Sunday, March 23, 2008

a heavy heart

the enemy is so great. this world, this world is so appealing to youth. i sometimes feel so defeated. like everything i do is just not enough. it's never enough. i still have kids having sex. i still have kids joining gangs. i still have kids who don't eat cuz they moms dont have any money. everyday, every moment i am reminded of the pain, evilness, and sin that surrounds this neighborhood and my kids. everyday i am faced with the fact it feels like i'm fighting a losing battle. today i found out one of my girls had sex for the first time. she is 13. and it breaks my heart. innocence is gone now. she'll never be able to get that back. and of course, its not like her and the boy are even going out anymore. it was just a moment of not thinking. just a moment of stupidity. she regrets it but she can't take it back. and i sit here and i tell her that it was a mistake and what will make a person is how they respond and grow from their mistakes, not the mistake in itself. and i tell her i make mistakes all the time and that jesus loves her regardless. but my head is saying. there goes another one. this's just taking so many of our kids. the media makes sex, money and drugs seem so appealing and so fun. it makes everything seem so easy and better than the alternative. and whos to say that sometimes sex and drugs and money isn't fun? yet it's not the life god calls us to live. and its not best for us...god knows how much pain is caused from sex. god knows how much pain is caused from having money as an idol. yet everyday, every moment my kids are faced with the prospect of sex, with drugs, with gangs, with fighting, with poverty, with violence, with bad education. everything that could possibly be against them is against them. and it'll be a miracle if my boys make it through high school and into college. it'll be a miracle if my girls make it through high school without getting pregnant. it'll be a miracle if they make it out of their neighborhoods. it'll be a miracle. and i sit here sometimes and i think, what have i gotten myself into? my heart breaks nearly everyday as i see the pain they go through. my heart broke today as i hear the words, i messed up coming from my bright and beautiful 13 year old girl. and my heart breaks as i walk down the street as i go to church on sundays as i see my teenagers struggle to read as i listen to my kids just talk to each other as i watch my 7th grader and her 9th sister walk down the street cuz they dropped out of school...these things, they break my heart. i dont share any of this most of the time because i want to share the good things that happen. because there are so many small improvements i see everyday. but more often than not, i see pain and i see self-destruction. ugh

then i read. my wonderful friend laura read me a passage the other day, "let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up." gal 6:9

and i know jesus looked at his disciples and told them, "u shall do even greater things than these."

and i read where paul says "greater is he that is in me than he that is in the world."

and i believe all of this. i know all of this to be true. and i kno that without my jesus, i could never make it in this place. i know without him, i will never be able to do any of what i'm doing every single day. heart is heavy tonight. and i kno its the devil trying to think that he's winning. he isn't, he's already been defeated. yet it's still hard to continually be reminded of the pressures they face every single day. of the enviornment they live in. bad schools, drugs are on every street corner, gangs putting fear into their lives, parents who can't provide...its a never-ending cycle.

please join with me in prayer for my kids. i beg of you to pray for them and for me as we continue in this journey...pray for opprotunites for my kids. pray for strength for them and for me. pray that god would protect them. pray that the government would realize their need for better education, pray that jesus would become real and living to them, and pray that i would be able to give this all to jesus and not hold in on my heart as i so frequently do.

god bless u all.


Keri Wyatt Kent said...

I'm a friend of Arloa's and I am praying for you. Be strong and courageous!

Sarah said...


tough things you are learning in the city. Having lived here all my life I am not shocked by the lifestyle or the violence and it is refreshing to read your perspectives on Chicago and how to be a relevant Christian in these times. I think it helps when outsiders come in and are appalled at what all happens here. It helps to remind us that its not like the Chi everywhere and identifying areas of brokeness helps to eradicate it.

I admire your willingness to be vulnerable and share.

Keep on.