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.
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.
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.
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.
Forever and Always,