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“I will NEVER work with youth kids! No way! Too much work and let’s just be honest here….girls that age are way too annoying!”

I will never forget saying that to one of the youth girls at our old church. I was firmly convinced that I knew God’s plan for my life and it didn’t include youth kids.

John had just started at the church and I was struggling to find what my role as the pastor’s wife entailed. My first ministry and priority are to John and the kids. That’s a no brainer. But was I supposed to devote my time to women’s bible study? Nursery work? Senior saints?

I’m not really sure what the event was that led me downstairs to the youth, but I can honestly say that I will regret my earlier statement for the rest of my life.

These girls were in the 5th/6th grade class when I started getting involved with LSM. Annoying, whiney, needy and selfish. I couldn’t stand them because they were JUST LIKE ME. I had leaps and bounds of growing up to do and I’m so grateful God allowed me to learn right along with them.

Youth ministry is so hard. In between long nights with my own babies and hard talks with my “girls”, I was usually exhausted. Mentally spent. Emotionally drained.

Princess movies and pizza. Bonfires and smores. Sonic and Chuy’s. Just Dance and cookie dough. Boyfriends and breakups. 80’s night and Prom. All things that stressed me to the max, but also allowed me to chill out and just enjoy the small things.

Winter Retreat and nightly worship. Bible studies and Sunday School. Revivals and one on one talks. Thru these I saw several of my girls realize their need for a Saviour, rededicate their lives, confess sin and mend broken relationships. I wouldn’t have missed that for anything.

Keeping my relationship with the girls at arms length would have resulted in way less heartache, tears, pain and drama. But then I would’ve missed out on some of the best memories and friendships, laughs and lessons.

I am ready to start my new ministry here in Bristow, with a new group of girls. Most of them are still in junior high. I told John last night that I don’t really feel a calling towards junior high girls, but I realized this morning that my heart is for girls in general. The ones that I love the most started out as strange little girls. And it has been my honor and privilege to watch them grow into ladies who love the Lord.

There is going to be a huge difference between Lascassas and Bristow. But at the very core…girls are all the same. Insecure, fragile, scared, selfish, annoying, precious and beautiful in His sight.

Grateful for the memories and life long friends of a girls ministry past.

Ready to be challenged and can’t wait for the opportunity to love on a completely different set of girls.

 

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