Monday, July 13, 2015

I am Called to be BOLD

This has been such a full summer.  In fact, it has hardly felt like a summer vacation at all.  Don't get me wrong, our busy schedules have been anything but boring...just busy.  Mike and I really try to encourage our children's talents and interests.  When they want to try new things, we do our absolute best to make that happen.  Hence...the busy days.  One of the things we do every summer is VBS (Vacation Bible School).  This was my 7th year teaching.  Quite simply...I love it.  I love decorating.  I love getting to know the children.  I love watching our church pull together for one of our biggest outreach ministries.  I love feeling comfortable.  I've always felt comfortable with children.  So sharing my faith with them is something I'm comfortable doing.  However, now that two (soon to be 3) of  my children are teenagers, I have felt an incredible conviction that I needed to branch out.  I need to step out of my comfort zone.  I have resisted God's gentle nudges for a while now.  Working with teenagers, for me, has always felt intimidating.  Teenagers are well...they're mysteries.  I suppose that's the easiest way to explain it.  They think differently, behave differently, and often have more depth to their souls than preschoolers.  What if I put myself out there and didn't help?  What if they asked me a question that I had no idea how to answer?!  They're intimidating, I tell ya!!!  Apparently my fears weren't cutting it this year.  God all but pushed me into that church.  It was time.
     So this year, I volunteered to help with WOWBSAR (Week of Wonderful Bible Study and Recreation).  It's basically a youth (6th-12th grader) version of VBS.  We have a worship service together, a small group session, and play some crazy fun games in the gym.  Other than the age, the biggest difference, is that there is zero physical preparation to leading a small group.   We pray that God will prepare our hearts  and thank Him for the chance to work with each one of these youth. Then we put the night in God's hands.  He leads us in our discussions.  It could sound hokey, especially if you are not a believer, but I'm telling you, it's true.  I helped with the 6th grade girls.  I was privy to some deep topics and real heart struggles.  I was able to watch our future learn how to worship God.  Working with the younger children, I am able to plant seeds and pray those seeds will grow and bear fruit.  We teach them who God is.  The youth are learning how to experience God. What a powerful thing.  Watching these youth step out and feel God was one of the most moving experiences in my life.  I realized it's not about me having all the right answers.  It's about trusting that God to give me the words to speak.

Although the teenage mind still frightens me, I am going to be bold...continue to step outside my comfort zone and embrace it..

Have I not commanded you?  Be strong and courageous.  
Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, 
for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.
Joshua 1:9

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