The Power of a Broken Generation
by Kristin Patterson
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I have a good life. I'm lucky like that. I have parents who love me and are still together. Parents who have taught me right from wrong and created a healthy Christian environment for me to grow up in. My extended family is close, I can call on them for anything and they will be there. A brother and a sister-in-law who are inspiring and who have given our family the little blessing of my nephew. I have friends, christian and non-Christian who love me and I love them. I have a husband and in-laws who adore me. I'm one of the lucky ones. So why is my heart so broken?
A few years back I was in a youth prayer meeting. The power of God was thick, you could really feel His presence, just like He was standing there next to us, walking around and touching us all. He gave me a word that night, "love my lambs". It was so simple, but so powerful.
I was already studying to be a teacher, I had known this was the path for me ever since I was a little girl. I figured it was a good way to do what He had told me. I agreed, I felt prepared for this task. Little did I know what that task entails.
Having worked in schools, both state and private, for nearly 10 years, I have come to realise that our kids are broken.
I have several who have a parent who has committed suicide, several who come from abusive homes, some thinking of taking their own lives. Kids coming from broken homes are a common occurrence, and more often than not these are messy break-ups with the kids stuck in the middle. They are constantly bombarded with sex, drugs and the promise of a better life away from God.
They see things in movies and on the news that when I was a kid would have been banished to the late night time slot when kids were asleep. They don't know how to communicate effectively because all of their communication takes place online. They don't know how to work hard for something because they can get everything straight away. They have no idea what the difference is between a loving, caring touch and an inappropriate one because they aren't taught how to love properly. To put it simply, they are messed up.
I must say, it's not all kids. But out of the kids that I look after at least 50% of them are going through struggles on a daily basis. They are dealing with things that no child should have to deal with. They are broken, and my heart breaks for them.
I thought about this for a while. When I was at school, you had the very small minority who had these problems. School was their safe haven, now it is close to the majority. And it is hard to love some of these kids. They are antisocial, they have behaviour problems and they can be completely inappropriate.
It is easy to pass them over and put me in the too hard box, but they are the ones we should be working the hardest on to save.
I came to the revelation that there was a reason for this. We have a generation that is broken, crying out to be loved, crying out to be special and achieve their dreams, wanting to know how to dream and make their lives better. Why? Because in this generation there is power.
I believe that this generation has hidden within them the power to do the most amazing things for God. This generation has the power to see world scale revival. The Devil news this, and he is doing everything within his power to stop them. He plants seeds of doubt, he destroys families and dreams, he knows that he needs to stop them before they realise the power God has given them.
So next time you meet a kid who just appears to be another juvenile delinquent, don't glare at them, don't remark on how bad they are, or how they won't amount to anything, they already get this at home. What they need from you is love, pure and simple.
I see our job as loving and guiding these kids so that they can see their potential. Plant seeds of hope in their lives so that they have the desire to break the cycle. Encourage them and be genuine in that encouragement. They are crying out to be loved and cherished. Love God's lambs. It's our job. Imagine the change in this world if we do this, imagine what they could accomplish for God if they are given the opportunity.
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