This morning Becca walked into the class that i'm substitute teaching:
I cant go to class
Its wet outside
Well you can't stay in here
But you let Annnndie stay in here...
And you know what? I did let Andie stay and I let Becca stay too, because im a sucker and people don't last forever and spending time with Andie and Becca is more important than having them do thanksgiving word searches in their classes. Being a Younglife leader has probably been the most incredible experience of my life. I started doing YL so that I could show highschool kids a better way to live life, to be a positive influence to them, and ultimately lead them into a relationship with their Creator. But, the truth is, they've taught me way more than I'm sure i've ever taught them. Because being a younglife leader is like being a big sister, and a mom, and a best friend, and a pastor, and a teacher, and a doctor, and a substitute who lets kids ditch in her class even though its against every rule in the book.
More times than not, these kids are my saving grace, and as much as theyve broken my heart, theyve put it back together and left it in better condition than before. Kendal's boldness for the gospel, and Jess's sincerity, Becca's honesty, and Claudia's repentant heart, Stefanie, who surprises me everyday with her choices (like deciding to be a special ed teacher, and working hard to get there) and Andie and Liz who arent afraid to ask questions and seek answers. And then there are "kids" that have graduated and gone on to do INCREDIBLE things for the cause of Christ, like Katie the girl who discovered a love for kids with disabilities on top of the zipline at Lost Canyon, and is now using her life to touch theirs, who taught me what it means to be a Younglife leader. Or Jill who challenged me heart and soul every step of the way and has now brought me to tears more times than I can count because of her absolute love for Jesus and desire to be His hands and feet to the world, the girl who dreamed of going to Africa her whole life and is leaving this week to share the love of God with the people of Africa. Or Meg, who's heart is unmatched and who's voice is that of an angel, the girl who has been to hell and back, but chooses to fight against the resistance and desires to be a glorious light to the world. Or the countless other kids from both Coronado and Sierra Vista, who have forced me to examine who I am and who Jesus is, and have brought me to where I am now, and are going to leave the fingerprints of Jesus all over their worlds.
Because the last four years of my life have been filled with turkey bowling, panty-hose faced, peanutbutter licking, highschool kids who have taken up almost every tuesday and thursday night, and frankly I wouldnt change it for anything. To see God's children that were wandering in the wilderness and have now found comfort and love in the person of Jesus and have discovered who God has created them to be, and to know that God allowed me to be even a little part of that leaves me speechless. Worth it, absolutely worth it.