I have now served 5 years with my growth group bible study girls and they are graduating and moving on this year. I have enjoyed getting to know them and spending time with them every week. It's funny that I was the one serving, because I definitely got a lot back from them in return.
They taught me that there are kids these days who love Jesus and choose to live for Him every day. Sometimes we get bogged down with all the crap in the world that we forget to praise the good things kids do. And I will stand behind the fact that I had an amazing group of girls who were able to show me Jesus many times, even as young adults. They chose to come to church when school, work, and life were crazy busy. They chose to serve others, to invite friends to come, to love on friends when they had bad days. They knew that Jesus was the reason. They knew that Jesus meant more than anything else, so He had to become their priority.
I have loved getting to know these girls so much. Some I have known all 5 years. Some have come and gone. And some are new. But they have all brought joy, personality, craziness, and friendship into my world. They make me laugh constantly. They make me feel young again (which is impressive these days). They make me wanna strangle them and then hug them all in the same hour. They make me want to be a better Christian so that I can help lead them. They make me want to cry because I am so proud of the women they have become.
Here are some things I have learned over the years...
1. You must pray with your head bowed, at a 45 degree angle, eyes closed, hands grasped firmly in front of your face.
2. Food is a good way to bribe people to arrive on time.
3. Thinking someone is fit and has nice abs is not lusting.
4. Most people play jenga on their honeymoons. What else would they do?
5. Sometimes raising your hand doesn't get you called on so you just need to talk over all of the other people who are conversing.
6. Even if someone is trying to make a serious point, surely there is a pointless tangent you can start talking about that is way more fun.
7. Camping out is fun, even in the backyard. #andhashtagsarecool
8. You are a downer if you have two lows and no highs.
9. You can only pray for someone if they are directly related to you. No aunt's sisters' boyfriends' hairdresser.
10. Once you pick a seat, get used to it. It's gonna be your seat forever. Because it gets weird when someone else is next to you or on the wrong side of you. It just throws you off. So go back to your original seat and be happy with it.
11. Even if you are tired, busy, or had a bad day, go to growth groups. Because it always helps.
So to all my sweet, sweet girls... I will miss you dearly. I am proud of who you have become. Don't let other people change who you are. But make sure that God is your priority. Your life is to praise Him. To glorify Him. To serve Him and His people. Never let the world get in the way of being a child of God. No matter where you go or what you do, He will be with you every step of the way.
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go."
I love you girls. I will miss you. But I can't wait to see what's in store...