Dear Generation Y,

You have been called Yuppies. You have been called Millenials and Echo Boomers and Generation 9/11. You’ve been called lazy and entitled and special and spoiled.

And 300 of you proved the latter this past week when you broke into a house in Stephentown, NY–the house of NFL player Brian Holloway–and partied. But not only that. You “drunkenly smashed windows, urinated on the floors, stood on tables, punched holes in the ceiling and stole a statue that was part of a memorial for the owner’s stillborn grandson.” 

And then you tweeted about it.

And when Brian Holloway invited you all back to help clean up and have a picnic, only one of you showed up. One.

Your parents, instead of holding you accountable and getting you to return, raged against Holloway for creating a website to help you. He didn’t call the police. He didn’t get angry. Rather, his heart broke for you, and he tried to reach out.

But you didn’t want his help, because you didn’t think what you’d done was wrong, because your parents, and society, didn’t hold you accountable. These days everything is okay if it somehow makes you famous. You live for those five minutes which will somehow make the rest of your life worth it.

But deep down, you’re not content with five minutes. Deep down, all you want is for your mom and your dad to stop getting mad at the other guy and start giving you boundaries and rules again. Deep down, you’re lost because everything is permissible.

And because of this, angst and cutting and eating disorders have become a trend, and counselors are overbooked and churches are under-filled and our children are visionaries with aching insides.

via jadessong on instagram

And I love you, because I am one of you, and I hurt for you, because I get it, and I challenge you: because we can do better.

We are the sons and daughters of Generation X, the mothers and fathers of Generation Z, and yet we are more.

We are intricately made humans whose DNA spans thousands of years; we are related to Esther and Miriam, to Mary the mother of Jesus, to David and Noah and Adam, we are formed in the image of a sovereign God who planned our very existence, who knew our shoe size before we were born, and to whom no-one is a letter or a stat.

And this changes everything because suddenly we are not restricted by what our peers do, by what the stats say, by the churches’ weary signs or the fast-food slogans or the terrorist threats. We are not hindered by people’s cynicism because God enables us to be more than we could possibly imagine.

We are defined by nothing except the One who made us, and he says we are redeemed, we are forgiven, we are accepted, we are MORE than conquerors in him who loves us, we are provided for and loved and we are to shine like stars. 

via jadessong on instagram

It starts with remorse.

It starts with returning to Brian Holloway’s home and saying Sorry.

It starts with repenting of the way we’ve thought we’re all that, when in fact, only He is. 

We are not the sum of our tweets or our statuses. We are dust, turned into miracles, because of a God who loves us.

So how does repentance work? It works gently. It works through a mustard seed of faith and we start by forgiving and then repenting, and asking others for forgiveness, and then we need to change.

We need to stop thinking we’re so entitled and start claiming the lower place, the last place, the humble position. Because it’s only when you’re bowed that you can shoulder another person’s hurts.

We need to need something, other than a Facebook “like”. We need to admit we don’t know anything, in spite of what Wikipedia tells us, and to begin to hunger for a spiritual kind of wisdom.

via emlyjay on instagram

Maybe you are one of the 300. Or maybe you are a single mother. Maybe you manage a liquor store. Maybe you work at Wal-Mart, the graveyard shift, and you’ve been told your whole life how much potential you have, but you don’t see it.

Friend, your potential lies in the one who made you, and you are part of his plan. So hold that head up high and believe in a greater tomorrow because He who is within us is greater than he who is in the world.

So Generation Y, I beseech you: be a generation that writes hope and integrity and trust on the scrolls of blogs and e-books and iPads and speaks truth to a world that’s forgotten it’s human.

You are not what people say you are. Your future is God’s alone, and your steps, predestined by him. So go forth in the name of the one who rides the stars, go forth and rise up and let joy overtake you.

Because you have a new name, now, brothers and sisters.

Your name is Loved.

From another 1980s baby,