you dared to give it all away for me

(i’m writing this on sunday night. i don’t have internet at home so i can’t post it until monday morning but wanted to write it anyway.)

this has been one heck of a weekend in terms of being busy. i started at noon on friday and really didn’t get much chance to stop until just a few minutes ago. we had one event after another this weekend at the church. when i got in my car at 10:20 at night to drive home it was the first chance i was by myself with no agenda of where i had to go since thursday night. all i wanted to do was put on some music, drive, and just think.

so that’s what i did.

the first thing i thought of was the girl. she’s been so extremely flexible with everything. we didn’t get to talk much at all on friday and didn’t talk much today. she had every right to get upset and say that i wasn’t making time for her but instead she was encouraging and sincerely happy that i was getting to do the things that i was doing. i knew she was asleep but i called her anyway just to say thank you for all of that. i’ve been on her end of a long distance relationship and she’s handling it much better than i ever did. i know it sounds terrible, but with the distance i sometimes don’t realize exactly how lucky i am but i’ve been reminded of it ten-fold in the past three days and it’s something that i’m completely thankful for.

the second thing i thought of was our students. i absolutely love our students at this church. i probably shouldn’t even say it like that because there’s a large group that don’t even come to our church and just come to our youth events. i knew that i would love student ministry but i didn’t realize i’d love the students this much. if i were to say that my best friends were 17-years-old it wouldn’t be that far of a stretch. i’m constantly surprised at how they’re just a group of great kids but that’s an entirely different post for an entirely different day. i know that not every student ministry group is as strong as ours and not every youth leader is able to make the connections that i have made with these students. why god decided to reward me for running from ministry for three years and send me to this place is completely beyond me but i’m not going to start asking questions and screw it up.

i guess the third thing shouldn’t be that surprising given the second thing. during that drive, with nothing around but a two-lane run, trees, and my headlights, i thought about our leaders in the church and our parents. last weekend one of our staff members offered to take me to dinner at a nice restaurant. throughout the past week or two i’ve had parents say things on facebook or in person when i bumped into them about how their kid was enjoying what we were doing and how they appreciated it. friday night i was invited to tailgate with two of our parents at their kids’ football game. they completely paid for my ticket and the food and absolutely took care of me. saturday night i was invited to dinner but couldn’t make it because of the conference. after our event tonight one of our leaders came up to me and hugged me and said thank you and that she loved it. later i was invited out with some of our leaders and they picked up my bill. to most people these things may seem small or trivial but to me they’re awesome. i can’t even begin to describe how much they’re appreciated or how great they make me feel. all i can do is smile and say thank you and hope that somehow they realize how much it means to me.

i’m sitting and writing this and going through my thoughts and the thing that i keep thinking of is that i don’t deserve all of this. i don’t deserve for things to be going this well. i don’t deserve for things to be this “easy.” i feel like i should have to be more holy or less screwed up or that i should have it together more to be in a position like this. i’ll never claim to be the greatest christian in the world. i’ll fully admit to not being as smart or as put together as some of our leaders. shoot, i’ll fully admit to not being as smart or as put together as some of our students.

i don’t know why god chose me to do this job. there are plenty of people out there that would probably do a better job with it but for some reason, he chose me. with all that being said, i’m so freaking glad that he did choose me for it. i was so scared for so long because of all of the things that i just said. it took me years to realize that god didn’t need me to have it all together for him to use me. i still don’t understand it and still don’t fully have my head around that concept but i’m not going to try to change it. i’m just going to accept it as god knowing better than me while secretly hoping that he doesn’t one day realize that he meant to choose someone else other than me.

at the end of the night, through all of the thoughts and questions and thankfulness, a few things still out:

i’m dating a great girl that i don’t deserve.

i’m getting to work with great students that i don’t deserve.

i’m getting to work along side great leaders and parents that i don’t deserve.

i’m getting to do all of this because a god that loves me more than i deserve decided to get killed when he didn’t deserve it.

my life’s not fair.

but i wouldn’t have it any other way.

say your prayers and take your vitamins.

have a nice day.

-jonathan

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