A “Paige” In HIS Story by Cheryl Brackemyre
I get the honor of being a small group leader for our Impact Youth Ministry.
My husband (the youth minister) didn’t have to twist my arm.
There was a group of girls moving up to the youth group and out of the children’s ministry and he asked who would be a good fit for their small group leader. I had a deep love for these girls and had trouble finding the right fit, so I volunteered. That meant that this mom of boys would be SURROUNDED by pre-teen and teen girls, YIKES. I jumped in feet first (maybe this is an area you should JUMP in and serve?) and I have loved every second of it.
Each week we snack, worship and study together, as well as talk and get to know each other more and more. I have so much to learn about girls!
Over the pandemic when meeting wasn’t an option we did ZOOM calls and played Pictionary, show me your fridge challenge and a scavenger hunt. Just last week, we did a ZOOM snow day call where we played Would You Rather and laughed and laughed. These girls are growing closer and closer together and closer to Jesus.
Last week we had a tragedy in our group. One of our “girls” lost her father. He unexpectedly passed away, leaving his wife and two daughters to navigate life without him. I was crushed, distraught and quite honestly I was heartbroken for the family and for my “girl”. I cried and cried, I reached out and asked what I could do. How do you move on from this? How can I show God’s love to this family?
I messaged the mommas of all the my “girls” in my group to tell them what was going on and to tell their daughters and to pray for the family. A friend organized a meal train and within a few hours, it was filled up and to my surprise, many of the slots were filled by the mothers of my “girls”. I was amazed at the love that was being shown to this family.
My heart was so broken for Paige, the sweet girl that lost her father. I texted her and told her that I was here for her when she was ready. I asked her if she needed to talk. She responded, “Not yet”. She said she was thinking about STUFF. I didn’t want to push so I just prayed. I prayed that God would get her through this and that she would go to Him for comfort and strength to get through this heartache. I spent time trying to get a grip and laying in my bed crying and praying when my husband came in the room. He told me that Paige had just started a new reading plan on the Bible App and I needed to see it. She had started the “How to Move Through Suffering and Come Back Stronger” 7 day devotional.
A 7th grader that just lost her father, was going to God’s Word to study how to move through her circumstances and become stronger. As I look at her activity on the Bible App I can see her highlighting scriptures and pinning pictures and encouraging friends to join in the reading plans with her. She has even teased me of not tapping the heart button when she posts a scripture, and laughed that she had to teach me how to do it.
Just a few days after the passing of her father, she posted an image and the scripture Psalm 91:2, “I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress, my God in him will I trust.” My sweet Paige, she knows God is her refuge and her fortress and she will trust HIM, in this time of suffering.
More and more I am learning that this devastating life event will be an amazing “Paige” from the story of her life. She knows right where to go for comfort and guidance. God is making something beautiful out of this tragedy and he is going to use Paige to share it.
I have the honor to have a front seat, and cant wait to see how God writes this story.