I was so surprised at church yesterday - I came around the corner to tell Ricky something & saw he was talking to our former youth minister, Mike Tolle. I felt like a kid on Christmas morning - the look on my face was shock & I just ran to hug him & had to find where his wife, Toni was at as well! They are just the cutest couple who loves the Lord & have changed my life in knowing them.
When Mike was at our church, he put together a new team to help in the youth group. I was blessed to be one of the people he chose (along with many other AWESOME people!). The funny thing - he had us take a spiritual gifts test to see where we had our strongest parts & then he would decide prayfully where we should serve. Going into this, I thought, I'm good at behind the scenes stuff - thats always been my forte! I also felt like I would be best serving with the Senior High group. I don't know why - I just felt like I would have life experiences I could share with them that they would understand.
After taking the spiritual gifts test, we had to share our top three gifts. My number one by far was Mercy, with Adminstration & Service rounding off the top 3. I had to laugh because far down the list was the gift of Teaching.
The day came when Mike told us where we would be. He put me as the Small Group Leader with the Jr. High Girls. WHAT? This isn't where I wanted to be! What about what I want! I even went & told Mike - "Did you not see my Spiritual gifts list? Do you not see that "teaching" isn't the best thing for me?". I'll never forget what he said. He looked at me & told me he sees something in me - something that tells him I can do this. I was scared to death. Now, I know I'm good at talking (you can ask almost anyone!) but to "teach" is something different. Mike reassured me that teaching these girls involved talking & getting to know them -it is a main part. He asked me to just give it a try - how could I saw no?
Fast forward almost 2 years now & I am so blessed to be in the position I am in. I still may not consider myself the best "teacher" in the world - but I do enjoy leading these girls in some great God-discussions & getting to know them & who they are - & more importantly, seeing them grow into young women of God.
And ironically, I feel even more blessed I am with the Junior High gang & not the Senior High. First - I TOTALLY love the giggly, fun loving attitudes of the younger kids - & I have found that I am doubly blessed because they will go to Senior High knowing that they are loved by me & by all the Jr. High leaders & can always come back & talk to us - which I have already had the wonderful chance to see happen.
So when I saw Mike yesterday, I see someone who changed my life - someone who had faith in me to be a vessel used by God. I am thankful for Mike & Toni for who they are & for changing who I am!