Monday, February 25, 2013

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We returned home yesterday afternoon after a weekend up North. You can read the post here explaining what we were up to. 

To say that this past weekend was life changing for everyone in our group would be a drastic understatement. The Mr. and I were able to build more solid relationships with our youth and mentors, everyone got along well {when you're dealing with junior and senior high students this is astounding}, the weather was perfect, and the activities were fun. Overall every single person had a great time. Goal achieved. 

However, the Mr. and I did have a much larger agenda, one that was the most important to us. Our heart's desire was that these youth would really understand the depth of God's love for them. That they would desire a personal relationship with Him in choosing to pursue Him daily. For some this was a relatively easy decision. For others it meant leaving the lifestyle of drugs they are accustomed to, or leaving behind friendships that didn't build them up. This was huge. This weekend walls were broken, hearts were mended, there was healing, tears were shed, laughter was heard, and His presence was incredibly powerful. Goal achieved.


I know from receiving emails from some readers that many of you are wives of Youth Pastors or are in the ministry yourself. I want to encourage you specifically that if you allow the Lord to use you, even just as the wife of your husband who is in the ministry, He will take you and use you as His mighty vessel if you'll let Him. There are things He will use you to do that You would never dream of. And the joy that comes in serving Him to help and bless others? It's out of this world amazing. 

At one point this weekend I was feeling a little selfish. I was desiring some me time, and even just a short walk alone with my husband. When you're away for a weekend on a youth retreat those are pretty impossible tasks. You're surrounded by youth all the time. You eat together, you sleep together, you play together, and you have service together. Almost immediately after I was feeling a little sorry for myself that I couldn't sneak a moment away alone I was reminded why I was there. Let me tell you, He quickly changed my perspective. He chose me to be alongside my husband to minister life and healing to these girls. He uses me to bring them friendship, show them love, lift them up, and spend time with them. It's not about me. None of this is. It's all about Him and these youth. I was almost embarrassed for feeling so selfish because in that moment He showed me the power He has given me to change their lives. So the rest of the weekend as my attention was pulled in many directions, as they followed me wherever I went, as they asked if they could sit next to me at lunch, I had a brand new attitude. Yes, yes, yes, what a privilege that they would desire to be around me, and not because it's me, but because they see Him in me and desire that in their own lives. It was such a powerful ah-ha moment for me that completely changed me.

It's funny how we planned and prepared for this youth retreat, keeping them in mind with every decision that we made, but then God did something in my own heart. I can't explain it, but I'm so grateful He loves me, even in my own messed up moments selfishness. I'm forever grateful that He calls me His own, that He trusts me in bringing light, love, and hope to a very dark and desperate generation.

If you attend a church where there is a youth ministry I challenge you to volunteer your time to partner with Him to change lives. It is incredibly rewarding.

 

2 comments:

  1. I'm glad y'all had a great weekend! My sister's youth group had a retreat this weekend, too, and she and my mom {a chaperone} said it was amazing.

    I used to be the youth leader at the church where I grew up. Working with the youth brought me some of the greatest blessings in my life.

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  2. Thank you for this encouraging post and for setting such a good example for your youth! I have yet to really find where my heart is as far as ministry is concerned. Praying that the Lord guide me and make it clear. Thanks again for sharing your experiences. :)

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