During the week leading up to Challenge I was tired. Exhausted to be honest. I felt ill equipped and unqualified to join the youth on this adventure and being run down didn't seem like a great start. I started to question my role altogether.
“Why me?” This question weighed heavy. I was hesitant when the question was proposed back in January. Don't get me wrong, I wanted to go, but I had a difficult time committing. I wasn't willing to say “Yes”. It just didn't seem like a realistic idea. I had legitimate obstacles and tons of excuses. I was being gently nudged by my friends, my spouse, and God. But why? I have three kids at home... I suffer from migraines... I am not a youth worker... I even felt selfish, “I should let someone else go”... why me? It was more of a reluctant yes than a willing yes.
Monday finally came, I was tired but feeling good. I had pumped myself up! I had a plan with all the details ironed out. We had a great afternoon exploring downtown, I even tried Vietnamese food for the first time ever. We arrived at The Municipal Auditorium, a beautiful old building, filled with must and marble. The youth were excited and probably slightly nervous, as we entered with hundreds of other youth groups. We proceeded down the crowded hallway, as the smoke machine fog developed in the air and the thunderous rumble of voices grew. We reached our seats and the energy of 5,000 students filled the arena. The huge projection screens vibrated as did my feet and chest. I couldn't hear PC (the youth's name for Pastor Colby) asking "are you ready for this?" My answer would have been "uh, no" because all my planning hadn't prepared me for the ensuing noise. This wasn't my thing twenty years ago and it wasn't my thing now. As the DJ blared his music and strobed his lights, it all came crashing down on me. I immediately felt nauseous and I had a migraine. “Why God? What am I doing here?”
I muscled through the "worship music" and brought it all before God. “God, I want to be here... but, why?” “I don't know why I am even here God!” “I cannot afford a migraine right now. God, you have to help me get through this”, I stared pleading. The music finally ended and the facilitator came out and after a short introduction (that I missed entirely) said "Whatever it is that you feel God is laying on your heart this week, may your answer be Yes!" I heard that. It struck me at my inner core. “Okay God, fine. I'm here!” No more dragging my feet, no more hesitation. I'm willingly, I am saying yes, use me!
No, my migraine didn't just go away, but God did help me muscle through. The hotel front desk hooked me up and I rocked some awesome ear plugs… those helped tremendously!
I do not know the exact reason, but God sent me to Challenge! I know He wanted me to say “Yes!” With a simple yes, I felt truly blessed. I had the opportunity to serve alongside eight of the most amazing kids I know. I served alongside three selfless adults who love these kids dearly. I was served by my friends, who took care of my littles while I was away. I was served by my amazing spouse who sent me away selflessly. I was filled with joy and refreshed by some great teaching. All it took was a simple “yes”. Now, please don't get me wrong, a simple “yes” isn't always an easy “yes”. But it is what God wants from us. He wants us to be willing. He wants us to take Bold Moves. Be Willing. Say “Yes!”