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 www.likewaterthesea.tumblr.com.
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 don’t
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
didn’t 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 didn’t set her over the edge with excitement because that wasn’t her biggest dream for me. It was about Jesus. It had always been about Jesus.
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.
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.”
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 can’t change hearts and I can’t live flawlessly, but Christ in me can do all things, and I won’t
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.
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. I’d prepare a discussion, and then they’d 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 they’re at. It’s what Young Life is about, but more importantly, it’s 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. It’s going to be hard, and it’s going to be rewarding. I’m going to sleep even less hours than I already do, and I’m
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.
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.”