Lately I’ve been walking around with a backpack full of indecisions, guilt, worry, and questions. Let me tell you, it is heavy. I can still hold it all, but my mind keeps thinking about everything in this backpack.
I’ve prayed for discernment and wisdom. I’ve tried barging on ahead. You know, kind of like day one of my backpacking trip. Although in an awful lot of pain and needing food and drink, I was too stubborn to stop and rest. With these life angsts, I’m making plans, buying books, getting all excited about who knows what. I’m driving myself crazy.
One of the burdens in my pack is deciding whether or not I should continue being a senior high youth group leader. I’ve been involved with the teenagers for about seven years now. I love them!
I hosted the wacky sweater Christmas parties, craft night, chaperoned many a youth camps, finding the best books to read and discuss with my girls, going to their school activities,
Look at this card one of the graduating senior guys sent me. Whaaaaa! I wasn’t even his small group leader! Some how I touched his life in some small way. I remember one time when I wanted to quit and a mom, (whom I know, but not quite on phone call-chatting basis), called me to share what her son said. During youth group her son texted her to tell her that “Mother Mary” was there! (Uh, that’s me.) She said he was so excited, because I brought life to the room. (PLEASE! Don’t think that I am telling you this so you’ll know how absolutely fantastic I am….I’m not!) This phone call came in the same moment that I was doubting how effective I was in the youth. Then she calls! That’s God stuff!
So here I am, looking deep in my heart about whether or not to commit the time and energy to being a leader. And a commitment it is.
On one hand, I actually have a gift for relating to teenagers. I’m not that far from their maturity level. I feel like I’m a good liaison between the kids and their parents. Having older kids, I’ve been through much of what these parents are now dealing with. And have I told you? I love these kids!
But yet…on the other hand….I have been doing this for many years. I’ve devoted myself to Sunday nights, not just a hit and runner. We have a new generation of kids coming through, whom I know about 5 of them. I think I scare some of the young seventh grade girls. (Believe it or not, I can get a wee bit loud, especially if there’s some sort of competition going on like kickball, donut eating contest or parent vs kid basketball tournament. Yea I get excited. Maybe a bit too excited.) Two of my children are onto college, with the third going to a different youth group on Wednesdays. Superman is willing to go with me to a couples bible study group, which meets on Sunday nights.
And I feel so guilty for saying this…but I feel like I just went through the motions last year. I think I’m just moving into the next phase of my life. I headed up a moms group when I had babies, then was president of PTO when they were in elementary school, team soccer mom and then youth leader.
Thank goodness for this sweet godly young lady…my Mary Claire. We were having one of our mother-daughter chats and I told her about my misgivings with youth group and she asked me flat out “Mom, is your heart in it?” My answer was no. “What does capture your heart?” And I said women’s ministry. In her wisdom said that that was what I should do.
Funny enough, that evening, I met a couple of my girlfriends from church at the local Barnes and Noble for some coffee and chitchat. I really miss my sistas in Christ. As it turns out, they too, miss the connection with other women. When I brought up my conversation with Mary Claire, I shared how I would love to help Rene (one of the gals there, who heads up our women’s ministry at church) with creating women’s small groups, bible studies, retreats and other gatherings. She got goosebumps. She is a teacher, so doesn’t have the time to do all that needs to be done, and here I am wanting to help her. Another God moment.
It’s almost a prideful thing to say that “I can’t leave!” (Picture me with my arm over my eyes, woefully saying this.) Of course I can stop. Broadcast youth group will live on, flourish and make many disciples without me being there. In fact, probably, with me leaving an opening in the leadership team, some super excited adult will fill my spot.
And my load is a little bit lighter today.
Thanks for dropping by,