last night was one of those rare, beautiful nights at youth group where the kids really connected with scripture and talked openly. it was completely God's providence that i was even able to go. initially jim was going to work late, and so i would have had to bring dylan, and since she was cranky and overtired, i just couldn't have. but jim came home, i went, and dylan even let jim put her to bed without complaint.

we talked about judging people, and it really got the kids talking about the labels people paint on one another at school, the assumptions people make, and how little they feel understood or known. it did not make me miss my school days, and i'm thankful to have never endured the unique pains of high school in a small town.

we talked about the difference between judgment and accountability, and how since we all struggle with sin, no one is in a place to judge. one of the girls who usually stays pretty quiet and private said something that really struck me. she said that she doesn't back away from tough conversations with her friends about their drug and alcohol use because she loves them, worries about them, and can't not say something. she is such a humble and compassionate person that i know her words come from a place of love and not judgment. what a picture of courage, friendship, and what it looks like to "speak the truth in love" (Ephesians 4:15). it's good to be reminded that i can learn a lot from the example of my girls.

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