Open Letter to the Hurting Teen

Dear Hurting Teen,

I know you’re in pain. Aching, throbbing pain. Pain that hurts worse and scars deeper than any physical pain you’ve ever experienced. I’ve been through some tough times and travelled down some rough roads, but I also know that it’s very possible that I’ve never experienced the level of pain that you feel right now. But I’m also certain that Jesus understands. He was rejected by just about everyone from His hometown, the “church people” of His day, and even some from His own family. He was ridiculed for His beliefs and for the people He hung out with. He was relentlessly beaten and brutally killed for speaking truth. He knows. He’s walked in your shoes. He has hope in you and for you.

Child, maybe your family has abused you in some way. Maybe your friends have let you down or even betrayed you. Maybe you just feel like an outcast in this world. And maybe you’ve even made some decisions that has brought all of this upon yourself. I don’t know. But I do know that we all live in the same broken, filthy world. But there is hope. Not just a weak, little, flickering flame of hope. But an all-consuming bonfire of hope. Jesus accepted and changed the blind, the lame, the deaf, the vile sinner, and He accepts and wants to change you. Now that’s what I call hope. I don’t care, and He doesn’t care what’s happened to you or what you’ve done.

I want to be able to help you. I want you to feel loved. It may be hard, and I may not always be here for you, but that is my true heart’s desire. The hard fact for me to accept is that, on my own, I really am incapable of helping you. Only Jesus can heal you. Only He can be there for you at all times. I can only point and direct you to Him and attempt to display His love for you and to you, and I’m praying and hoping that you will ultimately run into His arms. Because that’s where He wants you to be. That’s where I want you to be. And that’s where I want to be. See, I need His love just as much as you do. Since I lead this group, you may get the wrong idea, but I’m just a broken mess myself. I think it’s important that you know that. And know this: I love you, and Jesus loves you. And we’re both in it for your best interest. I can confidently say this because of Christ’s work, not because of any of my feeble efforts.

I pray that you completely rely on your gracious and merciful Redeemer. He is mighty to save and heal – physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Rest in His compassionate arms. That is the place of true healing and peace.  I can’t promise that all your pain will disappear, but I can promise that all your pain can be used for something more glorious than you can imagine.  Just let Him finish His work on you.

In Christ’s magnificent love,

Jeremy

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