I hurt

I don’t know if I am ready to have kids, because being a youth pastor is hard enough as it is. There is a student of mine who made some bad choices and is now making some even worse choices (at least in my opinion). I feel just awful–like it is my fault. I can’t help feeling responsible. Maybe if I had done one more lesson on this subject or maybe if I had called more or written a card. Shouldn’t I have known? Shouldn’t I be able to actually make a difference?

I know all of the answers to these feelings. I had a really good youth pastor who taught me all the right things, and even knowing what to do I still made stupid decisions. I know that I can’t live their lives. But my heart still hurts. I just feel so powerless. 

3 thoughts on “I hurt

  • May 9, 2006 at 4:07 PM

    Hi Shane.
    I know you dont know who I am, but I just wanted to let you know how much I truly appreciate your heart and devoted life to your students and your ministry. As a youth pastor in memphis, tn, I look to your blog many times as a sort of confirmation for the season of life I seem to find myself in.
    Last weekend, a student that I have been really intentionally seeking out for the past 15 months made a terribly poor decision and stole a car with a friend. As a result, he is now spending the next month in jeuvey until his court hearing.
    Finding this out was heart breaking for me. All of the "what if" thoughts began to take over my heart as I broke inside for the family, friends, and worship band that he was connected to.

    But why do we continue? Why do we put up with arrogant, self absorbed, hypocritical, shallow, selfish church people? Why do we settle for youth budgets that are below the needed money? Why do we hang on to the "fringe kids", and pursue relevance in our dedicated students?

    Read 2 Corinthians 4. <—————–READ IT!

    I’m praying for you man.

    btw- dont edit yourself. if calvary has a problem reading your thoughts and frustrations, then maybe they’ll see that the problem isn’t in the words you use, but the issues that they themselves are causing. (i dont know if that made sense, but i trust you’ll know what i mean)

  • May 9, 2006 at 11:30 PM

    >>"But my heart still hurts. I just feel so powerless."<<

    My experience is very, very different than yours, but I’ve found that this place – where I’m powerless and hurting and just feel beat-up – is where God is. This is the place where I learned how to pray. I’m not suggesting you don’t – I’m just saying this post really connected with me.

    You care enough to feel this way – that’s huge.

  • May 10, 2006 at 4:41 AM

    I believe God mainly asks us to show up and tell the Truth. The rest is in His hands and He will take care of it in His time. But you know that.

    Many of us will go our own way and venture into the hinterlands beyond His will for us. I did for years and left a lot of hurt in my wake.

    Powerless is a good place to be. It is the only safe place for me because only then do I sincerely give Him everything of me that I can. I hope you can stay there awhile – with Him.

    A friend recently told me: God usually doesn’t pull us into the gates of heaven but he’ll dang sure pull us out of the gates of hell.

    I wish you and your friend well.



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