Passion is a gritty kind of love, tough and

optimistic enthusiasm that overcomes negativity and inconvenience to make it

through to the end. (10,000 Reasons Overflow)

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

My love for Youth Ministry

I was overwhelmed by a simple God nugget of love this morning. A student I hadn’t seen in years. I really love my kids and maybe I don’t always do the best at expressing it to them in a way that is best accepted. I'd pretty much do anything for them, and should they ever be in danger around me, there is no doubt that  I would protect them!

My girls graduate this year, and someone asked me if I was going to retire. HAHA! No way! I actually took a small break but I never really completely left. I honestly don’t think that your heart ever leaves Youth Ministry. I think my role may look different than it has been, but I don’t believe that God is telling me to move on. (so don’t worry Adam).

This is just a few things I carry
in my bible of reminders

I walked out of Starbucks this morning with this overwhelming need to tell that sweet boy that I loved him. So went back in, but my hand gently on his arm, and said sweetly “I love you every day, no matter what”. Now, he may have thought I was the biggest weirdo ever (I feel like that about myself sometimes) but maybe it was just what he needed to hear today. I’ll probably never know.

There are a few things I’d like to share with you about my serving in Youth Ministry… so please grant me this time, or click the X in the corner. The choice, as it always is, is yours.

Youth Ministry is hard. There are no two ways about it, it can bring you the greatest joy and the biggest heartbreak you’ll ever know. Sometimes all in the same 5 minutes. I’ve had students be so rude and downright mean to me, because, well, I was safe. I think deep down they know, “I can be mean to her, she’ll always love me” and sometimes, they are just “vying for position”. Hurting people hurt people, and teenagers are absolutely no different. They actually have less of a filter because they world hasn’t taught them how to hide yet. Certainly doesn’t make me love them any less, I actually think it makes me love them more!

I’ve had them snot all over me and scream with the greatest joy ever! I love holding them as they cry, being Jesus to them in a real way, and I love laughing and sharing their joy!

I have seen 100s of kids come and go, some leave because they are hurt, and sometimes they leave because they have aged out of our program. I will tell you, no matter how they leave, I never forget them. I remember each face. Maybe not their names, but their faces, oh their sweet faces.

I love them. They need Jesus. Just like I did. In high school, I made fun of those “Jesus kids” oh boy. I bet God gets quite a laugh out of that! Or maybe it just breaks His heart how long I wandered in the wilderness without clinging to Him. I’m thankful He never lets go!

I spend my vacation time serving these crazy kids on mission trips and retreats! Maybe some people would think that I was crazy, but honestly, I wouldn’t have it any other way! Even though most events I leave I can literally barely walk because I’ve been on my feet for 14+ hours running around like a mad woman!

When Adam asks them if they want to accept Christ my heart leaps with great hope and expectation as hands pop up or they stand! My heart does back flips and I usually cry! When they are brave and admit they need to get closer to God and they need prayer, my heart is so filled with the Holy Spirit, I can barely contain it! And I usually don’t, I… cry. And smile. I think those 9 trips to Target for highlighters, black lung disease from burning edges for the small gift we gave them… it was all worth it, even if it was just one. It was all worth it.

When kids give their testimony and they find Jesus on the Detroit Mission Trip, I almost want to jump out of my skin I am so excited! I think no matter how tired I was, no matter how many meals I made, stuff I cleaned up after them, repeated myself because they didn’t listen (100 times!), it was all worth it!

I love worshipping with them, I can jump and flail like a fish if I need to because you can just be yourself with teenagers! I am lucky enough to serve under THE BEST YOUTH PASTOR EVER!!! And his messages are beyond good, they are God-breathed!

I love my kids so much. Every day no matter what.

If I could tell them anything, I’d tell them to cling on to Jesus! With both hands and never let go. I’d want them to know that I may not always like their decisions, but it has no effect on my love for them, although I am human and don’t always react correctly, but I love them. I love their hearts, I love their dreams! I love them!

I love Youth Ministry.

Am I retiring? No.

I’ll sleep when I’m dead! I’ve got kids to love! They need Jesus, and God sent me!

And I am thankful!

Sending love!

Gal 6:9 9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.

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