Senior High Youth Ministry

12:03:00 PM

 Its so weird to look at my last post and truly believe that was only a week ago. The Lord has rocked my world so much since then.

I think I need to preface this post with what Sr High Youth Ministry means to me: Sr High Ministry is a major part of my life. I schedule the majority of my social, work, family life around it. And I have since 2003 when I was a 9th grader. I could probably count the number of events I've missed belonging to Sr high on two hands since then, not counting my year of exile (after you graduate they ask you to take a year off until you become a leader). I love Sr High. I always have. I always will. Sr High is my Friday nights for the most part. Almost all of my friends are Sr high staff. We plan our social events around Sr high. We socialize at Sr High.  Sr High is my Wednesday nights. I haven't been in the sanctuary on Wednesday nights consecutively for about the last two years. I usually only check my email because I may be getting an email relating to Sr high. The Sr High website is the on my top sites list when I open my internet browser. Sr High is my facebook status updates and  a major percentage of my Facebook friends...I know this is starting to sound pretty pathetic. But I was wholeheartedly Sr High staff.
Jesus called me out of it this week.
So here's what the Lord showed me at Coatesville. I mean, this has been a process for months now and you can trace it if you look back over some of my posts recently. Something had to go. Sr High wasn't an option. But even looking over my posts I realized- I've barely posted about Sr High. I've barely prayed for Sr High. When life was getting crazy, I wouldn't admit it to myself but it was Sr High that was taking the back-burner.

my devo spot 
So on Saturday morning, I walked out of my bunk and toward my devo spot. (And look even how faithful the Lord was to prepare me for this season!)  On my way I just felt this sense of ending. Like my time at this spot was over. Mid-basketball court the tears started streaming- No more Coatesville? and then the thought went one step further- No more Sr High? What could this mean? But in the Lord's mercy and grace, part of the "Banner" (memory) verse for the week came to my mind:
"Fear Not" - but why "Fear Not" ? Why shouldn't I fear? I think I have every reason to fear- my whole life was about to change drastically! My pride would have to be humbled. My Friday nights would be empty. No small groups? No Wednesday night studies? Everyone going to Coatesville, Prayer Retreats, Winter Retreats without me??? I thin I had every right to fear- but Jesus said- "Fear not"- key word here being "Jesus said."
If anyone else said, Fear not- it would not mean anything. This week our theme was "Jesus our Hero." The skits revolved around a hero named "hero man." He was a failing hero. If Hero man told me to "fear not," it would be no comfort.  But it is Jesus who tells me to "Fear Not." Not even Brian or Mike. Not my friends. Not even Pastor Joe. It is Jesus- He is my comfort.
And He began to reveal to me who He is through the rest of our memory verse:
"Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth, says, 'Fear not. I am the First and the Last and the Living One. I died and behold, I am alive forevermore" (Revelation 1:5, 17, 18)

"The faithful witness"- the one who stands before the Father testifying of what He has seen- that Christ Himself died and rose- being the "Firstborn from the dead" because He loved me- to save me. And He witnesses my whole life- all my failing- and loves me still. He witnesses that His blood covers me- through Him I have the redemption of sins. I can stand before the Father, washed, blameless.  It is the Jesus who conquered death who tells me to "fear not."

"the ruler of the kings of the earth"- 'no power of hell, no scheme of man- can ever pluck me from His hand.' What can man do to me? What situation can arise the He has no control over? He rules even the kings, governors, presidents.

"I am the First and the Last and the Living One"- Time has no dominion over Him. Even lately I've watched Him make "a day as a thousand years and a thousand years as a day"- it feels like that's the amount of time it should take for the work in me to be accomplished! He's always there- in every situation. And He sovereignly controls it.

"I died and behold I am alive forevermore"- death has no reign over Him. And so death has no reign over me- through Him. Eternity is before me.

So why do I fear? Jesus who has full dominion, Jesus who died because He loves me, Jesus who is coming again says, "fear not."

And so I felt peace that morning. I felt like I could give it up to this Jesus- but only for a season. I mean, He wouldn't really call me to give up sr high, would He?  This was all just a little test this morning. I'd come through and through Christ has been victorious- right?

And so I went through my day, and met with some friends. and I shared about that morning. And now I felt like- 'wait, this could be real!' And I was scared again. And even though I'd opened my hand a crack, I still wasn't really letting go- because- That Jesus- He wouldn't do that to me. Didn't He know I needed Sr High????

I went into communion that night. And every song called Him Lord- and I told Him "no."
Every song said He was worthy and I held my fist shut. Every song called to give Him all- and I couldn't take it anymore. He was calling and I had to answer. Jesus died. He shed His blood. He loves me. He's worthy. I had to let go if I ever wanted to know this Jesus more or be able to praise Him. To bring Him glory.
And so I let go.
And I worshipped.

And so afterwards I told me friends. I talked to my friend Sara on a wet bench under a broken umbrella in the rain. We both knew I would never have come up with this on my own. The idea of me leaving sr high was so ridiculous, insane, out of the blue. It had never been an option. Sr high was mine. I would never even pray about giving up Sr High...

Months ago Pastor Joe taught on Mary and Martha. I knew I was being Martha. I was so busy. I was not sitting at Jesus feet. "But Martha was distracted with much serving." "Martha Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion which shall not be taken away from her" (Luke 10:41) and even during communion Saturday night, someone read the account where Mary poured out her all on Jesus' feet. Jesus said to Judas when he criticized her, "Leave her alone, so that se may keep it for the day of my burial. For the poor you, but you do not always have Me." (John 12:7). And Sunday morning as I thought on these things, I found in my Bible a sheet of song lyrics and on the back "Don't Hold Back." And then I remembered, my friend Ade had shared one morning on Mary's story. I had forgotten. But Jesus had been preparing me- to pour out my all to Him. My treasures. He was worthy of them.

And after Joe taught on Mary and Martha I knew I needed to seek His heart for all my ministries. But I wouldn't really. Because somewhere deep inside of me- I wasn't willing to let go if He asked for them. So if I don't offer them to Him, I won't have to say no when He asks for them, right? I remember awhile ago my friend Chantale asking me how I was doing. And for some reason I shared with her how I was touched by the Mary/Martha study. She asked if she could pray with me and I remember her praying that I'd know which ministries to be a part of and which need to go. And part of me recoiled then. Part of me knew that the Lord would answer that prayer. Part of me knew I didn't really want Him to. And what's funny is I got a text from Chantale this week. I hadn't talked to her or texted her probably since that talk. All it said was "Beloved, 'Cast your anxieties upon Him for He cares for you' 1 Peter 5:7" He was preparing me all week.

On the camping trip we read those verses I wrote about in my last post in Zechariah. "And when you eat and when you drink, do you not eat for yourselves and drink for yourselves?" (7:6) And even in 8:23, "In those days ten men from the nations of every tongue shall take hold of the robe of a Jew, saying, "Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you""- and if I'm not following after God- who would ever say that of me. How can I lead people to a Lord that I'm not following after?

Midweek, some drama had arisen with some girls and I felt like I literally had no wisdom to deal with it. Nothing. And I honestly didn't really want girls to come to me about things. I hid from it. And I wanted just to be with staff. And I wanted just to play Monopoly Deal. (pathetic I know).
And my heart- my heart wasn't right. I had to let this go. What's the point of it all if it isn't for God's glory? If it bears no fruit in my life or these sr highers lives.

The Lord has continued to just confirm that the time was over. Really random things. Like for some reason when I was getting the make-up station supplies at the store before Coatesville I was determined to get a plastic bin so I could keep everything in the sr high closet. And I decided to label it and make a list on top of all the supplies that were needed...just in case...i wasn't going to be able to do it next year...

And just what the Lord has shown me through it and just how near and real He's been. How much more settled I feel (though I have waves of sorrow when I think of everthing I'm going to miss out on. which is just plain selfish. though I still get worried that I'm crazy and made all this up. though I get anxious at the idea of my friends all going to staff meeting without me. its a million little things that have just always been there that won't be anymore. strange. just so different.) but I really am confident that this is the Lord's will. That He is pleased. I need Him so much right now. I need Him to be real for me. And He has been.
And I'm watching it take a purifying effect on my entire life. I've hid behind my busy-ness. Friendships that need to go deeper. Friends who have walked away from the Lord I need to pursue. College and Careerers that need friends- who need someone who has a Friday night open- because they're alone because they gave up their friends to follow Jesus. Kids who graduated senior high who need to get plugged in. I know how hard that first year out of sr high is...I feel like I'm almost reliving it- but with so much more knowledge of who Jesus is- by His grace I've learned there is no other Fountain.
I've hid from all of this things because I was "too busy" bearing no fruit, living selfishly, pursuing my own agenda.
Praise the Lord He's freeing me.

"The steps of a man are established by the Lord, when he delights in His way; though he fall, he will not be cast headlong, for the Lord upholds his hand.
" I have been young and now am old, yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken or His children begging for bread. He is ever-lending generously and His children become a blessing." Psalm 37:23-26

hero man 
facepainting and nail salon
being with these girls and watching people <3
I'm going to miss Sr High. Everyone asks what I'm doing instead. Well, I'm just still doing all the other million things I've been doing but praying for the Lord to purify and remove any of them if they also have to go. I want to be able to pour myself into them but as an outflow of what the Lord pours into me.

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