Several weeks ago it started becoming clear that proms were going to be cancelled, graduations were going to look different, and high school seniors — instead of having their diploma handed to them in the traditional way — were going to get the short end of the pandemic stick. My heart broke for these frustrated high school seniors, who’ve been robbed of a normal, public celebration by a horrific virus.
My life has been devoted to ministering to teenagers. For the last 29 years I have sought to inspire, equip, and unleash teenagers to spread the good news of Jesus through the ministry of Dare 2 Share.
Over the last three decades I’ve talked to countless teenagers who have struggled through broken relationships, shattered dreams, and sinful choices. When I’ve talked with these teenagers at our Dare 2 Share events, I’ve been able to place my arm around their shoulders, pray with them, and do my best to encourage them through whatever their struggle may be.
But this pandemic is a global one and I don’t know how to put my arm around the shoulders of the 27 million teenagers across America or the 1 billion teenagers around the world.
My heart is broken for teenagers, as I’m sure is yours. This already-struggling-with-anxiety generation is having their inner pain exacerbated exponentially by the frustration and desperation that erupts from the kind of isolation they are experiencing as a result of this pandemic.
Dr. Harold Koplewicz, an adolescent psychiatrist and president of the Child Mind Institute said this about these teenagers in an interview with Time, “They are stressed now because of the lack of structure of school, missing big chunks of their lives—whether it’s dating, graduation, proms, classes—and there’s worry about their parents’ finances and there’s worry about everyone’s health.”
What teens are going through globally, especially high school seniors, breaks my heart.
And my heart is broken for another reason. My son, Jeremy, is a high school senior this year. I feel bad as a dad because you only get to graduate from high school once. It’s just not going to be the same for him as it was for me and my wife when we graduated.
My heart goes out to every high school senior as they try to make sense of this whole thing and every parent and teacher who is seeking to make the best of a sad situation.
About a month ago I began to ask God what I could do to help encourage not just my son, but every high school senior. And the Lord answered my prayer.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Greg Stier