I think I'm just here a bit pulled at the seams In this world, left that world Not quite sure what it means. I love it here, breathed out, was wowed by its' beauty. Sunk back into friendships, sunk back into life but there's still such an ache in my heart that this life is a part, not the whole - there's a part of me there. And it comes over me, I get caught unaware. Are there beautiful friends here? Yes, more than few. Are there people who see me, who know me who root for my life and my family? Yes, surely, there are; And it didn't come quickly, this life's come so far. So then why on this day are my eyes full of tears? Why, after two weeks, does it feel like it's years since I left my first home, the one with my family? Each time I go back, Lord I find myself mad at the beauty I see, for I know I must leave it. It hurts oh so much that I almost can't feel it at once so I try not to think of the love that I have in my first home, for I can't feel the touch of the ones who support us, who pray without end Of the ones who have poured out and called us their friends. The ones who are patient, when we can't make a call or who refuse to get mad when our internet falls and a plan made is broken, the distance confounds God, these friends and these family, their love it abounds So they're hard to be gone from. They're so hard to miss. They're part of my heart's heart. They bring us such bliss So I sit here, eyes dripping, as I think of the gift that it is to be loved by the ones that I miss and I ask You to help me to soak up the good in this beautiful place where we work for you Lord In this place filled with people, we've grown so to love. Teaching youth, hearing stories, in Your strength we'll reach out For each young one we speak with may, too, feel this way. And their hearts they may ache as they don't see a way to live far from their first homes and the ones who they love to live far from the people who've missed them grow up. Lord, they, too, may be feeling a tinge of regret and what's harder is they're not the ones who accepted Your call - that's their parents - they heeded Your call. but their children can sometimes be found predisposed to the plague of indifference or wondering how could this God who is good somehow choose to allow them to live in a place that's so far from one home but, like my heart, You lead them right back to Your throne. To a place where they're seen. where You tell them You care. To a place where they see You're not caught unaware. And they start with the questions, You delight just to hear For in asking those questions You know they draw near. "Lord, what is Your plan and why I am here? Can I trust You with my life? Do You care what I do? Or do You only care what my parents pursue? We know they're important. We hear it throughout our lives in each church that we share at and doubts somewhat take a back seat as we're faced with the value of eternal Kingdom's, it's not like we can do much more to dismiss it or trivialize it's worth we've known that it's shaped our whole lives - some since birth. And we hear that Your Kingdom's important, profound but at times, Lord, we just need to know that we're found by a God who is near us and knows we're just kids by a God who cares for us, Lord maybe we'll give You a chance to reveal to us part of Your plan for our lives. Yes, we see, Lord, that maybe Your hand is mixed into our stories and weaving events from hardships to beauties, it might all make some sense when seen in Your light and accounting for Your grace when admitting it's not easy but knowing Your face sees our lives in entirety - those things we can't speak those things that do shape us but elude when we think to explain what it's like to live in two homes and to have moments often where our heart - it just groans for the loss that is real while we're young and without the experience to show us You’re working it out and going ahead and following behind, That's why we need people who are here to remind us there's hope right ahead and it's unique to our needs. It comes not from people but our God intercedes and brings us adults who are also on journeys; who also feel heart sick, who also have queries but who've seen you show up for them time and again we need to hear stories, to help us begin. To imagine we matter to a God so immense. To imagine we're cared for when life gets intense and the Kingdom work struggles, is tiring for those in community around us, it’s tempting to go and hide out, insulate, band together, ignore what is happening in Your work for we're not a part. But maybe instead we lean closely and hear how the adults call out to You. Listen. Are steered down a course that You’re setting, that You’ve set, somehow been already down that same road and they know that You’ve seen How the battle is won. How You win it. Provide. How you don’t leave their side so they’ve no need to hide. So we watch how the adults around us engage with the trials You present them, the ways that they frame the tragic, the awful while seeking Your name. Immeasurable, Unfathomable. We hear them begin with intention to speak of your faithfulness powerfully it's almost as though they're seeking you hourly and in their committment you help them remember that the God that they serve is a God of surrender A God who is faithful on mountains and valleys His presence a promise, though one undeserved. A God full of power - His chosen preserved. And a God, too, of mercy, who gives bounty for free. Yes we need their example, You use them to lead and to draw us much closer to assist us in answering all the questions we're grappling with, there's so much that's happening in our minds as we set out to find where we fit. Yes, among other questions, will to God, we commit? Will we stumble along until we graduate this place. Will we love it for culture, but grow not in faith? Will we learn how to seek you, in honesty and truth Or will we move on to adulthood unsure of our use?" God, these questions are asked every day by the youth. By the ones YOU have sent us to love and pursue. But only in small ways - Your Spirit does the rest So we hope that on days when our hearts feel the test. That we'll bow to our knees and let tears even fall. That we'll admit we're not able to do it at all on our own - not the plan, your intention was not that we come here to somehow control now the plot or even be central in the story unfolding no, you just include us - no love you're withholding. So as the tears soak my face while I miss what I've left. I'll think of the youth that we seek to address in our life, day to day, Lord You see them, You know. So we ask You to use all our weakness somehow to invite them to take even one simple step on a journey to know You, to trust you to bet on Your faithfulness now, though the years they have not And please spark now their wonder for the God of their heart.