since we work with youth we have a lot of kids (spanning all of the churches we have attended). we get to spend time with them in their best and sometimes worst moments/years/days. we get to be there for the hard questions about faith and life. we get to see them laugh at themselves and at each other during stupid youth group games. we might send them home at the end of the day (or week), but they are our kids. we are proud of them when they accomplish something they feel is great/huge and we are proud of them when something small happens and they don’t even know that they should feel proud. we try to be there for them when they need us and a lot of times they are there for us when we didn’t even know that we needed them.
one of the things that stresses me out the most about working with youth is what if i am wasting their time? what if what i am telling them isn’t deep enough to make them claim their faith as their own? what if our discussions are only on the surface and what the youth needs is to go more in-depth? what if on the weeks we have serious conversation, the youth really needed to play stupid games to get their mind out of a dark place? what if what we are trying to do and say never sinks in?
it is at graduation time that i look at our kids growing up and see that they are moving on. they have not only graduated from school, but from youth as well. i can only hope that they have gotten something from our time together because the time i had with them (held captive on sunday/wednesday evenings) is gone. there may be a short conversation in person or through social media, there might be a phone conversation, but the dynamic has changed forever.
as we watch them go across the stage at graduation or talk with them afterwards i look for glimpses that they got something from our time together. that even if they got nothing else from youth that they at least understand that we are proud of them, that we will always be here at a moments notice and that we love them so very much as if they were our own.
a little late – but congrats class of 2014.
cleo was our senior class for gcpc
(with her brother (wyatt) and bff (emma) at church for
graduation cleo sunday)
i love going to graduation here. it is a little more fun and laid back. they actually talk about God (at our graduation that was a no-no). they get to go crazy at the end throwing their caps and having silly sting (at ours they threatened to hold us through summer school). it is great to watch the kids having fun and celebrating their graduation.
we were also lucky enough to be able to attend morgan’s graduation (a former youth that moved to VA right up from where we live now). luckily we didn’t have anything else going on that day of her graduation so we were able to attend. while she was walking across the stage she did a selfie with the administrative staff on the stage – it was funny. not only did we get to see morgan we got to see travis (another former youth who happens to date morgan).
unfortunately jackson (another former youth) graduated on a thursday that we already had stuff going on. so we missed him walking across the stage and the big graduation party, but we made a point to stop in and see him and celebrate a little late with him.
we couldn’t be any more proud of our kids and of all of their accomplishments. we are so glad that we get to be a part of their lives and to celebrate these milestones with them.