Youth Group Hang Over

by - May 1, 2010

I woke to a throat on fire, a throbbing headache, sore legs and kids giggling that mommy lost her voice - I hadn't, I was just dialing a little more bass than usual and struggling to understand the logic of my dear, sweet children who insist on getting up at 7 am on a Saturday.

It was midnight when I arrived home - just shy of turning into a pumpkin, I'm sure.  Exhausted.  Exhilarated.  Happy for clean sheets on a cool bed (thank you Purex 3 in 1).

There are nights when I struggle with the commitment I've made.  Am I actually making a difference?  Am I changing lives?  Am I worthy of the title of role model or mentor?  I am not spiritually superior.  I am not some radical Jesus preaching prophet with powers to part the sea...And then, just by their receiving of me I am reminded that it's not about right answers.  It's not about knowing all the right scriptures.  It's not about knowing who that new break-out Christian artist is.  It's about relationship.  It's about connecting on their level - not by text messaging (I still pride myself on the fact that I have never owned a cell phone!) or facebook or twitter (whatever that is) but as real live face-to-face people having real live face-to-face conversations about life, school, parents, boyfriends, girlfriends, hurt, joy, whatever.

Eight years ago in a conversation with my old youth pastor, with no prior consideration and no idea beyond divine intervention as to what made the following words spill from my mouth in some thoughtless verbal vomit I said, "I'd like to help with senior youth."


And he was all over it.  Two weeks later I was leading a grade nine small group of fifteen kids.  I went home that night and cried - completely overwhelmed and terrified of what my big mouth had gotten me into.

I don't want to fool anyone by saying it's gotten easier because it hasn't.  I am constantly forced out of my comfort zone.  I am forever pushing myself to meet new people, initiate conversation, include outsiders - all things that my normal personality doesn't naturally accommodate.  I am a happy home-body and would be very comfortable to stay home on a Friday night with a good book, bubble bath, cup of tea and a Harry Connick Jr. CD.

Early to bed, early to there really reward in that?  Late to bed, early to rise...this is true sacrifice.  I believe I am a better person because of it.  By offering five hours out of my week I am building into lives of kids in ways I have no way of knowing and you know what?...they're blessing the socks off of me!

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  2. Cherie Wardell ReitzelMay 05, 2010

    mmmmmm.........crap - I - we should talk!!!


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