One of the great gifts we give young people is the ability to learn through both challenges and success. Shifting focus from the result of an action to what have you learnt, creates an important opportunity for young people to develop confidence and competence. Listening to what has been learnt and then asking what one small step can be taken to improve an outcome grows efficacy and agency. By shifting the focus and listening we communicate a belief and trust in a young person’s capacity. We grow capacity through calmly acknowledging the reality of the constancy of tough stuff in our lives that can be negotiated and grown through. Walking with, rather than lifting over or away, teaches young people to have confidence in being able to change the way they experience the disappointments and challenges of life. Grounding them in the fullness of the earthiness of life, its successes and challenges generates a lifelong capacity to grow through the wholeness of their experiences.
God does not take away the difficulties in life but promises to walk with us. We can pray for Him to guide and give us the courage to grow and learn through the full range of experiences that life presents. We can grow richly and fully by engaging with the tough stuff. We can trust that God is there for us and in us and will give us what we need. Empowered by His grace and love we can walk confidently into change and uncertainty.