So tonight I am processing through saying goodbye to the PAC youth group. For 8 years I have had the great honor to watch students grow up. Sunday at church, I had this flash back moment, I saw the drummer as a round faced middle schooler trying to keep the beat. Now he is an adult, he’s in college playing on the worship team (in big church), and seeking out God’s plan for his life. WOW! He is just one of many.
It wasn’t too long after Tony and I started youth ministry that we realized how little time we have with students. We might have an hour a week, a long weekend, perhaps we would be so lucky to spend a week with them on a missions trip. With that knowledge we came to realize that our “influence” was pretty minimal. Even with that knowledge we so valued our time with each every student. We loved those moments that they had hard questions, when they challenged us, and those moments when we saw them acting out the love of Jesus. While it would seem that our job was to pour into students and teach them, the reality was they taught us so much.
We have had the pleasure to watch several students graduate and then God has directed them into full time ministry. Other students have graduated and then serve God by working in the secular world and living a life that exemplifies who Christ is. Unfortunately, there are students that we have grieved over, as they walked away from God. There are still students in the ministry that I wonder what does God have in store for you. Will you hear his voice? Will you walk away?
As I process through this, the thing I will miss is, knowing things about their everyday life. What classes they are taking, what boy they are crushing on, what they are thinking about majoring in as they head off to college, and what God is teaching them. I will miss Thanksgiving and Christmas weekends when former students come back. I loved hearing what they were up to. I will miss seeing them grow up, get married, and then have their own little ones. I will just miss being part of their lives. An ocean seems like is too big to cross, those details will get lost. There is no other word to describe how I feel, it’s a feeling of sadness.
So to the students of PAC’s youth group – when the time comes, send us your Christmas letter. Keep me as a friend on Facebook. Let Tony and I know what you are up to. Serve God with your whole heart. If you have walked away from Him, He is waiting for you with open and loving arms. Finally, in the wise words of my husband, “If you are going to be stupid, be stupid for Jesus.”