Why I YL

You were made for this.

 

For the past two years of my life I’ve been involved in this thing called Young Life. I’ve been asked plenty of times from family and friends what this is and to everyone I give the textbook answer. “Young Life is a Christian organization that goes through middle schools and high schools and shares the gospel of Christ.” What they don’t know and what I can’t really explain is that Young Life is so so so much more than that.

Young Life is an organization the Lord has given to so many people to help point them in his direction. And let me be the first to say, it works.

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For all of my life, my family and I have identified as Catholics. I made all of my sacraments in the Catholic church but my family did not go to church often. I never really liked going and we were always too busy to go. Sometimes we were at softball tournaments or sometimes in Raleigh to see my brother. I was still going to weekly classes at the church (that I dreaded so much) so I could make my Communion, Confirmation, etc.  It wasn’t until I went to Young Life for the first time that I realized I did not have a real relationship with Christ. I felt guilty. Why would I have confirmed my belief in the Catholic church when I never went and I didn’t really know who God was.

Then I met my Young Life leaders, and let me tell you, when God gives you Young Life leaders love them so so so much. They met with me right in the middle and helped me sort out my confusion, questions, etc. Without them, who knows where I would be. I was able to confide in them and really give them an insight to my struggles with this new relationship I had a hunger and thirst for. They prayed for me, they loved me, and they guided me to this beautiful journey I am now on.

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I have met so many of my best friends through Young Life and we have been on this journey together ever since. It breaks my heart though to know that some of my other best friends have never experienced the joy Young Life brings to so many people. At my school, Young Life often gets a bad reputation. People see the popular kids that party every weekend, go to Young Life and their immediate thought is ‘If those kind of people go to Young Life, it must not be very Christian.’ I’m here to tell you that is false. Young Life is meant for every type of person whether you go to church every Sunday or party every Saturday. It might seem hypocritical. Why let a hardcore partier go to Club every week when next Friday comes and they’re partying again? But that’s just it!  This is what Young Life strives for. They want the “bad kids” there. They want them to know that there is a man up in heaven who loves and accepts them for all of their imperfections.

This is a place where you get to sing songs, play games, and be a kid again. It’s so awesome to watch the most popular girl in school sing her heart out to “Lean on Me” with her arm around the President of Science Olympiad. This organization is breaking down barriers that society has built. This organization is showing us the joy we now have because Christ died for us.

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Young Life is family. We spend every Monday and Wednesday with these people. We do life together.

I have seen this change people, I have experienced people stand up at the “Say So” in front of 500 kids and say “I’m __________ from ___________ and I’m ready to start this relationship with Christ.”

Young Life has changed mine and thousands of other’s lives and for that, I will be forever grateful.

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Forever and Always,

Emma Nicole

School bells are ringing, children are NOT singing!

Ah, the phrase we all hate to here. Nobody likes going back to school after a fun-filled, 3 month long vacation. The endless commericals on TV, the ginormous signs in Target with the words ‘Back To School’ plastered on them, and the school calling about upcoming open house never lets any of us forget that the thing we dread most is coming. What’s even worse is I should be working on my AP United States History project but instead I’m sitting at the computer writing about how much I hate ‘back to school’ time.

The only fun thing I can think about is getting to buy a new wardrobe so you can strut the halls in style. Believe it or not, I also love buying school supplies. There’s something so satisyfing about opening your backpack and seeing fresh new notebooks and pencils.

The first week is great. All you do is go over a ton of rules, a syllabus for each class, and listen to your teacher go on and on about how rigorous the course is. Not to mention, you might make a few new friends here and there. It sounds great, until the second week comes and you realize wow, I have to come back here for the next 9 months.

I’m writing this to assure you that it won’t be that bad. I am going into my junior year (said to be the hardest year) and I’m trying to keep an open mind. Maybe I’ll have a cute boy sit next to me in class. Maybe I’ll make a new friend that will end up being a life long friend. Maybe I’ll figure out exactly what I want to do in life.

It will be okay. I promise. We will get through this together.

Forever and Always,

Emma Nicole