My sweet friends,
First of all, how lucky am I that I get to call you that? My friends.
As I look back on this year in its entirety, the bulk of my most cherished and favored memories involve each of you and the distinct ways that you have individually encouraged and influenced so much of my life. I felt as though I don't tell you all enough how much you mean to me, so I wanted to write this letter to express my deep appreciation for the prosperous ways you love not just me, but also our high school friends.
Being a Young-life leader is hard. Actually, it's very hard. There is a lot of rejection, a lot of imperfection, a lot of setbacks. Speaking as someone who is just winding down in their first year of being a Young-life leader, these obstacles initially seem overpowering, to say the least. How are you supposed to assist in bringing a high school friend to a better knowledge of Jesus if you can't construct a deep-seated friendship with them? Why don't they come to club? What if I'm not cut out to be doing something like this? These were the demanding questions that immediately packed my brain after first stepping onto the high school campus where I would be devoting my time, my affection, and my heart for the next three years. I was fearful. I was hesitant. I was shaky.
But that's when you guys came in.
In your own particular style, you each eradicated my fears and worries in some of the most beautiful ways. You individually encouraged my heart and stimulated my spirit. You gave me confidence with your impression of trust and certainty so effortlessly that I don't even think you all knew that you were doing it. You guys danced into my world with your kindhearted and lively nature and seized a huge piece of my heart. You were the origin of love that is essential for a Young-life leader to pour into the souls of high school friends, and you all did these things with a radiant compassion like I have never seen.
You guys molded me; molded my heart. It was with you all that I have prayed the hardest and laughed the loudest. It was with you all that I recognized and witnessed God work in the most tenacious of seasons, and in the most fruitful ones. It was with you all that my feet were planted firmly and rooted in kinship and likeness. It was with you all that we became a family.
We became a family with team meetings and salsa dancing and Christmas parties; with chocolate chip pancakes and two truths and a lie. With a love for one another so profound that it made us each more blissfully steady and mindful in ways that we weren't before.
Attaining the gift of watching you guys walk through life with your high school friends is one of my most adored endowments. I am heartened and motivated by each of you to my very core with every Monday night club, every trip to Zaxby's, and every glimpse of a faith that becomes more undeniable and delightful day by day.
I don't think I will ever be able to express to you all the admiration for our closeness that is constantly growing inside of me. This letter does not do it justice, though I wish it did. Being on a team with you guys is unquestionably one of my most cherished blessings because with it carries the rewarding and lovable friendships that we have come to know. Not only with high school friends but with one another.
To recount, and enormously alter, a dear quote from Dr. Meredith Grey: "You all are my people."
All my love,