A coffee cup never looked so interesting.
Or so it seemed when I asked 24-year-old Rebecca what her life had been like after she graduated from our church's youth ministry.
After staring at her coffee for a few moments, Rebecca admitted, "My life after high school was really, really tough."
As a college freshman, she ventured into a "missionary dating" relationship with a guy who wasn't a Christian. They went much further physically than she ever expected. Filled with shame and regret, Rebecca plunged into depression and struggled with an eating disorder.
Those words were hard to hear, but what Rebecca said next was even harder.
"I felt so badly about what I had done. The last place I felt I could turn was to God and the church." Rebecca ran away from God and from the church just when she needed them most.
Somehow Rebecca's parents, our church, and its leaders (including me) had failed her. She had graduated with a faith too weak to face the new temptations awaiting her as an emerging adult.1