Someone who has made my life worth living
I would have to say that my high school youth pastor Dave made my life worth living. Life was shittier than it was today, my focus wasn’t there in living (I tried to commit suicide 2x) and yet he saw through the facade of “everything-is-fine” and engaged me in dialogue and I opened up to him…which took time given that I’ve always bucked male authority figures and didn’t know how long Dave would be around.
He also saw something in me, potential to make a difference in the lives of others, so I helped out as a student leader and that’s when I felt the calling and tugging on my heart to get into youth ministry full time. I remember thinking “what does he see in me? I’m a loser and a nobody” because that was how I felt, and if someone repeats something to themselves in the negative often enough, despite it not being true it appears to be true.
I learned a lot from him, especially since our time spent together was usually apart from Sunday nights, which to the youth ministers out there take note: The connection with a student is not always going to happen within the preset parameters, sometimes it happens outside. I’ve recognized that in my 9 years of youth ministry, I have other insights as well if you ever want to dialogue, feel free to comment to me and we’ll talk! I love helping out other youth ministers where I can.
Dave made life worth living, helping me realize the problems of today won’t always exist, that God does love me and wants the best for me. His time with the youth group I was a part of was short, but he left an indelible mark upon my life and even my dreams and desires of what I want to do has been shaped because of his influence upon my life.
Due to Facebook we still stay in touch now and then, but if I can I think I might see if I can hang out with him up in Wisconsin, because I rather have face-to-face time than Facebook. It has it’s purposes but it goes only so far, human interaction is far superior than multiple “likes” because of a witty status update.
Don’t give up on God,
Don’t give up on those you’re shepherding,
Don’t give up on the outlier students,
Don’t give up on grace,
Don’t give up on hope,
Don’t give up on LOVE.