Dear (past/present/future) high school girls,
Every year, I think I have you all figured out.
After all, I was in high school not too long ago (almost 10 years, oops!) and I remember what it was like! Plus, I’ve been doing high school ministry since I was in high school, so it must be pretty much the same every year, right? I should have the hang of it by now, right? And yet, every single year, I am surprised and blessed in new ways by the novelty of different groups and the fresh new issues and perspectives they bring. I am so shocked at the things that you girls face today, and even more so impressed with how you face things with such courage and faith.
Girls, you have so much ahead of you. There are things you can’t imagine or dream about that will come around the bend in the next few years, and my oh my, you would never have predicted where life will take you. Some of these things are good and some of them are bad. Some are things that no one should have to face in a lifetime, and others ones that we all see at some point. There will be relationships that begin and end at unexpected times, trials with family, friendships that refine you, and throughout everything, you will continue to see God weaving His story into yours. He truly is a Creator, and you can’t miss out on His creativity if you watch for it. It is glorious and awe-inspiring in and of itself.
As I look back on these pictures of so many fantastic trips to Hume for camps and retreats, I remember all the adventures that came with them. I remember great Spirit Day outfits and rickety vans, days without washing hair and hilarious antics, mattress sliding and winning the championships, kajabe can-can and games of “if you really knew me” until the wee hours of the morning. There were lots of tears and even more giggles, and those are the memories I treasure the most. I can’t imagine my summers without Hume or my Tuesday nights without youth group,
and that is because of each of you.
Thank you for all the lessons you’ve taught me over these years. You’ve reminded me to laugh often and to share openly, to ask great questions and to sometimes hold hands, to listen carefully and never to underestimate the power of broken glow sticks. Thank you for letting me sit in the front row seat to what God is doing in your lives, and for keeping my faith alive and dynamic because of it. I can’t imagine walking through each week without getting to hear the
tales of God’s faithfulness lived out in your adolescent stories. And more than anything else, thank you for keeping me humble. You have forced me to rely on the Lord and to serve from His strength, rather than my own abilities. You have broken down my pride over and over again when I start to think I’ve got it all figured out. You’ve stumped me with questions, humored me on my soapboxes, riddled me with wonderings, and captured my heart with your innocence. Thank you for your patience with me as I learn to serve, and for the memories we’ve made and
will hopefully continue to make for many, many years. I am who I am and have the relationship with God that I do because of the light I’ve watched in each of you. If only there was a way to capture all the truths about God that have been learned and shared on these trips and in these small groups. I think He is so proud of each of you and where you were, where you’ve been, and where you are. I know that I certainly am.
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