Recently, I had the opportunity to sit in and be part of a panel with those of us from an older generation at our last Awake and Alive Conference Now, hold up….I am not THAT old, but when you are at a conference for 18-25 year olds, anything over 25, is well, considered old. Through this panel, we were able to speak WITH our young people on some pretty tough topics; finances, marriage, failures…you know, all the hard stuff we have trouble talking about even with our closest friends and family. But by opening up and sharing our stories, our younger people saw that, hey, we aren’t that much different. In fact, one young man said we were just a bunch of old teenagers. Our vulnerability in sharing our struggles and our wins helped them see that there is hope and that tough situations will arise, but if our eyes our fixed on Jesus, we can see the other side.
Through this experience, it truly hit home how important our relationships with one another are. To connect, face to face, and have close friendships is truly becoming a lost art. Let me repeat that…. face to face Most of us have friends on social media, and we maybe text and email with a few, but that does NOT replace true, in person connections. It is no wonder there is so much hurt and loneliness in this world when we are lacking that ability to truly open up and share our stories. By connecting in person with one other, we are giving ourselves that opportunity to be truly vulnerable with one other and share our struggles and our victories, and that my friends, is where we can find some of the most powerful healing and encouragement.
So, I invite you to start connecting more with others. More specifically, if you are just an old teenager like me, reach out to the younger people in your life…grab coffee together and share some life stories. Our younger people are craving to hear from you…not just to check in, but to hear your perspective on some of the things going on in your life. They need to see how we have come through all of our successes and failures and know that while life may look a little intimidating from where they are standing, that there is hope and that we are rooting for them. We are on their side. God is on their side. And, I can also guarantee that you will be surprised by the love and encouragement you get back from a younger generation. So, don’t be shy, because at the end of the day, we are all just a bunch of old teenagers and we just might have more in common than you think.