For those of you who don't know...at the end of summer last year, I was asked to help with our church youth group ministry. Youth group at our church consists of junior high and senior high. At first a friend of ours (Dan) who facilitated the small group David and I were in, was taking over the youth ministry for a few months while our youth pastor and his wife took a small break. I volunteered to help him for the few months that he did it. At first I was was very apprehensive...not knowing exactly where this would lead, I wavered in my decision to commit. The first night, we had our youth leaders meeting, I came eager to hear what was in store for the next few months. At this meeting, all my nervous feelings sky rocketed! Hearing what we would be doing, all the commitments that were involved, the responsibility, the endless hours spent being with a bunch of kids I didn't know was a little scary to say the least! I pretty much decided at the meeting that I was "out of my league" and had apparently walked into a world that I did not belong in.
At the end of the meeting we stopped to pray. Instantly, Dan and the other leaders from the church looked at my face and started laughing. Apparently I had the "deer in headlights" look going on. They all asked what I was thinking and I began to basically tell everyone in the room that I wasn't equipped to "minister" to anyone, especially a bunch of other peoples' kids!! Are you kidding?! I could hardly understand my own mood swings yet a bunch of teenagers! Talk about selling yourself out! I tried..but in their eyes, I was completely selling myself short. They saw the "me" that I couldn't see...yet....
That night turned out to be one of the most eye-opening nights of my life. Here I was, in a room with 4 adults I had only known briefly for about a year. They all began to tell me how wrong I was. They began to build me up by pointing out all the qualities I had to offer. They encouraged me in saying that God uses anyone willing to be used...not just those that appear qualified. They all felt that, if I was being led to this ministry that I had better jump on board 100%, as I would be better off obeying God then turning my back on him when he was calling me.
So, I left that night shaken to the core. How could I be so dumb I thought?! Did I really think that God, the creator of all the universe, made me wrong!? He didn't "EQUIP" me right!??! Whoops! That night, I went home and decided that instead of turning my back and running away...I was going to dive right in and trust God that he knew what he was doing.
So, here I am...7 months later. Still working with the youth every Wednesday night from 6:00-9:00. Teaching confirmation class every Sunday from 2:00-4:00 and loving every minute with these kids that I thought were going to ruin my life! JD (the youth pastor) and his wife, Amy...had returned from their break back in October. They asked me to stay and I agreed. In the meantime, we've become great friends.
I love going to church and seeing "my kids" every week. We sit together every Sunday and they laugh at all my stupid jokes ;)
I remember when I started this adventure a lady from my church told me...."Sometimes, God asks us to do things that put us out of our comfort zone. He does this so that we are forced to lean on him and this builds a stronger bond with God. The best thing about trusting God is that in doing so, we are blessed more then we could every imagine."
As I sat at JD and Amy's house this morning, sipping on coffee...my mind wandered. I thought about them and all the great friendships I've made by taking that "leap of faith"! By stepping out of my "comfort zone", I've gained so much more! Next time God ask me to do something, I won't hesitate. It's not worth it. Every Wednesday night and every Sunday afternoon when I walk into our youth room and get bombarded by a bunch of obnoxious teenagers, I thank God for putting me where he knew I needed to be all along....