A Thank You Letter To My High School Youth Group

A Thank You Letter To My High School Youth Group

You will forever hold a place in my heart.

If you're like me, one of the greatest parts of high school was your church youth group. You join it around seventh grade and stay in until you graduate high school. For me, one of the hardest parts of high school life to say goodbye to was my involvement in the youth group at my church. I want to take a moment, and say thank you to the youth group that built me.

If it weren't for my youth group, I wouldn't be friends with many of the people I am friends with today.

My youth group friends were my closest friends, and many of them still are. They're the people I call on in times of need, whether that be prayers for my upcoming test, or if I just want to rant about something stupid like a boy, they're my go to people. They're the ones I want to hang out with when I'm home, and the ones who don't judge me for my college mistakes. Now that most of us are in college and have gone our separate ways, the fact that we are still so close proves how true those friendships are, and I have realized I am so lucky to have them.

If it weren't for my youth group, many of my most treasured memories would never have happened.

My youth group took a ten day trip one summer, and we went to Yellowstone National Park, the Badlands, and Mount Rushmore. The memories I made on that trip are memories that I still hold dear. We saw wild buffalo, elk, and grizzly bears. We swam in a pond in the middle of the Rocky Mountains that probably could have given us hypothermia. We drove to the top of the Beartooth Pass, fed chipmunks, and played in the snow in July. And of course, we have inside jokes galore from that experience. I honestly can't imagine my life without this trip of a lifetime, and I am so thankful for the youth group that took me places I never thought I'd go.

If it weren't for my youth group, I wouldn't know as many people at college as I do now.

My youth group was very involved with other youth groups across the state, and because of that, there are familiar faces at school that I know because of this youth group involvement. They are friendly faces that I am automatically connected to in a special way, and that I already had something in common with before we stepped foot on campus.

I am currently a sophomore in college, so my closest friends from my youth group are now either graduated or are about to graduate. It's weird when I go home and see so many new faces of young members that I don't recognize. I don't like hearing about new inside jokes and memories that I'm not apart of. But I'm forever thankful for the blessings I received from being a part of my youth group for six years. To all those who still have time left in their youth group, treasure it. It goes by faster than you think.

Cover Image Credit: Victoria Tarkington

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When God Says, “Not Right Now.”

“God give me faith to wait and not manipulate. To trust You fully, no matter how my circumstances may appear." — Lynn Cowell


One of the most frustrating yet beautiful things is when God tells us “no" or “not right now."

At the time, you may have agony or desperation for this one thing to work out in your life, but it slips away from you. You may ask God why. Why does He want you to be unhappy? Why does He want to take away your dreams?

At the time, you cannot see how much God truly is working in your life, but He is. In my life, every time that I was disappointed that a plan or dream didn't work out, I was devastated. I didn't want to be in a position where I was challenged and tested. I wanted all the blessings to flow and to fulfill what I thought was my plan in life. But that's exactly what it was: my plan.

I did not see at the time that that is not what God intended for me and that He actually had far greater plans than I did for myself. He needed to mold me into who I am supposed to be today. Along the way I have met the most amazing people that have had a huge impact on my life, have gone through the most amazing experiences with God, and I wouldn't trade going through all the trials because it has truly made me into the woman I am today.

“What God does in us while we wait is as important as what we are waiting for." – John Ortberg

God is continually, endlessly, working in our lives.

We may not see it, but He is. We may blame God for all the things that are going wrong in our lives, but we never see that in the end, we were supposed to go through the low valleys to get to the high, amazing, and beautiful mountains in our lives.

I truly believe that it's when you're at the bottom of the darkest pit in your life that you can actually see the light of God shining brightly upon you. During these times, pray to Him to lead you to understanding that this is all a part of His plan for you.

It hurts God to see that His child is suffering, but in order to carve out just the person that you are supposed to be, you must go through challenges. Where you are today is no accident. God is using the challenge you are in to shape you and prepare you for the place He wants you tomorrow. When it comes to God's plan, timing is absolutely everything.

Looking back on all the events that I had to endure before getting to where I am now, I know that I had to go through the trials in order to be just who I am today, which is happier than I have ever been because I know God and His plan for me. Waiting is the most difficult job of hope, but you must remain faithful and know that God is guiding you.

“When I wait, you strengthen my heart." Psalm 27:14

When you are waiting for God's righteous plan, don't lose faith in His goodness. He only wants the best for you, and in the end, you will look back and see just how much He truly was working in your life. Be patient and the blessings will flow.

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Everybody Always By Bob Goff Is A Book To Rally Behind

Goff's Everybody Always is a charming and inspiring read because his anecdotes tell the teachings of the Bible without shoving Christianity down your throat.


Bob Goff's second book Everybody Always was everything fans of his first book, Love Does, hoped for. Everybody Always is written in a similar fashion to Love Does and is known for sharing the story of Jesus through short stories. Bob Goff is a famous writer who also spent time as a lawyer, professor, and the American Consul for the Republic of Uganda. Goff has had many unbelievable experiences in his long lifetime, all of which revolve around his Christian beliefs. Some of his favorite memories are included in his books. Everybody Always contains numerous short chapters that each tell a different story in Goff's life. The chapters typically end with a life lesson intended to inspire readers to step out of their comfort zone and embrace everything God has planned for them.

One story that stands out is about the time Goff went to the Ugandan prison that held a man, a known witch doctor, who Goff personally convicted for kidnapping and torturing children. He gave the imprisoned man his first book Love Does and began to try to forgive him for his awful crimes. When Goff revisited the prison a year later, the convicted witch doctor had made a complete 360-degree turn in his faith. He not only believed in God but had shared the great news with all the other prisoners. One ex-witch doctor somehow managed to change the minds, for the better, of murderers, thieves, and other criminals. Goff was astonished that even after someone had sinned so much in their life, God can still use them to do amazing things. Goff's message to his readers is to never give up on people no matter how much of a mess they seem to be. Truthfully we're all messes, but even so, Goff believes everyone can make a difference.

The thing that readers find most enticing about Goff's book is that he never once quotes a Bible verse. His anecdotes tell the teachings of the Bible without shoving Christianity down your throat. Basically, an Atheist could read Goff's Everybody Always and find it charming and entertaining. However, knowing the Christian beliefs that Goff is trying to portray gives the reader a new level of experience. Many Christians struggle with reading the Bible because they say it is 'boring' or 'not in modern language.' Goff remedies this by providing people with a place to read about Biblical morals while being entertained.

While many of Goff's stories seem too good to be true, it doesn't appear to matter to his readers. They don't expect life as grand and adventurous as Goff's. They simply want to know that life as spectacular as that can exist. They want someone to inspire them and call them to do more. Everybody Always is a book that people can rally behind. It is uplifting and truthful at all the right times. Goff isn't afraid to call his readers out on their faults, all the while giving them the inspiration to fix their mistakes. It's this honesty and Goff's wondrous adventures that bring his readers back wanting more.

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