Tuesday, January 26, 2010

why

"why did my I have to be born into a family where I am abused?"

"Why do I have to live through the nightmares?"

"Why don't any girls want to date me?"

"Why does God hate me?"

"Why doesn't my dad love my mom?"

"Why doesn't anyone understand?"

"Why did my mom die?"

"Why do I cut myself?

"Why do I feel worthless when I look in the mirror?"

"Why would I want to get married? Look where marriage got my parents."

"Why do I feel so alone?"

"Why would I love anyone when they keep dying?"

"Why do you want to talk with me?"

"Why do people not believe me?"

WHY
Danny Ferguson
Langley Area Director
Greater Vancouver YFC / Youth Unlimited
604-968-1812
danny@youthunlimited.com

I love being married to April

Friday, January 22, 2010

Family ties undone.




Even through the official census information states that 10% of the population is divorced or separated.  I know that from the daily interactions I have with youth that it actually a very uncommon thing for kids to be living with both of their birth parents.  In fact I have found it to be a mistake to assume that kids live with their parents and instead I ask, "Who lives at your house?" 

Pretty much the only guarantee is that the youth spout off the pets they have by name more frequently than they mention both mom and dad living under the same roof.  At first I couldn't fathom and I would ask lots of questions trying to figure out how to address this "obvious disadvantage".  However I found that most of the answers I recieved were not in the negative but rather addressed the possitive.  For instnace:

"At least this way they don't yell at each other all the time"

"Now I get two Christmases"

"It's better this way"

"I think it would be weird if my Dad was around all the time."

"I've never thought about it, it has just always been this way."

It was this week that I started to realize these are true.  These youth genuinely feel the good things about divorce and so that is what they talk about.  Because hey, they don't want to talk about be crappy situation that lead up to the divorce or how they dream hopelessly about their parents getting back together.  It's not something they have the power to change so why would they dwell on it.  But given the correct context you start to hear how the situation has affect them.  They say love is an illusion.  They see the wedding picture of the younger versions of their parents embracing and smiling, and compare it to the pictures in their heads of fists flying and words lambasting each other in hate.  The situation is confusing as parent start dating and getting remarried.  Who is dad? mom? grandma? grandpa?  Who lives in my house?  Well it depends on the month.  No wonder they are scared of marriage.  There is no future in it.  At least in the way they have seen it work.

So if this were the case for me and someone came up and asked me about my family, wouldn't I answer with the good in the situation as well? After all their family may be broken but that is no reason to assume that they are.  It is a different past than my own, but I can say that mine was better.  There just isn't time for that.  To be continued...


Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Operation could not be completed. Invalid Argument

As I was thinking about what to wrote about this morning I thought I'd look on google for an image that represented my thoughts. As they say a picture is worth a thousand words and sometimes images spark the words into formation and help me to translate my thoughts and experiences. I picked up my ipod to search google but it came up with an error when i tried to do the search. I thought the message was so fitting that I took a picture of it to share with you here.

In working with people I am often presented with or included into various crises or conflict situations. These may be between two young people, between a kid and their teacher, a youth and their family, and sometimes a young renegade and the police. There are situations in which the young people are fine and it is the adults that have the difficulties. And of course I cannot deny that sometimes the greatest source of crisis and conflict simply happen inside my own mind or in my conversations with God. There are some days when all of this happens at once and I feel like no matter what I do that the operation cannot be completed. That all my insights, advice, mentoring, council, and strategy are invalid arguments.

In the past encountering such things may have been a source of frustration but as it is I actually am feeling quite encouraged. I have long ago changed my definition of success to not reflect on the completion of a process but rather on the momentum of the process itself. I have a motorcycle ad up in my office that serves as a reminder of this for me as it states: "its not about the destination but about the journey." Success then is in the honor of being included in peoples wrestling to figure out life. The operation will never be complete. The reminder from my ipod this morning is stop the invalid argument and to just "do life" together. Seeking God in all the countless things that we don't, and may never, have the answers to.
Danny Ferguson
Langley Area Director
Greater Vancouver YFC / Youth Unlimited
604-968-1812
danny@youthunlimited.com

I love being married to April

Monday, January 18, 2010

What dreams may come?



I had an overly vivid dream last night that my son Josiah was kidnapped right before my eyes.  I tried desperately to save him but his I was unable to.  As I was staring out of a window watching my son being carried away I could see the look in the eyes of this man and I knew what he was going to do.  Terrible things.  Things for which my son would never recover if he live through the experience.  I awoke with a scream and I was shaking all over.  I even got up to check on my kids to make sure they were ok.  Everything in this dream was so real that I was having a hard time shaking off the dream.  Though my body was literally trying to shake it away.

I share this with you because nightmares are very common in the youth that I work with.  Some of them rarely sleep because of the constant nightmares of terrible things happening to them or those that they love.  Or those that they love doing the terrible things to them.  I know from my experience that there is very little defense that you have against this sort of attack on your mind because it is happening when you are unconscious. 

I am not surprised that the youth that struggle with the bad dreams the most are those who have been trying to make the most progress in changing their lives to follow Jesus.  I'm not the kind of person that overly spiritualizes things but I really think that there is a connection to the unseen world and these dreams.  It seems to be an effective tactic because a dream and betray the trust a youth has in a parent, a youth worker, and even God. 

This past week we have seen some amazing movement in some kids lives with God.  I feel like I am closer with God than I have been in awhile.  Maybe it is just a coincidence, but if you pray, pray the evil dreams would be replaced by a dreaming of vision and hope.  Now excuse me - I need to get some sleep.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Define: "Life"

Have you seen the movie Walle? Seeing as I have a two-year-old in my house means that I have seen it approximately 4000 times. The show creatively moves story and character development on very well without limited use of dialogue. Walle is a robot stranded on earth after humanity has fled due to pollution. He goes through many adventures and eventually ends up on a spaceship with humans that have become lazy and lethargic in their space travels. Their every need provided for by robots. When encountered with the possibility of returning to earth after a 700 year absence they find they know nothing about the planet called home. In typical scifi fashion there is an epic struggle between the robots and humanity. The robots want to protect their human charges from the potential risks of earth but the humans want to return. In a battle between the captain and the auto pilot personified as the shops wheel the ship’s captain screams, “I don’t want to survive, I want to live!”

The people on the ship didn’t really know what life was all about. They asked the computer to define the things that we experience everyday. They would ask the computer to define it for them: “define: ocean; define: dancing; define; farm”. They were so separated from earth that they no longer knew what it meant to live. I wondered though what does it meant to define life. Can you do it?

I tried. I got a few things.

Life =
Friendship with God
Hope
Challenge
Fun
Experience
Community
Learning
Romance
Friends
Family
Health
Creativity
Adventure
Love

What would you do if you were missing one of those? Five? Or like the youth I met who may only have had one or two in total. Thing is – once they are missing, stolen, destroyed or never existent how can they be regained?

Friday, January 8, 2010

there are no answers

Over the past several months i have made many attempts at writing things on my Blog but i find i simply get stuck after the first couple sentences. It isn't that i have writers block but it is a deeper issue than that: i don't want to write some of these stories out. As i wish they would have never happened to my young friends. I wish that the world worked better than that. Others I simply can't ethically write about. some things must be held in confidence. Things i wish i could share. today was a combination of what i wish i could share and things i wished had never happened.

I also wish i could find solutions but honestly i continually learn there are no answers. I can simply listen and pray at this point. Join me?

Danny Ferguson
Langley Area Director
Greater Vancouver YFC / Youth Unlimited
604-968-1812
danny@youthunlimited.com

I love being married to April