Life is full of so many moving parts, from friends to family to vocation to church to community and everything in between. In each season of life there are areas that bring us life and areas that drain us. And sometimes we are involved in beautiful areas that push and pull us in between. When I was in college I was a part of a ministry called Young Life where I had the opportunity to lead and befriend high school girls to walk with them through different seasons during high school. It was a hard, yet joyful experience that left me feeling a bit burnt out. After graduating I knew I needed a break from high school ministry so that I could eventually go back all in.

Fast forward to when I found out that I got into the Nashville Fellows program. In the program there are also many moving parts: seminary classes, job placement, living with a host family, and volunteering with the youth group at a local church. A busy lifestyle had always been routine for me so I was looking forward to getting plugged in to all of the communities. After I let the excitement of moving to Nashville sink in, I realized that I would soon be thrown back in to area of ministry I so needed a break from. I was then placed at West End Community Church and asked to be a leader for the 10th-12th grade girls. Part of me was excited because I have a heart for ministering to high school girls, while the other part of me was still reenergizing from youth ministry in college. My prayer was that Jesus would give me supernatural energy to love them and be fully committed.

Coming into this youth leader role, I had an attitude that I would show up when I needed to but I did not have the time or energy to be the kind of leader they needed. After the first couple of months I knew Jesus had other plans for me. Jesus was saying to me, “Do you think I can’t use you in their lives because you don’t feel well rested or equipped enough to do so? It is my work through you that will allow you to be a loving, present leader to them in this season.”

Then I was reminded of 2 Corinthians 12: 9-10:

“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

He constantly reminds me that I am not enough on my own, but that He delights in my weakness because I need him.

After Jesus allowed me to see what it looks like to lean on him when I feel weak, He showed me what a blessing it is to be a leader to these girls. I can easily say that becoming friends with the high school girls, as well as, the other high school leaders at West End has been such a gift. These ladies are some of the most genuine, fun-loving, kind, mature, honest, joy-filled girls, and I do not use these words lightly. Each one of them has shown me more of who Jesus is simply by being a friend. I am amazed at how loved they make the people around them feel. After reflecting on this over the past couple of weeks I cannot say enough about the love these girls have shown me. Jesus is funny that way. He uses the parts of your life that you think might break you to show you what you’re capable of handling.

To my ladies and my fellow leaders: Y’all make being friends with you feel effortless and I love you more than you know.