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2.02.2010

To Save A Life

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Have you seen this movie??  Have you heard about it?  I hadn't until Trav and I saw it on Saturday night.  It's in the theaters right now and totally worth seeing.  If you have teenagers, work with teenagers, anticipate having teenagers or know teenagers, then I would totally recommend you seeing this.  It's called To Save A Life and it is sooooo much better than I thought it would be.  It was written by a youth Pastor (I think??) and it's so relevant.  In fact, I could think of many, many scenarios involving many students that were just like the scenes in the movie.  That does not happen very often.  And, while I was expecting a huge "cheese factor" it was surprisingly low.  In fact, we saw it with 300+ students and I could not believe how positive their reaction was to it.  Tons of them told me how much they loved it afterwards and during some of the moist poignant scenes, you could have heard a pin drop.  It held their attention throughout the whole thing.  The movie deals with every teen issue under the sun-think a 2 hour after school special :) BUT, although it deals with so much subject matter, it does make it relatable for almost everyone.  The crux of the whole thing is all about what you believe and how far you would go to save a life, to act on what you say you believe in.  It was pretty powerful.  It opens with a teenager who has just committed suicide and from the beginning, you find yourself pretty wrapped up in the aftermath of all the choices and decisions that these teenagers are making before and after.  It was very, very well done.

As I was driving home, I was deep in thought, mulling over so many things.  I went expecting it to be a powerful thing for students, but I didn't expect it to be a powerful thing for me.  One of the main characters in the story is a youth pastor.  I really loved how they chose to portray him.  It was honest and it was authentic but it was also inspiring.  I don't know about other youth pastor's wives, but sometimes it's so easy for me to lose sight of the bigger picture of Trav's job, of his calling.  It's easy to get wrapped up in the week to week schedule, doing Sunday mornings and Wednesday nights alone.  Or watching him leave for a weekend away or packing for yet another camp and another mission's trip.  It's easy to forget that all of the crazy stuff, all of the retreats and all of the discipleship times are so often for the purpose of saving a kid's life.  Maybe they aren't suicidal, but sometimes they are.  Maybe they aren't products of divorce, but often they are.  Maybe they aren't keeping secrets and doing illicit things, but we know lots are.  Maybe they aren't abandoning their faith and forsaking God, but it's possible.

Being a teenager has never been easy.  But being a teenager in this world, is ten times harder than it's ever been.  It slays me to hear about the things our students are struggling with. Stuff that no 13, 14, 0r even 18 year old should be dealing with.  And yet, so many are.  There is so much darkness and temptation and life-altering choices that students are faced with and sadly, many have little or no support or spiritual guidance at home.  Sometimes, even in the Church, it's flat out depressing.  But that's when people like Trav and the rest of the student ministries staff come in.  When students won't talk to parents, often they'll talk to one of us.  And after watching this movie, it hit me.  How often am I available or do I allow my husband to be available to listen??  Of course the youth pastor's wife in this movie had the most pleasant disposition when her husband was leaving at midnight to go pick up a drunk student.  When we've been in a scenario like that one, I don't know that my attitude has always been a good one.  If a camera was on me, I'd probably be ashamed to watch my reaction.

So often I want to fight for Trav's time and for his attention when I've totally forgotten that life's not all about me.  He does a fabulous job of giving Ava and I his best and I need to release him from the expectation of always being available to me.  I have to remember that a call to ministry is a call to sacrifice.  It overwhelms me to think that we could have a part in saving a kid from a destructive behavior or choice.  That we could help point them to the One who won't ever leave them or forsake them.  Who always keeps His promises and who is EVERYTHING they'll ever need.  Ava and I can play a role in that by supporting Trav's schedule and allowing him leave without one or both of us being disappointed.  There are students who need him and more importantly, who need the hope of Jesus.  What am I doing toward that end?

This movie was powerful for me because it hits so close to home.  You may not appreciate it like I did.  It was a kick in the rear for me.  A reminder of how important each kid is.  It also made me want to pray for our teens more than I have.  To pray about the choices they make, the relationships they're in, for their parents, and for the leaders in their lives.  Their lives are worth saving and frankly, we know the One who died to save them. I have no idea what this means to you, maybe not a lot.  But if you have a teen in your life, will you pray for them??  If you have a youth pastor at your church, will you pray for him too?  If you need some more convincing, go see this movie and you'll be reminded of what today's generation is going through...It's a lot more than you and I ever faced, I promise you.

3 comments:

Kruger Kids said...

I can very much relate, in a little bit of a different way. I was a youth director for 3 years, a couple of years ago and I MISS IT immensely! I miss the teens that I worked with.
It's difficult watching some of them make the bad choices that they've made. But it's also incredible to see some of the sacrificial, Christ-centered, loving, serving choices that others have made!

Thanks for the reminder. I think I'll spend a little time tonight (since my three little ones are down for the night- whew!) praying for them!

blessings to you!
~janine

petrii said...

Stephanie,
As the mom of a teenager can I just say thank you. We are in such a difficult season right now, but I KNOW that God is in control.

Yesterday as I was crying out to Him, He gave me a word: Hope. How calming and peaceful, hope indeed.

Thank you for this post. I'll be checking out this movie.
Love you friend,
Dawn

Peggy & Ron said...

Sounds intense. Glad you could actually Feel it speak to you and Travis and how you're being used by God.