If you had told me, even just a few years ago, that I would find myself overwhelmingly passionate about youth ministry, I would have laughed in your face. Literally. Laughed. In. Your. Face.

I was a horrible teenager, and by that I mean that I was bad atbeing a teenager and not that I was bad while being a teenager. I took myself very seriously, I had to do some pretty serious growing up early in my life, so by the time I was 17-18 I believed I was much older than that (which of course was not true). So to be honest, working with youth never crossed my mind; I didn’t connect well with teenagers when I was one, in fact, I couldn’t wait to get away from them, so why would I ever consider even trying to connect to them as an adult?

It’s amazing what God can see that I cannot.

For me there wasn’t a big revelation or some special word of God given to me in a super spiritual moment that alerted me to the fact that one of the things God made me for was youth ministry. I wasn’t visited by a glowing angel in a dream, or filled with Devine undemanding. For me it was less poetic and more clunky, I never made a decision, I just started serving. Youth ministry literally just fell in my lap. That might sound passionless to some, but for me it’s evidence that God knows me, and because he knows me, he knows how to speak to me. Mulling over the options doesn’t work for me and I don’t do well with pep talks, and tons of preparation.

What I need is to find myself in the thick of it.

For this reason I find that most of the time when God wants me to do something, he drops it in my lap or drops me in the middle of it, but either way, I get dropped. Sound a little scary? It is. Nevertheless, it’s how I thrive.

At last years Exodus Freedom Conference I volunteered with the young adults Refuge group and it was a tremendous blessing, and I had every intention of volunteering with that group again this year, but as God would have it in the months in between I started volunteering at home with teenagers and it woke something up in me. It just clicked. So when I went to the Exodus Leadership Reunion and as a last minute decision decided to be a part of a discussion about youth ministry, I walked away knowing that this year I needed to be a part of the Student Refuge group instead of young adults.

I was a little nervous when I got to California and realized that the group was was going be made up of only boys for the majority of the time we were there, but oh my goodness! I think this actually turned out to be something that was really good for me. I learned so much from those guys, I don’t even know if I can even make words out of it all yet. As a woman who hopes to one day have sons, it was really eye-opening to hear how these young men thought and worked through things, how words impact them, how valuable having people put faith in them is. Incredible.

The thing that just blows my mind is just how much I love these young people, and I wish that sounded less cheesy than it does, but I mean it with everything I’ve got. For the first time in my life I’m not asking God a million questions about motherhood, why I’m not one, if I’ll ever be one, if I would even make a good one… I could go on.

I think He’s been saving me for these kids, and I don’t say that to mean that the door to having my own is closed, almost the opposite actually. I think that, like with so many other things in my life, God is detouring his way through my soul and teaching me who I am by paths I can’t predict. The truth is, when I’m being honest with myself, I don’t trust “normal” circumstances, I never have ( I know, I know, what’s normal anyway). I may scream and cry sometimes about why I don’t have the things my family and friends have, but if I did I would probably spend a lot of time waiting for the other shoe to drop, the rug to get pulled out from under me, for everything to fall apart.

I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to show God’s love to these young men and women, I’m humbled that God would let me do it, and I feel incredibly blessed and humbled to get to know His love for me better in the process.

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