What to say about 5 years with the youth of IGC? I’m not going to say there are hardly words, because there are a lot. I know that I’ve grown so much throughout these years, in leadership skills, people skills, confidence, and I’ve grown spiritually.
For those of you who may not know, I am spending the majority of the next 2 years in Prince Edward Island for college, which is a very difficult and scary move, but one that I feel ready for. Still, your prayers are much appreciated! I am so, so proud to be a part of this group and leaving it for an extended period is not something I’m really looking forward to.
If I could give some wisdom to the youth coming in (and maybe even the current youth), it would be to really give youth group a chance; put your 100% into the experience. You might surprise yourself with how much you impact others, how much fun you’ll actually have, how much you can learn and grow, or where getting involved will take you. I know that that totally sounds like something a principal would say on the first day of high school, but I can honestly say that the shy, quiet, unsocial (is that the word?) person I was when I started is not who I am today because of how much I put in to my years here. Take advantage of the opportunities!
To all the youth, I would say to remember that everyone is figuring it out as they go along, just as much as you are. Whether it be in their everyday life or in their spiritual life (they should be the same thing, but I’m trying to make a point), everyone struggles. We have to be diligent in relying on the people around us, because we can’t do it alone. And yes, people are going to let you down sometimes – sorry. But reaching out to people when they’re in need, or when you’re in need, is a good thing to get a handle on. Dwight L. Moody said, “I have never yet known the Spirit of God to work where the Lord’s people were divided.” In John 17:20-21, Jesus prays, “I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message. I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me.” Personally, I want to see the Holy Spirit move in this youth group, and that comes with all of us praying together, worshipping together, being together, total and utter fellowship, complete togetherness. And I pray that same prayer for you guys; not just for the good of our group, but as a huge example to the broken world we live in.
Finally, to the leaders, I hope that you don’t forget the impact that you have in our lives. Sometimes the smallest things will mean the most to us; I know that some of my most memorable moments of God working in my life was through you guys, mainly just simply in conversation. I know we can all be a handful sometimes, and that you put your hearts into your ministry. So on behalf of all of us, a big big thank you.
On a personal level, I am so very thankful for the highs and the lows of being a part of this youth group and this church. The people I’ve met and the opportunities I’ve had, made for experiences that I wouldn’t change a second of. Until I return again, I love you guys and will miss you all. I am praying for you and am excited to see where God takes you in this new season!