Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Blessings and Gratitude

Being in ministry is hard. There are no two ways about it. And the Young Life ministry that I am involved with is particularly hard for me, because I'm not really a "Young Life" kind of person. I'm not particularly funny; loud; enjoy watching people eat gross stuff; like getting dirty; creative; have a hard time keeping conversations going with high school girls. They are all so much cooler than I will ever be. And it's hard to be "cool" when you're so boring.

But for some reason, God has given me a heart for high school kids, especially those in Fauquier County. I don't know why, because my life would be a lot easier if He didn't give me this heart. But He has, and I can't ignore it. And so I press on through my feelings of inadequacy and guilt of not spending enough time with kids because of my work responsibilities, and continue to pursue them and do what I can.

I share all of this because in the past 24 hours, I have been blessed by seeing the effect of ministry in the lives of kids. It has been such an inspiration and I wanted a way to both share it with others as well as record it to remind myself what serving and loving others is all about.

The first girl, Janelle Leach, is one of the very first girls I ever got the chance to know when I first became a leader at Covenant High School in Charlottesville when I was at UVA. This girl is amazing. She not only has incredible talent as a hair stylist, but she has now gone on to across the Pond and is pursuing middle school girls, sharing her life with them, inviting them into her home, sharing a meal with them. It is so beautiful to see this girl, who I hadn't talked to in a long time till we reconnected via Facebook, have such a deep relationship with Christ, and such a love for others.

Second, a lot of our high school kids from Fauquier County who are now college freshmen have gone through Young Life training to become leaders in high schools. It is so cool to see them have this desire and enthusiasm to share their lives with high school kids. I pray for their journeys ahead, knowing how difficult it is, and how hard it is to negotiate through it in college. But their enthusiasm at being placed at their high schools is infectious, and inspired me.

Lastly, I was given a gift from one of my old girls who now is a leader herself - a letter from her allowing me to know how Christ had been shown to her through the effort I made to try to share my life and time with her. It touched my heart and helped me to realize that what I do is so much bigger than myself. And what is so funny though is how much this beautiful gal has given ME support and love. Her love and encouragement has meant so much to my life. So it was one of the best gifts that I have ever received to get that letter.

You know, people argue over the particular ways and means of how to minister to others. What we should share and not share. But to me, it just is so simple. We are called to love God with all of our hearts, minds, bodies, and souls and our neighbors as ourselves. I'm lucky that there are a few people out there whom I've gotten to see Christ influence their lives and then decide to go out and serve others.

On a side note, I have had several other thoughts cross my mind this past week and weekend which I keep thinking will make for some good posts, and so I hope to over the next few days give it a shot and post them - hopefully they won't take an entire day, like this one did! So stay tuned...and hope that I can remember the ideas in the first place!

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