Saturday, January 12, 2013

Life is a Gift of Fresh Cut Roses (or in other words, a typical look into the mind of a young adult facing an unknown future)

I was listening to "With Everything" by Hillsong the other day and as I was, a memory flashed through my mind. 

I was at youth group and we were watching a video of Hillsong performing (probably not the right word) one of their songs. As I watched, I remember feeling this desire grow in me, this...sense of purpose.  I remember thinking, "this is what I'm meant to do. I'm meant for something like this." I was incredibly confident.

How far I've come from where I used to be. 

When I was fifteen, I knew I wanted to do something in ministry. When I was sixteen, I began telling people I was going to be a youth pastor. 

I had, definitely still have, a passion for teenagers. I think they are often overlooked and underestimated, but if any age group is going to change the world, it's going to be them. I say that with all the sincerity I can muster. When I graduated high school, I had a plan. At the time, I was going to go to Covenant, a beautiful Christian college literally on top of a mountain. I even was going to room with two girls that were in my class. But that wasn't the plan God had for me. I ended up staying home for two years, going to a community college, something I never wanted to do, but something that definitely humbled me. During those two years, I went through the transition of student to youth leader. It's impossible to go through that process without any awkwardness, especially if you happened to grow up in that ministry, as I had. Despite the awkwardness, I fell in love with it. The teens were just so different. So full of genuine love for God that it always blew my mind. I completely fell in love with them, and I firmly believe that they are one amazingly special group of teens. I loved everything about being a youth leader. Eventually, I knew that everything wouldn't continue to be so rosy. I knew eventually things would come to a head. And they did. Unfortunate events happened, events that caused me to become very bitter and hardened. Events that I am still trying to find complete closure on, and am working towards moving on from them with forgiveness and love.


Despite this, my desire to be in ministry didn't fade; it just became more broad. I ended up at Salisbury University, a plan that I sometimes still ask God about. 

It's funny, really. When I thought about what I wanted to write about in my next post, this wasn't it. Not really. I'm actually sort of at a loss right now of where I want to go with this. It's kinda of just flown from my mind to my fingers. 

I had intended to talk about my current job. How I am very grateful for it, but still feel the unending tugging of restlessness. However, I don't think I am going to talk about that, because I think I'm beginning to realize that this feeling of restlessness goes hand-in-hand with the young adult mindset.

I'm not going to lie. I am a restless person. I am a lover of change, a chaser of recklessness and adventure. However, every young adult reaches that point in their life where they are faced with their future, and go towards it with uncertainty and fear. It's normal, I suppose. And something I don't think that can be avoided.

 One thing I am certain of is that I've changed. In some good ways, and in some not so good ways, such as the nature of change goes. But that's the beauty of change isn't it? How unpredictable it can be, and how it is a constant learning process. I know that I have become stronger, more independent, and more "aware" of who I am. When I was younger, growing up in church, whatever was given to me I would take. Many times, I wouldn't think for myself, I would take what was said to me by my Sunday school teachers and youth leaders at face value. Which isn't necessarily wrong, but there is something incredibly uplifting and good about discovering things for yourself. You don't always have to agree with what someone tells you. If you disagree, look it up. Explore it. Hold it up to the Bible. Form an opinion based on that. Not by what someone tells you. I've learned a lot about myself here at Salisbury. I am discovering more about who I am: things that I find joy in, my strengths, what sets me apart, and new found passions (for example: my views on the modern church). At the same time, I'm also discovering the more ugly aspects of my personality. The capacity I have for selfishness and jealously, and an ever-growing lists of fears and insecurities.

One thing though that has remained the same is that desire for ministry. Whatever it may be, missions, youth pastor, camp counselor even, I know that I need to be involved in it some way. As I mentioned right above, I've let space, jealously and insecurities cloud that, but my desire still remains strong. I suppose this relates to what I originally wanted to write about, but I just...I don't want to spend my life working job after job. I want to do something I'm passionate about. Like everyone else my age! I know how unrealistic it is, but I could truly care less about making money. If I have enough to get through the day, I'll be okay with that. I know I can be a ball of stress and anxiety, but I'm slowly working on letting go and trusting God. 

I just, I want so much more. Since I was a teen, I've wanted to impact the world in some small way and as silly as it may sound, I'm getting older. I'm not guaranteed any day and I feel like I haven't done anything. At least not anything significant. 

I have to apologize because it's nearly 1am and I am running on less than four hours of sleep from the previous night, and I know that this is all pretty much just a long nonsensical list of ramblings. Ramblings that almost everyone has gone through, are going through, or will go through at one point in their lives. 

I just want to get out there and do something. You know?

It's funny because I am the happiest, the most joyful, the most content when I'm sitting with a group of people, discussing things about God. I imagine a life filled with that. Pouring out as much love as I can on those precious, beautiful people in third world countries whose faith and resilience will always blow my mind. I imagine talking and hanging out with a bunch of teens, and telling all of them how wonderful they are. How they can change the world; how important they are and to never feel worthless. And I imagine not having a typical life. I imagine spending my life doing something good. Something for God. 

Something fearless. Something I'm meant to do.