I have come to embrace the fact that God created me to enjoy helping people. At the same time, I am not a people person! How is that even possible? I have asked myself that many times now. I am an introvert by nature and an extrovert when called to be. My extrovert self takes over and I do what needs to be done and then I retreat inward to recover.
I have this need to be alone. I have this need to have silence, music, self time more than a lot of other people I know. I have this need to reach out to others and help them. I have this need to be friends and support people. These clash in horrible ways and yet this is how God created me to be!
Back in December (I believe), our church put a note out about needing volunteers to help with some youth. I had an instant grip around my heart and a weight on my shoulders. I was being called out just by reading it in the bulletin. Then a pastor got up and talked about it and it was as if my heart was being squeezed even tighter in my chest. I knew that, even if I wasn’t picked as a volunteer, I had to offer myself to this ministry.
And I did, very slowly. First I talked to the pastor. Then I talked to a friend. Then I talked to my husband. Then I talked to my friend. Then I talked to my Bible study group. Then I text the pastor and said, “I’m in”. I didn’t know what I was saying I’m in to. Nothing had really been said other than volunteers were needed. Still after everything I had felt, each time I thought, heard it or talked about it, “I’m in” was the only answer I could possible give.
Not a lot has been done since that time. Had not heard anything from anyone. Then all of a sudden I got an email. First meeting is on the 10th and launch is on the 17th. It is really exciting and scary all at the same time.
Why did I feel that pull and tug and squeeze on my heart? I mean really, why? How in the world am I going to be used for these kids? I am not a scholar. I don’t have the Bible memorized. I don’t even have a lot of verses memorized. I didn’t even really get into being the person I am until about a year ago (what can I say it took me a long time to grow into this skin of mine). I have had my times and moments when I have studied His word, and read the Bible and tried. Still it has only been a short while since I have really been working on my relationship with Him!
I did step out of my comfort zone when I listened and approached the pastor who was asking for help. I do know that what the kids are dealing with are things I dealt with, either by myself when I was younger or with my oldest son and his younger siblings. Great so I have that going for me, in some ways, but still – ME?!
Obviously when I was personally going through them I was not dealing with them in a Biblical way. When my oldest was putting our family through a lot of it, I was not dealing with them in a Biblical way. I don’t even know what the Biblical way would be if I was currently dealing with it with my family. So why me?
Because in His Word, He tells me so…
I am to love. He knows what I am going to do. He knows where I am going to listen and follow. He also knows where I am going to push and not go, at first. Nothing I do here is done without Him. Yes I have freewill. Yes I can pray, I can say no, I can say lets go, I can say not gonna happen. And still nothing I do here is done without Him (the reason is He lives in me!).
I am not perfect. I never have been. I never will be. He lives in me and because of that, I can do great things! I may not know the Bible word for word. I may not have a ton of verses memorized. I have what I have gone through in life. I have Him in me. That is what I have, Him in me.
While I sit here not knowing where this is going to go, I do like to help people. These young people are in need of people who are capable of loving them to come along side them. These young people are in need of people who can listen to them when they need to talk. These young people are in need of people who can play a game with them while they hang out. These young people are in need of guidance, and someone who can show them faith and the Lord through example. These young people need someone who is able to and willing to meet them right where they are, help them make good choices, and just be there, be their Light and be the Love.
I am a light. I listened to His call and I stepped out of and onto that box. Where He is going to take me, I do not know. What I do know is that He placed inside of me a need and want to help, and even though I am not especially fond of people, He is using what He placed in me. I am going to be His light.
I am going to follow His command and I am going to love. What could it hurt? Showing someone the Light and Love inside of you, reaching out and helping someone, and doing what you are lead to do by Him; it can only help!
I am going to ask for prayers. These are not your typical youth. These kiddos come from homes that are broken in many ways. They have dealt with things daily that most of us don’t even think about monthly! Parents and siblings who have addictions, single parent homes (although this is becoming a common thing), lack of food, lack of guidance, lack of positive roll models, gang involvement and the list goes on.
I do not live in a big city where you hear about these things often. I am not in Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, or some place that brings these thoughts when you hear the name. I live in a city where the medical community is huge and thrives. I live in a city where they have a huge art contest annually (and people from around the world enter). I live in a city that is, in my mind, relatively safe. Yet all of these things are affecting these youth, here in my city.
Pray for them. Pray for me. Pray for all of those who have volunteered and have felt the pull of Him to this ministry.
Are you involved in a ministry that needs prayers? I would love to hear about it!