Friday, March 7, 2008

People We Know - Jenae

Sometime around the end of highschool or the beginning of college, I started watching a family of 4 kids, with Jenae being the oldest. I really can't describe her without talking about her family.

After watching her and the other kids for a while I became part of their family. It was no longer "meet our babysitter" but rather "well, she's like a sister." Besides making a couple bucks watching them every once in a while, I'd read to them for school (Liberal Studies!), go to soccer games, swim meets, school programs like circuses, birthday parties, graduations/promotions, see them off for homecoming, go on road trips, and just hang out.

These kids are a crack up! We spent an entire afternoon getting a sticky heart (it was from one of those quarter machines at the supermarket) off the ceiling. I can't remember if it was Mary or Michael who first threw it up there, but I got the idea that we'd put together a bunch of stick items, the last one being a plastic back scratcher with a hand at the end, and try to get it down. Once it was down the kids decided the fun wasn't over and threw it up again. We did this at least 4 times! Here's a video of Jenae working on the heart:

I used to call myself the human jungle gym as every time I entered their door the youngest kids would crawl all over me. One would climb up my back and the other up front. I was even treated as a pet:

These kids have had a huge influence on my life. They are the reason I quit smoking. I only smoked for like a month (call it "experimenting", "rebellion", whatever!). Knowing they looked up to me as an example put the pressure on for me to set the example.

Jenae was the first of the kids I really started hanging out with and somewhat mentoring. We would go out to eat, shop, and even went frisbee golfing once.

She has always been soft spoken and she has an extremely kind and submissive heart. As her dad and mom shelter her, she's a bit naive, but it's good because it's kept her pure - both physically and at heart. She would start and join in any size dog pile all of us could make. I love this girl!

For her 16th birthday party she had an "I Love Lucy" theme. The games were hilarious! Like, "who can eat the most chocolate kisses", and "who can keep the straightest face while drinking some nasty concoction."

Anyway, the reason I'm writing about Jenae is because I am heart broken and need somewhere to organize my thoughts. In watching her grow up and become an adult, I've seen her on fire for the Lord, trying to convert her dad, quoting scripture, and simply maturing in her relationship with her Maker. She's been an inspiration for me.

Well, about a year ago she met her biological father for the first time and made a hasty decision to move in with him, states away, in order to work on having a relationship with him. I know her heart has always wanted to know her father so I can't question her choice.

Since she's been there she hasn't been going to church and her dad has been stating all his non-biblical ideas as fact. When I talked to her today, I asked if she'd found a church. In short, no, and she isn't looking because she's mad at God. She doesn't want to deal with Him right now.


She asked what I felt about that (as tears were welling up in me). What do I think? I wonder if I should have called her more often to encourage her to press into God instead of run from Him. At that moment I wished I had the perfect God-given words to remind her of God's love and heart for her and to knock some sense into her. I somehow felt like I failed her.

Lord, I don't know what to pray as I have no idea what needs to happen to draw her back to You. Light her fire again! Help her stand in this testing of her faith! Give her wisdom and knowledge to combat the lies she's being fed. Hold her in Your hand, sit her still in Your lap. Give her friends and family who truly wish the best for her and who will love and encourage her in her relationship with You. Knock her upside the head! Get her out of the situation she's put herself in. Surround her with Christians. Give her dreams and visions of You that she can't deny. Lord, if she simply has questions, answer them...and if not, remind her that YOU are God - the Maker of heaven and earth, the One Who told the waves they could only go so far, the One Who loved her enough to sacrificed Your Son, her Abba, Daddy...I know this is a crazy season of her life. Let her turn to You in it and know that You orchestrated things the way they are for a reason. Draw her unto Yourself! Fix this!

1 comment:

Joshswife said...

I am in tears. I will be praying; Satan is so wicked. He is getting more cunning as time goes on. I am glad she has you as a friend who CARES that she has gone astray. KEEP praying your prayer, every day.