING.  No longer can we stand on the sidelines and live comfortably.  OPEN THE DOOR to the people your unsure of.  When are we going to realize that even though they look different, act different, and hey maybe they even smell different, GOD DOESNT SEE THEM as anything but HIS CHILDREN.  We have GOT to wake up and truly start serving his people.  I don’t know how your service to God will look, but it has to start now.

Please do not go another day being the guy who watched Jacob almost freeze to death, you have a choice.

I want you to be safe, I want you to be smart, but I want you to serve God’s people because he doesn’t see them as “less” the way we label them so often.  Jacob is a child of God.  Jacob is my brother.  Jacob deserved my hand, because Jacob is just like me, God sees him no different.
I love you. Serve His people. Amen.

 
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=GfosSggwQS0

Live Like That”

Sometimes I think What will people say of me When I’m only just a memory When I’m home where my soul belongs.. Was I love??  When no one else would show up?? Was I Jesus to the least of us?? Was my worship more than just a song??

I want to live like that

And give it all I have

So that everything I say and do

Points to You

If love is who I am

Then this is where I’ll stand

Recklessly abandoned

Never holding back

I want to live like that
I want to live like that

Am I proof That You are who you say ? You are That grace can really change our heart? Do I live like Your love is true? People pass And even if they don’t know my name Is there evidence that I’ve been changed.. When they see me, do they see You??

I want to live like that
And give it all I have

So that everything I say and do

Points to You

If love is who I am
Then this is where I’ll stand

Recklessly abandoned

Never holding back

I want to live like that

I want to live like that
I want to show the world the love You gave for me

I’m longing for the world to know the glory of the King
I want to live like that

And give it all I have

So that everything I say and do

Points to You
If love is who I am

Then this is where I’ll stand

Recklessly abandoned

Never holding back

A goodbye letter to my teenage students..

If you have a child this message will make sense to you.  If you know a child this message will make sense to you.  If you love a child this message will make sense to you. If you ARE a child (practically adult, I know) this message will be maybe not so typical for you.

  
Dear teenagers that I love,

#1.) You are so much more beautiful than you realize.  Understand that we aren’t created to be perfect, we are created to do God’s work and when you build great friendships and develop a great support system you won’t doubt how amazing you are. You will truly know that you are beautiful in the deepest place of your heart when you find yourself developing a deeper relationship with Christ.  

#2.) Only God can determine your worth and he thought you were worth sending his son to die for.  Quit letting boys determine your worth, or E!, or Instagram filters, or a good snapchat angle.  Please understand that no man or anyone for that matter can ever explain to you how much you are truly worth.  Once you realize God sent his one and only son to die for YOU, only then will you realize how worth it you really are.

#3.) Quit putting friends and boys first.. But if you do, don’t forget to love the people who love you most. It’s so natural to want to put the people who “get you” first, but I want to remind you to please love and honor your parents.  I totally know sometimes it’s so hard BUT they love you, in a go to bed at 8pm kind of way.  Even though we want boys to hold us and friends to laugh with us our parents are truly the people God sent to love us unconditionally without question.. So, don’t forget to love them back even when life sucks.

#4.) Think about the mission.  It’s okay to laugh, try new things, meet new people, dress crazy, and love food passionately BUT don’t forget that past middle school and high school there is a world that won’t care about you, but God always will.  There is a world that will beat you up, but God always has the ice pack and heating pad.  Don’t forget that once this crazy ride called school is over there is a bigger mission.  One of my biggest regrets in HS is that I spent more time bullying and gossiping then I did loving and forgiving and imagine the students I could have gotten to see Christ if I had just BEEN an EXAMPLE of Christ.  So, don’t forget that even though I’m not there to remind you, think about the mission, Christs mission.

#5.) Be You.  I remember thinking I had to try alcohol and stuff because everyone else was.  I remember thinking “of course I have to share this meme about drugs because I need to be accepted by this group of friends”.. But it wasn’t me.  I did things, & said things just because I wanted to be liked by certain groups of people.  I know that’s normal, but trust me when I say what God created you for was to be exactly You.  He doesn’t want you to be like that boy or your friends he wants the heart you have deep inside to be the one you show the world.  Be you.

#6.) Pray.  I know you feel like no one hears you.. I know you feel like it’s so hard to focus.. I know sometimes you feel like it won’t do anything, but please pray.  Truly, I tell you God promised in His word that He hears your prayers.  Don’t ever miss a moment to tell the creator of the universe thank you for what you have and don’t ever be afraid to share your heart (broken or not) with Him.. He created it anyways.

#7.) This is the last and most important thing I’ll leave you with.. Love. Love God and love the world.  I am convinced high school is meant to test us.  It is meant to be a test if we can stay true to ourselves, love our God, and love others even when they gossip behind our backs.  I know she sent that nasty snapchat, I know she totally didn’t tag you in that Instagram group photo, and I know you totally hate her guts right now BUT love anyways.  God loves you and you’ve definitely screwed up right?  So, love that mean girl anyways.  Love when God doesn’t always give you what you prayed for.  Love even when it’s the hardest thing you’ve had to do, I promise, God says it will be worth it on that judgement day when we see him again. 

Teens,

I love you. I love you so much.  Thank you for letting me teach you about God.  Thank you for forgiving me when I missed your cheerleading or your track meets.  Thank you for coming to YG even when you wanted to sleep.  Thank you for loving me unconditionally.  Thank you for always saying “I love you” back.  Thank you for trusting my ministry in Dundee and thank you for opening up your hearts to me.  I am moving on to the next chapter I know God wants me to write, but while I am leaving I am always going to be here for you.  Don’t ever forget that it’s never been about me, it’s always been about Jesus and I have complete confidence you will all discover yourselves in Him in due time.  I love you with every beat of my heart.

Sincerely,

Chelsea MacAdam 

Dundee Community Church of the Nazarene Youth Pastor ❤️