Post by: Garrison Polsgrove
Youth Discipleship Pastor at Shepherd Church

The other day my daughter started walking with a limp. I did not think much of it at first, but as her limp continued she began to fall further behind. I know, I know. You are probably thinking I am a horrible dad for letting my child walk behind me, but don’t worry. There were plenty of strangers around to watch out for her. I kid, I kid!! My wife was following behind her so it was all good.

As we continued to walk, my daughter stopped and aggressively sat down and pulled her foot up to her chin. She un-velcrowed her shoe and ripped it off. As she turned her shoe upside down, a small pebble fell out. My wife sat next to her through the process and helped her put her shoe back on. Once she stood back up she took off in a dead sprint.

I think what happened to my daughter’s walk happens to our lives. The smallest of unconfessed sin, unresolved conflict, and unspoken hurt can slow us down from keeping in-step with the Spirit. We desire to fully hear the Spirit’s voice, but our buried hurts overcome the Spirit’s leading. Our unresolved issues are not inherently stronger than God, but the power we allow those issues to have makes them so.

Have you hurt someone lately and need to confess your wrong-doing to him or her? Is there a debt someone owes you that needs to be canceled for your own well-being? Is there a fear that needs to be voiced so it loses it power?

What I love about D-Groups is it provides an opportunity for students to clean out the shoes of their hearts. It offers a space for them to express to a trusted adult the issues drowning out the voice of the Holy Spirt. Often times the best thing a mentor can do is sit. It’s what my wife did as my daughter rid her shoe of the annoying pebble. Sitting and listening to students’ hurts, fears, and sins may not sound powerful, but it is effective. After all, you may be the only person in that student’s life who expresses a desire for he or she to be free of what hinders the sprint towards experiencing Christ.

Galatians 5:25 (NLT)
“Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives.”