Preface: this is lengthy. So grab a Diet Coke or tune out your professor before you read on...
SharpTop Cove leaders' retreat was this weekend. Just what I needed. Time with my favorite people, time with Jesus, and time with people encouraging and lifting us up.
Sometimes doing YoungLife ministry gets discouraging (high schoolers can be mean!!), so it is just great to be able to get away for a little while and be reminded that what we do matters and someone is appreciative.
Some of my favs:
|Love, love, love|
|From Bearden Bulldogs to YoungLife leaders all over TN. Holla!|
|Sweet teammates (plus Blake)|
|More sweet teammates|
My most favorite "take away" from this weekend was "You don't have to be awesome." Weird thing to take away from all that was said? Maybe. But I really have loved reflecting on this.
Tom Job was the "speaker." (I feel funny calling him this because it seems like "speakers" speak at the kids and Tom seemed to be speaking to us. Like he was having conversations specifically with us. I don't know, this probably doesn't make sense, just my thoughts...). Tom told a story on Saturday night and I'm going to try and retell it. (If you are reading this and were there and heard the story too, bear with me if I get some of the details wrong, I'm going for the gist of it.)
A guy he knows was working for sometime in Boston. One day on the subway he ran into a girl. He started talking to her and just knew he had to see her again. She was leaving to go home in California in two days, so they decided to meet for coffee the next night. That night felt led to share his faith with her. So he talked and she listened. He knew he needed to ask her if she wanted Christ in her life too, but he just couldn't make himself speak it. He got scared. He wasn't awesome. So she got up, thanked him, and left. Tom told us that story exactly 10 years to the date after it happened. September 10. The next morning, the girl got on a plane that flew into the World Trade Center. She never made it back home. The man was so upset. He knew he had missed his opportunity. And now it was too late.
But years later he was watching Dateline when a couple was being interviewed about their daughter who had died in the attacks. They said she had called them the night before she died and told them her life had been changed that night and she couldn't wait to tell them about it when she saw them again. She never got the chance. But it was the was girl. Her life was changed. This man once thought he missed his opportunity, when in actuality he changed a life. He thought that he hadn't been awesome. He hadn't done it right. Yet, a life was changed despite his mess ups. This girl's life was still changed. Because of him.
So often I feel the very opposite of awesome when doing ministry at Halls. But then I'm reminded I don't have to be awesome! Because Jesus is.
Now, on to my "double dip." How in the world has it already been a decade since September 11th? Wow. I remember it so clearly. West Valley. 6th grade. I was Addie's age! Mom picked Ashley Campbell and me up from school. Her dad, our pastor, got Sarah and Drew from their elementary school. We went to Grandmom's house. And watched TV all day. I'll never forget it. I was so young. But felt so old. I remember that beeping. The sound of the personal locator devices the rescuers were wearing. The ones that were going off after the towers fell. An eerie thing to remember. Re-watching news reports from that day make me cry now. They did then too. But for different reasons now. I was scared then. Now I'm just sad. But remember how "together" we felt? The whole country was united. Patriotic. Joined together. One nation. Under God. I would never, ever wish for September 11th to happen again, but to go back to that feeling again... I remember it still. As an 11 year old I knew those days were special. Scary, sad, upsetting, but also full of hope and a feeling of "we're all in this together." I would love to get back to that. I am so thankful for this country. So thankful.
So that's that for my double dipping post. Sorry it's lengthy. Thanks for hanging in there.