Ethan's Age

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Applying Myself

I have a huge passion for working with youth.  For the past 15 years, I've worked with them in one way another... volunteering, running programs, supervising programs, working at camps, and now being at home with my son.  If there is one thing I know how to do well, it's having a positive influence on our young people.

Several weeks ago, I contacted my local church leader to see if I could be involved with the youth group.  He was enthusiastic, and willing to get an application from me.  I picked it up the next week.

It is a very thorough application... character references and such (I threatened my friends with TP-ing their house if they spoke ill of me, naturally.)  But for the past 2 weeks my youth group application has sat on the top of my desk, one section unfilled.



The section is: "Please share your Christian Testimony and experience."

When I applied to bible school, there was a similar section asking to talk about how I knew I was full of the Holy Spirit.  I took my Bible School application to my then youth pastor and asked him what it meant.  Weirdly enough, he didn't really have a good answer for me.  So, I filled it out the best I could, trying to explain that I had some spiritual gifts and such, so of course they'd want me to go to their school.  (Side note: I did send that application to bible school in, and got accepted.  Apparently I was holy-spirited enough for them?)

The battle I wage about this application is whether to tell my story.  I can't imagine they'd want to have me on as a volunteer if they knew.  I've heard rumors that they connect being abused to being a future abuser.  Heaven forbid I classify what happened as abuse (Side Note: Which I didn't, when they asked earlier in the application in the midst of the "yes or no" questions.)  I don't consider what happened to be to be abuse, but rather a one time criminal act in which I was the victim.  But, perhaps it will be classified as abuse, and my application, along with my ability to work with youth in a church setting will be thrown out.

I've let this application sit on my desk, taunting me to either fill it out with my full story, or recycle it and forget about it.  I'd hate for my ability to connect with youth to be connected to this act that will forever be a part of who I am.  If I were to turn it in, and be denied the chance to do something I love would be so frustrating.  I'd feel defeated. I'm pretty sure I couldn't take the rejection. 

Plus, I'd be out all the money I spent on Starbucks cards to bribe my character references. 

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