So, I fell into the baptism recently. True story.
We brought a tub into the student room for baptisms and it was one that I had never been in before and when I stepped into it I missed a step and fell in. Good news is my head stayed above water…so we’re calling that a victory. I was able to make a quick joke and move on to baptize over 20 students. Safe to say it wasn’t my worse day in ministry.
Unfortunately, I have a history of falling down. I wish it didn’t happen ALL the time…I wish I was smooth and cool, but I am just a klutz.
Lately, I’ve learned to see my lack of gracefulness as a flaw that has actually made me a better youth worker. Don’t worry this isn’t a post on how to fall down and look ridiculous…at least not today. Rather this is a little reminder for all of us, including me, about what are students really need from us.
Most students are struggling to feel okay, to feel good enough and it is easy for them to feel like they need to have all their “stuff” together right now. I have found that this leads students to struggle with feelings of frustration, anxiety, disappointment, and depression because at the end of the day…none of us have our stuff all together, not one of us is perfect.
I am not perfect. I am awkward and uncoordinated…but I am loved and accepted just as I am.
When I show my students that despite my imperfections I know what it means to be completely loved, they begin to believe that they are loved despite their imperfections. Here’s the one that BLOWS MY MIND…and blows the minds of our students; when I show my students that my flaws can be the VERY things that God uses in my life to bring Him glory…they begin to believe that God can use even them despite AND because of their flaws! (Isn’t this the case with almost EVERY hero of faith?)
Why then do we try so hard not to be ourselves? And I am not talking about students right now…I am talking about you…and about me. When will we finally accept who we are and stop trying to be someone else?
Imagine what life might be like for us and for our students if we stopped trying to be somebody else, some one cooler or smoother and just believed that who we are, flaws included, is exactly who we need to be? Isn’t that the greatest picture of peace and security?
Today, rest and just be you.
Neely / @neelym