Friday, December 4, 2009

To know a high school girl is to love her

In my spare time, I attempt to mentor high school girls. Nine high school girls. Not eight...nine. I was so naively eager to begin this calling, as I had a less than perfect high school experience, and I was giddy at the opportunity to get my hands on these young women for 4 whole years. I had never before worked with this age group, but I am not that far removed from my own high school years. I was also a teacher in my previous life, therefore I was certain I could be relevant and offer something to these precious girls.

Here is what I have learned 2 1/2 years into this walk.

  • I will ultimately learn much more from these relationships than they will ever learn from me.

  • High school girls love drama. They will tell you they hate drama, it is a lie, they love it.

  • They are quick to anger and also quick to forgive...not such a bad thing, I suppose.

  • They love to laugh, and I love to laugh when I am with them.

  • I often want to spank them. I mean a real spankin', wooden spoon and all.

  • They are each radically different from the next.

  • They desire love and romance and acceptance.

  • They desire love and romance and acceptance.

  • They desire love and romance and acceptance...three times was not a typo.

  • Deep down, they still have the faith of a child and it is contagious.

  • My current opinion is that they are the number one target of the enemy, and I am certain that he is not winning, nor will he ever.

  • I want to be there on the front line when God reveals how he is using Genesis 50:20 for this generation..."You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives." I can't wait to see all the good!

  • They are adored by God.

  • I believe that God often laughs at them, sometimes with them, but usually at them.

  • They take loyalty very seriously.

  • They love eating cookies and drinking all of my milk.

  • They are gentle and soft hearted at their core.

  • They are bossy and are know-it-alls.

  • They desire to know God, and are too lazy to do anything about it.

  • I wish that I could one day publish their journals entries that we right back and forth to one another, I could sell millions of copies.

  • They cry a lot and they make me cry a lot...and I am not really a crier.

  • They love fellowship.

  • They love each other.

  • They are wonderful babysitters.

  • They will make mistakes that they will regret the rest of their lives, and they have no idea they are making them, even when I tell them.

  • God is bigger than their mistakes, and will be quick and faithful to forgive if and when they ask.

  • When I start crying, they get quiet.

  • They desire to share their heart with someone.

  • I wish I could pay them to listen and obey.

  • They are smarter than we think they are and they catch on to more than we think they do.

  • They are not as smart as we think they are and miss things we can't believe they miss.

  • They are the fastest "texting" population of any generation alive.

  • They can text while hiding their phone under a pillow and looking right at you in the face.

  • They are beautiful.

  • They make me sometimes wish my girls were boys.
  • I can't make them make good choices.

  • Fours years is not enough time.

As I scan over this list of nonsense, I wonder what in the world I am doing? Why enter into this ring of fire? It is hard. It consumes me at times. It is an emotional commitment that I was not prepared for. God has given me a heart for these young women, and sometimes I wish He had not. I have prayed before and asked God to tell me if was okay to quit, and He has not yet given me a yes. But then He goes beyond telling me to keep at it, and He fills me up with more love for them. Can I be honest for a's kind of annoying. I don't always want to love them more. I don't want to think about them while I am going to sleep. I don't want to have to carry around the knowledge of their private lives that I have to carry around in my brain is too full and tired already. But yet, I sense God smiles at me and says "Keep on Amy, this will bear much fruit." So I will keep on.

Last night before the girls left my house, one of them who has been hurting asked if she could read Psalm 13 for the group. What a bitter sweet moment, my heart broke a little for her as she read, "How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and everyday have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me? Look on me and answer, O lord my God. Give light to my eyes or I will sleep in death. My enemy will say "I have overcome him," and my foes will rejoice when I fall. But I trust in your unfailing love, my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing to the Lord, for he has been good to me." And that is why I can't help but love these girls.



Amy S. Norris said...

i am so jealous of you on this one. i LOVED my hs experience, but think it would've been so much easier had i had a mentor i could talk to and be honest (not like a parent....we all know how the honesty goes sometimes in those days) and un-biased.

i can only imagine what you are learning as well. what an amazing oppurtunity! you are blessed and so giving. :)

and on a side note...about the spanking - i grew up in parochial schools and would not be the person i am today if i wasn't smacked regularly by a nun with a wooden spoon, fly-swatter or yard stick. i do not support child abuse by ANY means, but i do still stand behind some good-old-fashion spanking!

emily said...

Amy. There are no words for this. I am crying (and I AM a crier...but still) and so thankful for your heart and willingness. This is a beautiful post, one I will come back to again and again.

Kathy Janicki said...

Amy, I was blog hopping and came across your blog today. Apparently,it was not by coincidence as God teaches and tells me things each and every day should I choose to listen to Him.

Thank you so very much for doing this wonderful minstry. I am sure that with each day you find your self (and the girls also) so richly blessed.

You make me want to run (not walk) into my Parish and ask my Priest to allow me to volunteer for this type of ministry 'right now!'.

My thoughts and prayers are with you as you journey with these impressionable young women. May His light shine upon you all.


Audrey said...

My husband and I have been working with high school (and younger) students since I was barely out of high school myself and I can concur with your sentiments! It is amazing how our hearts continue to open up to them more and more. Thank you for your sacrifice and love you are pouring into these 9 (as well as your own :)--it will not be forgotten.

The Schmitz Family said...

I found your blog tonight off of the Nester's. I am a youth pastor's wife and have been in and out of working with the girls in our youth group. The main reason I am out right now is because I have a one-year-old and a three-year-old and no one to watch them when the youth meet. But I can relate to all of these statements. I am burdened for our girls, but it is a HARD ministry! The drama, Drama, DRAMA! :)Thank you for your post.

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