Young Life is amazing and I want to pour my heart and soul into so many posts describing why it is so, but I first put up a picture of it on Instagram.
I first decided to become a leader with Young Life because of my friend Michael but I was really moved to see that Young Life was a part of many of my friends' lives as they were growing up. Admittedly I was a little jealous because little Catholic Kim would have loved to have gone to Young Life as a high school student. Now I didn't go girls gone wild in college, but I definitely wanted a stronger foundation with the Lord and Young Life gives high students that opportunity if they want it.
After I saw the comments, I asked a few of my friends if they would be interested in being a guest blogger and talking about their experiences. Megan responded right away! She and I grew up together and one of my favorite memories was her love of Nsync and performing in talent shows together. Today is an incredibly confident, fashionable, smart, trendy, and lovely woman who is a very witty blogger. Big thanks to Megan for sharing her Young Life story.
Megan, blogger at I Prefer Heels
|Rock climbing at Windy Gap. Terrifying, but oh so cool|
But still, every summer up until I was about 14, I’d gear right back up again for the next round of camp, knowing that this time it would be different. See, there was one consistent theme in all this - camp was awesome. It was a place where I could be myself, where I was accepted for who I was. I loved it. But what I was missing was the follow-up; the support after camp to make me feel that feeling again and again. I never really found it. Maybe it was the fact that I didn’t really have a “home church.” My parents had divorced, we’d moved around, and in the process had changed churches at least four times. I never really felt a connection. Sure, I sang up on stage every week, but to be honest, sometimes it felt like my adrenaline rush was more from the act of performing than from feeling spiritually challenged. Something was missing.
|Got a chance to go horse-back riding. Familiar with Lord of the Rings? This horse was Gandalf’s in the film. No kidding. His real name is “Tango,” and he is awesome-sauce.|
|Tree swingin’ it. I wanted to put one in my backyard but the darn tree just wouldn’t grow higher than 7 feet. ‘Tis a cryin’ shame.|
My cousin and I with our YL leader, Emily. She was one of the coolest people I’ve ever met. Oh yeah - we’re wearing bandanas with drawn-on freckles because that was the style then. JK, it was square dancing night. Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it! Hilarious fun.
I never really found that “home” to be a part of when I came back from camp, and haven’t to this day. But I do have a group of amazing friends and family supporting me 24/7 who’ve become my own little Young Life. I’ve pulled away from the church in recent years, much of it consistent with the unfortunate hypocrisy I see in the daily media streams. More than anything, I want affirmation that religion is about love - I want to see that same attitude of acceptance I saw at Young Life camp years ago. And sometimes I do. I see it in the churches who stand up for human rights and support issues they may not be entirely comfortable with, but they choose to do so out of love rather than condemnation. I see it in the people who work tirelessly to help the underprivileged and the victims of domestic violence and abuse. And that gives me hope. One day I hope to find that magic again. Maybe it’s in a church, or maybe a small women’s group. I’d even love to find a Young Life group to volunteer with around here that will again inspire me in the way it did so many years ago.
I’m not perfect. But it’s about the journey. And it’s one heck of a ride.