Thursday, December 13, 2012

Guest Post: It Was Always About Jesus

This guest post is written by Erin Green, a sophomore at the University of Texas and a Young Life leader at McCallum High School.  She loves adventures, coffee, and kids. You can find her blogging at  

Since my sophomore summer at Crooked Creek, I have dreamt of someday being a Young Life leader.  I remember sitting on the rocks outside of our cabin, the twelve of us, eleven talking and rolling around and playing in the grass, while I sat on the side with Emily.  “I want to be a Young Life leader.  I think I would be good at it.”  She looked at me and smiled.  I dont remember what she said, but I know that Emily, my beloved leader, the woman whom I absolutely adored and looked up to in so many more ways than she will ever know, just looked at me and smiled.  I could see the love in her eyes, the warmth of her unconditional care for me, but she didnt react with the words that I thought she would have.
me (in the red) at Crooked Creek my sophomore year

Years later, I finally understand her reaction.
It was never about Young Life.  The idea of me being a leader didnt set her over the edge with excitement because that wasnt her biggest dream for me.  It was about Jesus.  It had always been about Jesus.
Emilys prayer for me was never that I would become a Young Life leader, but that I would embrace my Heavenly Father and walk all the days of my life, hand in hand, with my Savior.
My self righteous thinking has been revealed to me over and over again, failing continually with bouts of pride, so clearly shown by the claim that “I would be good” at being a Young Life leader.  As described in “Puppies,” by Shauna Niequist, “I thought it was the right thing to do- to volunteer, to be a mentor, but I was totally unprepared for what was going to happen in my own life.”
My views on being a leader have done a complete 360 and continue to shift as my view of Christ comes more into focus and my view of myself becomes smaller.  I am not prepared to be a leader.  I will fail, and I will fail continually, both in my ministry as a leader and elsewhere in my life.  The girls that I hope to be blessed with will need “so much more than I [am] prepared to give- more time, more honesty, more support, more help.”  But as I become smaller and Christ becomes bigger, (John 3:30), He is preparing me for a life that is not my own.  He is preparing me for giving away my entire self, to selflessly love and devote myself to others.  These are things that I cannot do alone; I cant change hearts and I cant live flawlessly, but Christ in me can do all things, and I wont be a great Young Life leader, but HE will be. Christ is the lamp to my feet and a light unto my path (Psalm 119:105), and by submitting myself completely to Him, He will do a heck of a job loving high school girls.
"We made it through the weekend, although I called them by the wrong names most of the time, and when we got back, we started meeting every week.  And you know, it was okay.  Id prepare a discussion, and then theyd want to spend the whole time talking about tampons.”  Being a leader to these girls means loving them through their ups and downs, sharing the Gospel with them, and being okay to just talk about tampons.  Loving them where theyre at.  Its what Young Life is about, but more importantly, its what Jesus is about.
I want to give myself away.  I want to live a selfless life of devotion to the Lord, and I want to do that in this ministry.  Its going to be hard, and its going to be rewarding.  Im going to sleep even less hours than I already do, and Im going to struggle.  But I want it.  I want to show the love of Christ to girls that are so desperately thirsting for Him; I want them to be pursued and loved the way that Christ pursues and love us.
“Somewhere between going through my trash and asking about tampons, in between the recitals and games and phone calls, they burrowed into one on the deepest parts of my life and my heart.  They became something between friends and little sisters and extensions of my younger selves.  They became a central part of my world, my thoughts, my prayers.  My schedule became more and more wrapped around their term papers and their proms and problems, and my home became more and more the safest landing spot for this strange, whirling little gypsy wagon of girls.”
I want this.

Thanks, Erin.  This is a great reminder of why we do what we do.  We'd love to hear the story of your journey as a leader. Here's how you submit a guest post.


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  2. awesome post. THANK YOU! I am only 12 days away from my first camp. I am excited, scared..nervous. Your post reminds me this is not about me. It is about Jesus..and I need to depend on him.

  3. Cold Tangerines is one of my favorite books (tied with Love Does) and Puppies is my favorite chapter ever written. I'm right there with you. More and more I want my life to be about pointing my girls to Jesus as I'm living right there in the craziness with all of them.