It’s a new year—and the older I get, the more I realize I don’t know.
I acknowledge that I am only 23, and that that statement will become even more true as I get older, but I am already being constantly reminded of it. This sentiment is echoed by many my age. We are having to learn what being an adult means—all the physical, mental, and spiritual aspects of it—and there’s a lot to learn.
But I’m not here to complain about having to learn to navigate life. I’m here to say thank you to those of you who are pouring into the lives of young adults.
I want to say thank you for how you intentionally spend time with us. There has always been something so special to me about sitting down and sharing a meal or a cup of coffee with someone. I tend to be more vulnerable about the things I’m doing in these settings. When I think about the people who have impacted me the most, they have all been intentional about spending time with me.
And it’s more than just being intentional to meet, it’s the way those people intentionally try to understand me. They listen before they speak, and they communicate truth when they do speak. I have found that I learn so much about myself and the world around me because of these intentional meetings.
I want to say thank you for the way you intentionally develop us. When I shyly walked down the aisle at Falls Creek youth camp to accept Jesus, I needed a lot of work. I was 14, insecure, and had a whole slew of problems the church doesn’t always handle well. But in that moment I had people within the church who surrounded me and began to walk with me. They patiently taught me what it means to be a Christian and a decent human being. Those people saw something in me that needed to be developed, and they began to pour into my life. The same rings true today. I am so thankful for the people I currently have in my life who see my spiritual gifting and want to see me use it to glorify God. That personal and spiritual development has been key to who I am.
And lastly, I want to say thank you for intentionally praying for us. I was driving to meet with a couple for a ministry time a few weeks ago when my car broke down. I had been experiencing spiritual warfare all throughout the day, and at this point I wasn’t sure what to do. I didn’t feel safe, and to be honest I was a little afraid of what might happen next. I sent a text to a wise friend asking for prayer, and she responded with an enthusiastic “Yes!” and an entire prayer that had me in tears. I felt the protection she had prayed over me, and it was incredible.
This is one example of hundreds that I have. Prayers of protection, blessings, and encouragement have all been prayed over me by those who invest in me, and they are felt. Intentional prayers have played a vital role in my life, and I am grateful for those who intercede on my behalf.
Words cannot begin to describe how thankful I am for the people who have poured into me. Because of those people, and the way they’ve invested in my life, I have felt safer, more confident, and so very loved stepping into adulthood. Being a young adult can be hard, but these people make sure that I stay standing. They pray for me, they teach me, and they spend time with me. I don’t know what my life would look like without them.
If you’ve been investing in young adults in these ways, I want to thank you. As someone whose life has been deeply impacted by others like you, know that what you are doing is so important. You are shaping us, and calling us into places in the world God wants us to shape. Be encouraged that your efforts are seen and appreciated.
And one last time, thank you.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Amy Benton lives in Fullerton, California. Born and raised on a pig farm in Oklahoma, God called her to the West Coast, where she now serves on CRM’s Communications team as the administrative assistant. Her passions include laughing, good conversations, and women’s ministry.