God has a purpose for your life.
That’s probably my favorite phrase to share with our youth. For that matter, it’s a powerful phrase for all ages.
Recently I had an opportunity to connect in my office with a young man here at Timothy who was having a rough day. As he shared some of his struggles and mistakes, I was able to share a few from my school years as well. I told him about the time I gave myself a mohawk. It didn’t last long. Once my dad saw it, I was forced to shave my entire head — basically bald! (Looking back on it, a mohawk looked better on Mr. T and Brian Bosworth than it did on me anyway.) I told him about some of my struggles in class (I still don’t get Geometry), and I told him about the time I was kicked out of school for a while during my freshman year of high school. I could have carried on...I could have also shared about my mom’s diagnosis with cancer while I was in middle school, or my grandfather’s battle with alcoholism and the single car accident that took his life when I was in elementary school. I could have also shared about another car accident that took the life of a high school classmate, or the entire summer we lived with my grandmother because my family lost everything in a house fire. And there’s even more difficulty I could have shared with this young man about my school years. But instead I quickly pivoted to a more positive tone.
The truth is that I grew stronger through it all. How? Because I was surrounded by Christian adults who cared for me in my home and family, my church, and my Christian school. They didn’t try to make the adversity go away and often were powerless to do so anyway. But they guided me through trials with a courageous and Christ-centered approach. That combination of a Christian home-church-school is still a winning team! Our youth thrive when those three forces are aligned for the glory of God. Timothy is committed to our role in this effort. As a matter of fact, we’ve never been more committed. Your children, our students, face plenty of difficulties of their own. We are here to help...to make a difference...to promote Biblical values and virtues...and to train our young people to stand on the promises of God when things get tough.
Over the years, we’ve become even more intentional in our efforts to support and strengthen our youth. We have expert professionals to come alongside students who are struggling socially, emotionally, or academically. Under the extraordinary leadership of Lynn Van Stee, our team of experts is always “on call” and prepared to Go Beyond for our students. If you’re looking for help, I have full confidence in our team! Although our plan has become much more sophisticated in recent years, we still subscribe to some simple strategies as well — prayer, a pat on the back, an encouraging word, reading the Bible together, and a transparent partnership with the home.
Tough times aren’t exclusive to childhood and adolescence. The truth is that hardship has never completely left me alone. It’s been a frequent companion my entire life. Your testimony is likely similar. Yet the Bible says that we should welcome trials. We should be patient in affliction. We should even embrace sufferings. The Bible has plenty more to say about adversity, but in summary — it is through trials that we are strengthened and purified in our faith. We gain an enduring trust in the Lord as we grow closer to Him through hardship, and we have a greater platform to proclaim His faithfulness. It is through trial that we are prepared for the adventures that God has for each of us. So always remember the simple phrase and remind your children often: God has a purpose for your life.