Insight to Youth Stories

Insight to Youth Stories 150 150 Pilgrimage 2022

Important Reminder – While testimonies can be uplifting and heart-warming, they can also trigger difficult and unpleasant emotions or memories for those who relate closely to them, particularly if the similar struggle is ongoing or feels unresolved in some way. Sometimes, this can move someone to change or grow in a positive way. It’s important, as leaders, to support youth by validating difficult emotions (using words and body language to confirm that how they feel is justified) and allowing them a safe space to feel heard by listening without judgment.

  1. Bailey talks about hearing loss, feeling lonely and distant from God, and realizing the world is not a supportive place (feeling othered). She describes the pandemic as a time of isolation and darkness. She goes on to reframe her hearing loss as a blessing and encourages others to trust God to work all things together for good. This testimony may trigger difficult emotions in those who have any physical or emotional disability. Particularly for individuals who may be feeling isolated or othered by a physical disability or do not view the disability as a blessing. It may also be difficult for those who also experienced isolation and/or distance from God in the pandemic. Finally, this testimony may cause very difficult emotions for those who lost a loved one in the pandemic and as such, do not feel that this time (the pandemic) has worked out for the best.
  2. Amani shares about a succession of losses (grandparents) and distance from God followed by social rejection and toxic relationships that led her to a dark place. She shares that finding Christian community unintentionally changed her life for the better. Amani’s testimony may trigger difficult emotions for those who are experiencing grief or loss of some kind. It may be difficult for those who are feeling socially rejected or isolated (lonely), are in unhealthy, toxic relationships, or are experiencing heart ache from the end of a relationship or lack of relationship. Finally, this testimony may be difficult for those who have not found or are longing to find healing Christian community, particularly for those who feel socially rejected or isolated in some way.