Last weekend, I had the oppotunity to go to Young Life's Windy Gap camp and serve as the camp "doctor". Over 350 kids highschool kids escaped for the weekend to play in His beautiful creation, have 3 intentional sit down meals a day, hear the gospel, and be fiercely prayed over and pursued by their Young Life leaders. I felt so many emotions while I was there. It had been almost 6 years since I had been the pursued, the camper, the one being poured into. She was there again with me...
but this time as my coworker.
|Frontier Ranch 2004|
|Windy Gap 2012|
You see in highschool, my Young Life leader also doubled as my volleyball coach, prom hair-dressor, make-up artist, kettle-corn maker every Wednesday night in highschool as I sat in her big red chair and dove into the WORD of LIFE at her lead. She walked us through boy drama, prom, tutoring, parent's divorce, graduation, spilling fingernail polish all over our mother's floor (Lillie :), college recommendation letters and so many joys and tears. She bravely took a bunch of 16 year old girls across the country so we could know our Jesus in a way we never had before.
|Frontier Ranch June 2004|
She stood beside me as I took the 2nd most important vows of my life..
And now she works beside me as a Family Nurse Practitioner.
Last Thursday I went into her office and sobbed on her shoulder as we found out it would be
"a little longer until the girls came home". She prayed over me aloud just as she had before so many times. We served together last weekend as "co-camp nurse practitioners" and for the first time, I was able to glimpse the sacrifice she had made for us so many years before. How she filled herself with Him so she could pour His unconditional love on us. I say all of this to say.. Thank you Mindy! Words will never be enough. Your imprint has left Jesus on my heart forever.
And two, if you are/ have been a Young Life leader or serve/ mentor through any capacity.. youth groups, inner-city ministries, sports camps, etc... what you are doing MATTERS in the KINGDOM. Your investment will forever change a life. For those not in that role, I encourage you to find your "Timothy and Titus" as Paul did and train them. Sometimes, it is simply just showing up in their lives. Sometimes it looks like training them in a profession which the Lord has gifted you in. And.. pray for those who are serving children. Middle school and High school are battle grounds. Two of our dearest couple friends spend their days serving as interns and staff for YoungLife on opposite sides of the U.S. This weekend made me value their investment that much more. Windy Gap was the first place I met one of my best friends. The zip line means so much more to me than a line and freezing cold water. It is the 6 + years of a deep, intentional life giving friendship with Kristin B. Watching her pursue freshman girls this weekend brought me back to when it was us. When our leaders were trying to figure out how to turn our focus off self and onto Christ. And I experienced the deepest HOPE. The Lord whispered to me... my children are going to be just fine and I will use Kristin and Justin to love them fiercely with my love. I thought of Allison and Taylor leaving everything that they knew, packing their truck, and setting across the US to leave HIS footprints on another highschoolers heart. I thought of Becca, my lifelong friend who is more like a sister and how she spent 4 years running hard after girls at Fulton and going to pick them up so late at night when I thought she was crazy! She is now on her second year of mentoring and professionally teaching 20+ 3rd graders every day. She has given her life to invest in those who will come after her. I watched Ben (a boy who had grown up in my neighborhood and whose mom went to highschool with my momma) love on 24 urban, football boys. He was so full of JOY and CONSISTENCY and tears streamed down my face as I realized this may be the first consistent man in some of their lives.
And the MANY others of my friends who have been obedient and said "yes". As a mentor, you may never get the recognition but He will and he will reward you with eternal blessing. Parents, if you have someone pouring into the life of your child, acknowledge them and thank them. They will be able to talk to your child about things in the middle school and high school years that you may never get to simply because you are their "parent". If you had someone pour into you as a child, including teachers; go back and thank them!
In addition to finding someone to pour into, seek someone to mentor you who has walked this road before. We were not made to live this life alone.
You need to pour out and be filled up.
Last weekend the Lord filled us up!