The first time I ever went Young Life I was picked to participate in a game that required me to eat a cricket. I was an awkward freshman in high school who had no idea what Young Life really was. I grew up in a Lutheran household attending private school and church. I always knew what being a Christian looked like in terms of reading the bible and praying, but I didn't really understand what having a relationship with God looked or felt like.
I was introduced to Young Life by my old elementary school teacher, Paula. Every time I saw her for many, many years she would tell me how excited she was for me to get to high school so I can go to Young Life with her. The concept of kids sitting in the basement of someone's house talking about God eating lots of snacks seemed unlike anything I had ever done before. I was overwhelmed the minute I walked in the door at my first ever Young Life club. There were tons of people crammed into a basement and everyone was so excited to see me even though I had never met any of them before. By the end of the night I knew this community and group of people was one I badly wanted to be a part of.
Four years later I am a part of Young Life College at Duluth. Young Life continues to give me a place to be myself and know that being a Christian doesn't have to be something filled with obligations and feeling guilty about not going to church every week. Having a relationship with God is a personal journey that can be made so much better by having a support system to help you along the way with the any bumps in the road. For the last four years Young Life has been one of the most important and infulental aspects of my life. I am beyond happy that I was given the opportunity to be welcomed into the most loving and accepting community ai have ever been a part of.