Thank You, Youth Group
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Thank You, Youth Group

Saying thank you as I say goodbye.

Thank You, Youth Group
Alycia Martinez

As I write this, I'm sitting in the youth room of my church. Tonight is the last time we will meet this year and possibly the last time I will ever join in on the fun. I was a student in this youth group for five years, and have been a volunteer leader this past school year. As I reminisce, there are many things I'm thankful for.

Dear, Youth Group,

Thank you for investing into me. Thank you for showing me that I could be absolutely anything I wanted to be, but teaching me to be everything God has called me to be.

Youth room, thank you for being a space to have fun, yell really loud, eat tons of candy, and just be. Thank you for being a safe place for anyone to come. Carpet, thank you for withstanding the many stains we've poured on you. Air, you'll never lose the stench of B.O. but that's okay, it wouldn't be the youth room without it.

Youth pastor of said youth group, thank you for everything. Thank you for always believing in me, trusting me, encouraging me, pushing me, and loving me. Thank you for showing me the love of Jesus through your actions. Thank you for never giving up on me. Thank you for loving me as if I was your own daughter.

Volunteers of said youth group, thank you for dealing with countless teenagers week in and week out. Thank you for choosing us over your family, sporting events, sleep, Netflix binges, and quiet evenings at home. Thank you for teaching me how to read the Bible, pray, and chase after the Lord with my whole life. Thank you for volunteering to do one of the hardest jobs this world has to offer. After this year, I commend you. I don't know how you did so well and didn't go insane.

Thank you to the senior pastor of said church's youth group, thank you for investing into us just as much as everyone else, though it really wasn't your job. Thank you for making jokes and weird hand shakes to confuse me. Thank you for loving me like you love your own children.

Fellow students, thank you for letting me grow into who God created me to be. Thank you for letting me be weird and awkward and maybe a little too serious too many times. Thank you for loving me when I was an outsider and helping me to do the same when I became one of you. Thank you giving me the space to rejoice, cry and struggle... sometimes all in the same night. Thank you for encouraging my biggest dreams and praying for me through them.

To the students that have let me help lead them through this past year, thank you for bearing with me as I tried to figure out ministry. Thank you for loving me and making me smile on some really hard days. Thank you for humbling me more than anyone else has before. Thank you for letting me invest into your lives. Thank you for letting me pray for you and encourage you to follow the Lord. I love you and I'm so thankful I've been here for the past year to watch you all grow. It's been truly a joy.

As I type these words, I have tears in my eyes. This youth group has been my life and the thought of saying "see you later" breaks my heart into a million little pieces. But, I rejoice because of the time I've had. I pray that the future students that come through this youth group would have just as beautiful as an experience as I did.

It's been real, Youth Group. You've shaped me into the young lady I am today and I'm eternally grateful for that. Thank you.

Hope to see you soon.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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