When I started home schooling 4 years ago, I stepped back from most of my other responsibilities. I wanted time to figure out the ropes of homeschooling in addition to taking care of my family. But last spring, I started to feel a tug. I was ready to serve again. I wasn’t sure where or how, but I knew I wanted to serve in some capacity. (Keep in mind this is not because after 3 years of homeschooling I suddenly had the homeschool thing mastered… truthfully this year more than ever I feel more nervous about our school year…. it’s because I think I realized that I didn’t want to wait till I had mastered it b/c truthfully I never will…)
So anyway, last spring I started to talking to Scott about my desire to get involved and serve the Lord. He supported it. Still I wondered where, how?
And then I got a letter from our youth pastor seeking helpers for the youth group.
This is not the first time such a letter has arrived in our mailbox. In the past, I’ve gotten the letter, thought, “wow, I am flattered they’d ask me to help with youth group… I know nothing about teenagers. Teenagers scare me. There’s no way I could ever do that” and so every year I’d send him a nice e-mail saying, thanks, but no thanks- my plate is full right now.
Until this time.
This time, I thought, “Wow, teenagers totally scare me, there’s no way I could ever do that…” I think I want to sign up.
I can’t explain why the change of heart, only than to say, I think it comes from God working in my heart. I think I finally realized I am ready to step out of my comfort zone. I think I finally realize how very little it has to do with me, and how much it has to do with Him.
What do I, homeschooling mom of 4 young children have to offer a group of teens?
But, God has LOTS to offer them and I am exited and hopeful that He will use me to draw them closer to Him. And conversely, I am hopeful he will use them to draw me closer to Him as well.
On one hand there is a part of me that is absolutely terrified of youth events. I hate small talk. I hate starting up conversations with people I don’t know well. I find spending time with large groups of people completely exhausting. I find walking into a room full of teenagers completely intimidating… it’s like all those 9th grade insecurities come creeping back. I’m not hip. I know nothing of style (I text and e-mail my SIL when I need help putting together an outfit), what am I thinking? My comfort zone is a world of play dough and goldfish. I prefer squishing into chairs that are low to the ground and making time for “potty breaks.”
But, you know… I am only 3 years away from having a middle schooler. (this thought instantly makes my breathing turn rapid). What better time to learn about the world of teenagers than before I have one of my own?
This weekend I’m heading off for my first “official” youth event. It’s a staff retreat to get to know the staff I’ll be serving with and to further grasp the vision for the year. Or as I told my 5 year old the other night when I explained why Mommy is going away for the weekend, “so I can learn how to teach teenagers more about Jesus.” The week after that will be my first Sunday School and youth group event. I am excited and nervous about this year. But, I hope I am able to make some connections with some of the students and that together we’ll grow closer to Jesus this year.