I fought off becoming a Young Life leader most of college, but after graduating and returning home, my heart changed; I began to appreciate that Young Life truly goes where the teens are. Young Life teaches its leaders to listen, invest time, and hopefully earn the right to speak about Jesus’ love and the truth of God’s Word.
I’ll never forget my very first meeting as a volunteer—this young girl marched right up to me and introduced herself. I could see right away that though she was young, she had an old soul, and in that moment, I knew our relationship was going to be special. I learned of her compassionate nature and how she truly cared for others. She started coming to Young Life faithfully as a freshman, and she would even campaign to her other classmates about it!
She told me about one friend she’d known since middle school, and she was worried about her because she was headed down a dark path. She told me how special this girl was. After hearing this, I knew we had to get involved. I met this girl not long after our talk, and all three of us started hanging out regularly. We would grab coffee, dinner, ice cream and talk authentically about anything and everything.
Over the years, we walked through life’s intense stuff together: high school stratospheres, boys, heartbreak, family issues, parents with cancer, fear, hurt and many other things. Our relationships grew exponentially over time. I was their leader at first, and then we all became best friends.
Sometimes we may think we are ministering to someone, but they end up ministering to us. They’ve supported me in remarkable ways, through family issues and especially when I became a new mother. It’s been a humbling journey, but I’ve found I can completely be myself around them. Getting involved in Young Life was the best decision because I got the biggest gift—two of my best friends.