youth with a mission
(Brooklyn has read and approved this post for sharing.)
My oldest daughter has been struggling to find her footing for the last year or so. During her senior year in high school, she had everything planned and was excited about where she was going. She was accepted to Biola University, and planned to attend in the fall following her graduation, after first spending the summer working at a camp. She was awarded an academic scholarship from the university, which would cover about a quarter of the tuition, but that still left a LOT to pay. She applied to countless private scholarships and grants, but the harsh reality was that in order to go to Biola, she would need to take out a significant amount of money in loans. Having been there, done that myself, I cautioned her about starting out her adulthood with so much debt. She made the painfully difficult decision not to do so, just weeks before the school year was starting.
She moved home for a couple of months after camp, but still had a longing to venture out away from home and live near the beach. She ended up moving to San Diego to live with some friends, and right away she found a new church home and worked in the bookstore there. She was homesick, but loved her new church, job and exploring San Diego. As it turned out though, the friends she moved in with were in their own transition, and moved out of their house to travel, which meant Brooklyn needed to move out also. She wasn't making enough money to rent her own place, so she moved back home. That was about a year ago.
Since that time (and off and on for several years before that) Brooklyn has struggled with anxiety and depression. When you're in some kind of physical pain, people can see that, and it makes sense to them that you have some limitations and disabilities. When the affliction is emotional or mental, it's a bit more personal to share, and so it is misunderstood and often misjudged. You feel alienated, alone and even ashamed, making it hard to do things that you usually enjoy. We're not out of the woods yet, but I believe that through her struggles, breakthrough and healing, she has compassion for others who have similar battles and will be equipped to offer understanding and hope.
She is off to start on a new journey soon. She is going to a Discipleship Training School with YWAM (Youth With a Mission) in Kona, Hawaii. The program she will be a part of is called Fire and Fragrance. From their website:
"As Fire & Fragrance our passion is the presence of Jesus. Intimacy with him is our highest goal and the center of everything we do! Our mission is to launch fiery eyed revivalists into the nations—close knit groups of friends—who are dedicated to falling more in love with Jesus and seeing the lost encounter his love."
The program is six months long: three months in the DTS, and three months of outreach, taking what she's learned and spreading it to others alongside her team. My girl was gifted with a heart for worship and a beautiful voice. My hope for her in this is that she will encounter God on a more intimate level than ever before, learn to hear His voice of truth in such a way that the lies she's believed about herself will be torn down and trampled, that she will thrive in a community of new friendships, and have a renewed hope and joy for what God wants to do in and through her.
Brooklyn is using her gift of creativity to raise money for her tuition and outreach. She has a natural talent that flows so freely from pen to paper and brush to canvas. You can see her paint and ink creations in her Etsy shop.
She and I also collaborated on these sweatshirts (she came up with the idea, I did the vinyl lettering, she embroidered the peace sign). Here's what she had to say about the "TOO RAD TO BE SAD" saying when she posted the pics on Instagram:
"... if I'm honest, it's hard for me to believe but I want to always remind myself of. From there I realized it isn't just a saying I need to be reminded of, everyone needs to hear it! I then decided to put it on sweatshirts and because I've discovered I love embroidery I hand embroidered each sweatshirt I made."
If you are touched by her story and would like to make a donation directly to her YWAM tuition account, you can do so through the links below (THANK YOU!!!):