Ever Feel Overwhelmed?
When is the last time you felt overwhelmed?
For me, it was yesterday. I am at peace most of the time in my everyday life. I hadn't felt truly overwhelmed in a long time. Our family is very busy at the moment, and like many families, our children went back to school online this year due to COVID-19. We were underprepared in terms of having enough computers with cameras and microphones so they could participate in the seemingly endless Zoom meetings. With my wife and I both working full-time, leading this chapter, building my wife's new veterinary practice, managing the needs of our four children who are still at home, teaching art classes in the community, being behind on housework, dealing with the current forest fires, being in a divisive election year, and trying to figure out this new approach to public school, etc....I had reached my limit.
When that happens, you try to find a way to cope. Fortunately for me, I have several tools I use to eliminate stress. As a believer, I can always find refuge in our Lord. Within a few hours, I was fine. I know what to do when I feel like this, and I know many adults who are also feeling overwhelmed right now. Some are coping better than others. Ultimately, this experience caused me to reflect on what many teenagers are feeling on a daily basis.
Over 60% of teens reported feeling overwhelmed, depressed, or sad according to the American Psychological Association back in 2014. These feelings of stress have only increased in the past 12 months. And the problem is that most of these young people are not sure what to do with these feelings. They don't know where to turn for peace. They will look to others for answers.
The influencers they listen to online are often feeling the same way, and they promote a lifestyle through music or vlogs that seek to numb the pain they are feeling. Many of these teens turn to things that end up becoming destructive to their lives and futures. And just about every teenager has direct access to these messages through their smart phones. These problems aren't new, but they are amplified today due to social media.
This is why we seek to build positive mentoring relationships with these young people who aren’t sure where to turn. In the same way God came to rescue us, we go to rescue them. We meet them where they're at. We get to know them. We build trusting relationships. We point them to life. And the support of all our partners makes this possible.
Thank you for your prayers. Thank you for your volunteering. Thank you for your financial partnership. We are truly grateful to be part of a community that believes in the potential of local youth. With your help, we are helping as many young people find peace and hope for their lives in Jesus.