This weekend Josh and I took our youth group to a conference in town called Revolution. It was a 3 day conference with some seriously amazing music and a great speaker. Your heart really is changed after taking a group of youth that you care so much about to a conference that allows them to radically live for Jesus and to worship and praise in their own ways. I was constantly reminded this weekend that these youth could have been out doing a hundred other things this weekend, but they decided to commit to spending the weekend with their Lord. I'm so proud of those kids.
The band that played this weekend was Royal Tailor and they are SO.GOOD. Literally. Go check them out right now. I jammed so hard every time they were on stage...what can I say, I'm a concert lover at heart and just can't sit still.
Jonathan McKee was the keynote speaker for the weekend, he's a minister out of California. He touched on a few different topics this weekend including bullying, prayer, and asking that the Lord's will be done in our lives. It's funny how to take your youth to a conference, hoping and praying that they are listening and absorbing what the speakers has to say, and all the while you are gaining so much knowledge and truth from the speaker yourself. Jonathan struck a cord when he was discussing the Lords prayer and he came to the part where we say "thy will be done". Sure many of us repeat this prayer every Sunday in service, but how many times to we actually believe it when we say "thy will be done"? It's so much easier and a lot more convenient to say "Hey God, this is what I need. This is how I want this situation to go. It would be great if you could..." But why aren't we just saying, here's what's going on in my life Lord...thy will be done. Let go of control, give it to Jesus. Trust that he is in control and that he's got everything covered. For a God that created us, knows every tiny thing about us and who loves us enough to send his only son to die on a cross for us...don't you think he's got our best interest at heart?
The thing that stood out to me the most this weekend, which I know the Lord was clearly laying on my heart, is that Josh and I are the only avenue to Christ a lot of kids in our youth group have. Our group is made up of a number of youth whose parents may not attend church and a majority of our group don't come to Sunday services, just to youth on Sunday nights. This weekend was such a reminder to me that I have got to be diligent about this avenue and opportunity I have been given and to make sure Josh and I are making the most of it. It truly brings tears to my eyes thinking that we may be the only people that show our youth group Christ, and I don't want to miss the mark with that. I don't ever want to see our duty as youth ministers as tiring or stressful...I just want to embrace it. It's such a reminder that I have to stay in the word and in prayer so that my relationship with Christ is ever growing, so that I am able to be a role model for our youth and when I'm teaching and speaking to them each week, it's genuine and not just another topic I'm talking about, with no experience to back it up. How can I stand in front of them every week and tell them over and over to read their Bible's and discover what God has to show for them if I missed a few days being in my Bible that week. Being a Christian is such a journey and I want nothing more than to be able to accompany them on their journey, to encourage them and to pray over them. We have a great group of kids, who I am so proud of and I love watching them grow in their friendships with each other and in their relationships with Christ.
On Sunday as things were wrapping up and I was tired from jumping around and dancing all weekend, I was struck by the fact that my husband was sitting beside me. I had this overwhelming feeling come over me. This avenue, this opportunity, this journey of youth ministry, I get to share with my husband. This whole youth ministry gig would be really hard without him. Getting to be his partner and co-leader in this whole shin dig is such a blessing. I'm so proud to have married a man that loves the Lord as much as Josh does and that he's willing to serve when the Lord calls him. Throughout my life, I have seen the need and importance of needing a strong, godly male figure in your life and my goodness, the Lord sure sent me the best example of that when he gave me Josh as my husband. Having a marriage that is Christ centered and where you can share every though and question you have about religion is such an intimate thing to me. I can't imagine not sharing in that with my husband...so I'm counting my blessings every day that I'm lucky enough to have a man that honors the Lord. Youth ministry can be hard and scary...and it's certainly got it's challenges, so having a partner as awesome as mine makes me thankful.
I hope everyone has a great start to their week! It's a rainy Monday morning over here, but I think I see the sun starting to peak out from behind the clouds.
Lord, thank you for the beauty and blessing that this weekend was.