I love the song From The Day by I Am They. It's been on replay in my car for months, we talked about it in bible study last week and tonight it inspired Campaigners. Last week Chloe asked me if she could make a suggestion, "I think we need to hear more people's stories. My friends and I need to hear why people believe."
The song says, "From the day you saved my soul, till the very moment when I go home, I'll sing, I'll dance, my heart will overflow. From the day you saved my soul." On their website, band members have shared their own From The Day stories. They write about what led them to following Christ and making a relationship with him. It got us thinking about our own From The Day stories.
We learned the chorus of the song tonight and intermittently leaders stood up and shared their stories. KCraig, Scott, Jackie and Mike each have a unique story that brought them to where they are today. I love that no two stories are the same, there's no right way to get to know God. He meets us where we are, he puts specific people in our lives, he can redeem any situation.
Then for about 10 minutes all of us had the chance to write down our From The Day story. Many of the kids in YL have made the decision to follow Christ, some are still figuring out and asking questions, others know a lot about God but don't know if they want to give everything over to Him. Wherever we're at, we've all got a story to tell.
For the last half hour we split into groups to share our stories with each other. Groups were all mixed up and crazy tonight which was perfect for this. I got to sit in a circle with Huffer, Beuoy, Karl the cool dragon, DMont, Hannah, Julia, Morgan, Chloe, Es, Olivia and Megan. One by one we each told our story--either by reading what we wrote or just talking. It was raw and honest and vulnerable and brave and so very cool. I feel like I got to know these kids so much better tonight.
Part of the story I shared,
I grew up in the church, listening to Adventures in Odyssey, competing in the Bible Bowl at Delphi United Methodist, singing in the balcony at church and going to Sunday School. I was always a "Christian." But I think the switch from knowing a lot about God to actually knowing God happened during all my summers as a camp kid at Tecumseh. In the Green Cathedral chapel, in devotion circles, in the songs at the end of closing campfire, in my friendships with counselors, under the green leaves and the stars that shine so bright I learned to really love God. Camp made him real to me-- more than just an idea, God was someone that loved me and wanted to be my friend.
My faith became a relationship that has continued to grow. I continue to learn that he can't be fit into a box or just one church. I get a bigger, more beautiful picture of this God I love in so many places. My faith has grown from leading Young Life in Holland, Carmel and HSE. From attending Mars Hill, Common Ground and Northview. From reading books by Bob Goff, Shauna Niequist, Donald Miller and Glennon Doyle Melton. From listening to music from people like Superchick, 10th Avenue North, Rend Collective and Christ Tomlin. From being a counselor and a teacher. From friendships with so many different kinds of kids and adults. From writing and praying and listening. From the day he saved my soul, my identity and purpose have been rooted in him.
I'm thankful that Chloe asked if we could switch things up. I'm thankful that I'm part of a team of leaders that will be transparent with kids and that they'll do the same with us. I'm thankful that God has stepped into each of our lives and that we're writing our story together. I'm thankful that these stories are not over yet.