Friday, July 15, 2011

It's OK that I'm Me

In January I started volunteering at my churches youth group for a trial session in being a leader. It was awkward and hard to connect with the kids and I didn't know what I was supposed to be doing. I felt like I didn't fit in with the other female leaders and I wasn't able to connect with any of the girls really. It was frustrating, point blank, and I couldn't figure out why. I felt under appreciated, left out of the loop, and unimportant. It was awful and I was ready to quit what I felt God was calling me to. I couldn't figure out why God would want me to work with youth (especially high school girls) if this was what I was going to feel like all the time.

And then it hit me only a couple weeks ago...I wasn't being me. I was constantly comparing myself to the other female youth leaders. Closely observing how they interacted with the kids and trying to copy be them. Without even realizing it I had the opinion that if I was exactly like Greta or Becca I would be liked more by the kids and the leaders. If I became what I thought they wanted me to be then I would feel better. But comparing myself with them hurt a lot because I am not them. I don't relate to the kids the same way they do. It's not that I don't know as much about God than they do - although they may know a little more than me having known God longer - it was about trying to please them instead of God. Somehow I got all mixed up about what I why I was actually there and I became trapped in this mind set that I needed to please the other leaders or else I was doing it wrong. The more I tried to please, the less the other leaders commented on things I was doing. They weren't doing it to try to be mean, in fact they probably didn't realize that they were even doing it. Looking at it now it was probably God trying to get me to please Him instead of others.

Well I have come to terms with it somewhat. I won't ever be like Greta and Becca when it comes to relating to these kids. In some ways I might, but as a whole not really. I am loud, I like to be funny and ridiculous, and have ridiculous amounts of fun with the kids. I'm not really demure (meaning serious and reserved, although I can be at times) and I am sarcastic. I am sure the other women leaders can be the exact same thing at times, but so far I haven't seen it. They are the adults and not at all like the kids. I want to be both. I want to be a kid with them and still be in authority, which I can be. It's ok for me to be me. And it really doesn't matter what the others think. As soon as I stopped being someone else, I connected with the kids and felt so free and alive with them.

I'm not Greta or Becca, I'm me and God likes that.

*A little discrepancy note: Dea, if you read this I didn't forget you were a leader, I just haven't compared myself to you yet =D

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Tick Tock...

As I was cleaning out my fish Hallel's tank today I started thinking about something that happened a couple weeks ago. It is something I am slightly ashamed about and am yet intrigued and confused about it. A little while back I had the glorious task of babysitting for a friend of mine. They have three children - 6,4, and 2 months. It has been a long time since I've taken care of a little baby and was very excited for the task since I have been missing that part of working in a child care setting. Throughout the night I found myself doing something that has never happened before when taking care of a little baby. I had a very strong desire to say to the baby, "It's ok, Mamma's gonna...". I realize that I am obviously not the child's mother and quite honestly I am really unsure why the need to have that baby recognize me as mom was there. It didn't just happen once either. All night whenever the baby fussed I had to catch myself from saying I was her mom.  Every time it would happen there would be a couple thoughts that would cross my mind - what would her mother think if she knew I almost kept calling myself her mother? and why do I keep doing this? It was getting a little frustrating because it seemed to come so naturally.

This has never happened before. I haven't ever wanted to call a child that clearly belonged to someone else my own. When I was a little girl I used to pretend what it would be like to be a mom-to-be. I would put pillows and balls up my shirt and walk around pretending to be pregnant. There isn't one girl I don't know who hasn't done this at least once in her life, whether by joke or seriously. So what's going on now to make that change? Well I can only think of one thing - my biological clock is ticking loud and clear. I am not that old. Even though I may say I feel old at 23 sometimes, I really do know that I'm not. Maybe it's not my biological clock. But if it isn't, then why is this desire to call a child my own so strong right now?