I can't believe it is already almost 2011. I know that as I get older, the years will seemingly go by quicker and quicker, but this year just zoomed. I think I’ve mentioned before how working with the youth group makes me all the more aware of how fast time flys by. It’s almost been two years that I’ve been a leader and it seems like yesterday that I started- sitting in a room of girls that I hardly knew.
We had our youth group Christmas party last night and it was so overwhelming to look back at the year and see what God has done. On the topic of One Thousand Gifts, the youth group provides so many of those.
6. At our Christmas party last year, we had 3 kids from our church. This year we had 13 (and even had to borrow someone else’s vehicle so we could fit them all. Last year we all fit in one car.)
7. We’ve had not one, not two, but THREE girls nights. I love seeing the girls get excited to hang out with each other and play games and swim and eat and be silly. I praise the Lord that they are growing in their relationships with each other, and that the girls who are new to our group feel welcomed and get plugged in so easily. Such a gift.
8. Our summer trip was a huge sign of God’s provision. We rented a boat and jet skis and hung out at the Lake all day for two full days, and there was not one injury. 26 teenagers, two jet skis, and a boat. How does that NOT equal an injury? There were none. Not even a scrape. God was so good to us this trip. Not only did He provide physically, but to be in God’s creation for six days just echoed His majesty, and I know the kids felt it.
9. I had to say goodbye to one of my girls that graduated. Ok, that’s a little dramatic. I still see her all the time, but it’s hard when you get used to having someone in your group once a week and then all of the sudden they aren’t there. It really showed to me how every single girl plays such a different role in our group. It surprised me how sad I was to see her move on, but we honestly watched this girl grow into a woman who is seeking God and what more can you really ask for? I know there are a lot more hard “goodbyes” coming my way, but it makes me value the time I have with them more.
10. Last and MOST IMPORTANT, their hearts are changing. They are talking openly and honestly about their faith. They are praying together. They are seeking wisdom and God’s guidance. They are desiring God’s will for their lives. God is working in them in ways that I could never do. Over and over again I’m realizing that I am so powerless to change anything. By God’s grace, I am not able to open their hearts. That’s too big of a responsibility. More than anything, I’ve learned that all we can do as leaders is wholly lean on the One who loves us so much that he came to die for us. When I think about the love that I have for these kids, and the desires that I have for them, multiply that by infinity and that’s how much their Savior loves them. What a peaceful revelation.
May this Christmas remind you of all of your One Thousand Gifts, and also point you to the greatest gift of all…a Savior.
For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.-Luke 2:11