Thanks to Disney Plus, I now have the soundtrack to Broadway’s Hamilton looping through my brain. On repeat these days is the song “Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story.” I find that fitting in an ominous and yet gloriously-divine way!
Who tells my story? My story was crafted way before I arrived in Cincinnati a year ago and joined YoungLives as the Area Coordinator. In fact, my story has several chapters that prepared me for this YoungLives coordinator position, a role (and an honor!) of loving and serving teen-moms and their kiddos. I recently came to Cincinnati from Athens, Ohio, where I served young moms at a pregnancy resource center. Going back even further, I was raised by a loving and nurturing mom and dad, both of whom were the child and grandchild (respectively) of a teen mom. This start to their stories has shaped mine. Although I don’t know first hand what it is like to be a teen mom, surprised by a pregnancy, I do know how a surprised start can finish victoriously.
Both my grandmother and great grandmother found themselves pregnant as teens, not married, with the biological father deciding not to stay and parent. In an era when the secrecy and shame was unduly heavy, both were alone, facing emotional and physical hardship. In each case, another person came alongside to help carry the load, champion the gift of their child and cast a vision for a happy life. These precious people were used by God to craft their life story and “flip the script”! I now have the privilege of walking alongside teen moms, seeing how their life story can take a positive turn, and how their hardships can develop them into the masterpieces God created. Their children (and someday grandchildren, and great-grandchildren!) can put together families and serve others from a heart that understands how to come alongside and champion the next generation. I am living proof of the victorious plot twist of their story.
YoungLives offers God’s hope of the best story, via mentors, camp, monthly programs, and ultimately shared fun. It is a mission that involves and blesses many, from the moms and their babies to the 5K runners. God crafted His Son’s story to involve a teen mom and the ultimate victory. Jesus loves our YoungLives moms and kids. I love how Max Lucado puts it: “Your life (story) emerges from the greatest mind and kindest heart in the history of the universe: the mind and heart of God.”
I’m grateful God is the one who tells my story!