God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. (1 John 4:16)
Throughout my teenage years, I never felt like I fit in. I hadn’t found my place in the world or a great group of friends with whom I deeply connected. I was around sixteen years old when new neighbors introduced themselves to my family and invited me to join their in-home youth group. I knew something was different about the leaders; they welcomed me with hugs each time I entered their home and seemed genuinely interested in my life. They spoke encouraging words over me, and after each youth night, I wished that it would’ve lasted longer. With them, I felt at peace and invested in. When I think of love, I think of my youth family.
Over the years I would join this family in going to church and do multiple mission trips (through which I found out about Kingswood University and later attended). They had a deep and lasting effect on my life. I could see God in them, in the way they spoke and interacted it was obvious. They knew God and loved as he did.
I doubt my youth leaders thought to themselves that what they were doing was revolutionary—just talking with students, eating some chips, and making space for tough questions. That is the beauty of God! All it takes is living for him and he will make the difference.
Be intentional with someone right where you are.
Shannon Nickerson is a recent graduate from Kingswood University, and current multimedia coordinator at her local church. She enjoys photography, teaching, and graphic design.
© 2021 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission. Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.