The teens sat in a circle with their eyes on Patience, an eleven-year old girl living at Destiny Children’s Home. “Even when we can’t see God, we should trust and believe He is there,” she shared softly. Nearly every head in the circle nodded in agreement. Sixteen-year old Josephine lowered her gaze into her lap and knitted her fingers together.
Josephine is a growing girl who has come from hard places. Before arriving at Destiny Children’s Home, she lived on her own more often than she was with family. The disciple groups have been helpful for Josephine to hear about God, but they’ve created a lot of questions for her.
Josephine looked at the group of teens sitting around her and raised her voice. “I know I’m supposed to feel God is with me and that He exists, but it all seems very difficult to me,” she bravely shared.
Ene, a caregiver at Destiny who was leading Josephine’s small group, listened intently to her. She considered how she could help Josephine see and recognize God’s presence, even in the midst of her struggles.
Josephine and Ene were outside a few days later. They sat side by side, both gazing at a large tree on the land where Destiny sits. “Whenever I watch this tree,” whispered Ene to Josephine, “I watch the branches move with the breeze, I see the leaves dance in the wind, but the tree never blows over.” She looked at Josephine. “When you look at this tree, Josephine, think about who made the tree. Then consider who makes the wind. Whenever you see the tree, think about how you can’t see the wind, but you can see the effects of it.”
Ene let Josephine consider what she said. Together, they talked about nature and all the ways it can be seen as evidence of God’s existence – He created, and is in, each moving part of nature.
Still, Josephine still questions. As she works through past hurts and present circumstances, she knows she’s in a safe place, with safe adults. From time to time, you can find Josephine looking out at the tree, watching its leaves dance, and a small smile will play across her face.
She may not have all the answers, but she knows she has the freedom to ask the questions, and she’s starting to recognize God can absolutely be found, sometimes we just have to pay attention.