The gym was packed tonight. When kids hear we're doing love tanks they show up in droves because they know this is something they don't want to miss. The basic idea is that we've each got a love tank inside of us that's filled up by people and where we draw from to give love. On this night we get to love others by writing notes and we also get a bag stuffed with notes from kids and leaders and some people you probably didn't expect.
Tonight I was thrilled to greet friends who have never been to YL before or ones that aren't here very often like Erin, Hannah, Emma, Ryan and Katy. I love seeing girls that come to camp with us but can't always make it on Mondays during the year. I love when it feels like almost all of the YL fam is here with us. We love these people.
Better than an explanation from me, I asked several YL kids to share why they love this night...
Telling other people why they're so great makes me so happy. I don't think people ever get tired of hearing why you love them and everyone can always use a little encouragement. The feeling you get after reading them or after receiving an unexpected one is indescribable. I love knowing that I get to make others feel that way too. -Julia
Love Tanks reassure anyone and everyone about how much they are loved by others and God. My heart overflows with love when I can make someone's day through a love talk or when somebody makes mine. -Anne
Lately I have been feeling down, and almost thinking of myself as not good enough for some people. But after reading these love tanks it was the pick me up I needed. It made me change the way I think and made me feel like I was worth a lot to people. I am so glad I attending YL this Monday. -Michael
It was just a fun opportunity to pour love to people that you don't say loving things to enough. And it was pretty surprising to get notes from people that just see you from afar and wish they knew you better. -Rachel
I think so many people show up to Love Tanks because you receive so much unexpected love. When you open your brown paper bag and read your small squares you can't help but smile. Also, the feeling you get when you place a love note in a bag hanging from the wall is life giving. It fills your heart. It's as much fun giving as it is receiving--it's kinda like Christmas! -Cassidy
It was my first time both writing and receiving Love Tanks and I couldn't have imagined it being more perfect. The feeling of sharing the love in my heart with others was incredibly fulfilling. It's amazing how God's love is so powerful that it shines through us all. -Devin
I absolutely love Love Tanks because of the love shared between friends. Whether the person you write to and get written from is your best friend or you hardly know them at all, it is great to share love with one another. It is sometimes tough to say it in person, so writing love tanks is a great way to express feelings and show love to others. Love Tanks are so positive and supportive and they make everyone happy. -Andrew
Love Tanks simply brighten everyone's day. When I open my love tanks and find some from people that I have talked to only once it fills my heart with joy. Or when I can't think of someone to write to so I look up from my paper and look around the room and see someone else doing the same thing. Then that person and I decide to write to each other. It's telepathic. -Genna
How can you not love Love Tanks? They are so uplifting and special because they are meant for you and written with you in mind. They are often extremely vulnerable you know that they aren't lies because no one would write them if they were. If they didn't feel that way then they wouldn't spend the time writing you a note. I love writing them to as many people as I can because I have so many people that I want to know how much I genuinely care for them. This time I received so many that touched my heart, but I had a few that really hit home. They said things like, "You are one of the strongest people I know," and "You shine with the light of Christ and it's easy to see that." -Lauren
I think the most powerful part of Love Tanks was I got them from people I barely knew or didn't know at all. They still had such meaningful things to say to me. I think it's easy to forget that you're loved but love tanks show you that there's so much love from so many people that you never knew existed. -Emma
I love Love Tanks mostly because I like making people's day. Even if I didn't get any in mine, I would still feel great after Love Tanks because I know I made someone's day. But, it's great having that reminder that people do love you even in the toughest of times. Love Tanks is definitely a night when I can see God working through people. -Allison
So often I think that HS kids think that to share love with other people requires them to "lower themselves" but I think Love Tanks show that sharing love can be so uplifting. They give you a way to intimately express how you feel and to tell people what they truly mean to you. It feels so good to tell people you love them and know you are putting a smile on their face. I received love tanks from people I never expected. I felt so full and important because I truly made an impact on other people's lives. Love Tanks show us that spreading this unashamed love doesn't require any special occasion. -Katie
Compliments are little blessings. Through Love Tanks we have the opportunity to bless people around us. -Libby
I love getting love tanks because they are undeserved notes of kindness. I feel overjoyed to read such kind notes, even though I didn't do anything to earn them. Giving love tanks is the best because the feeling I get when giving them is so fulfilling it's crazy. There is no better way to fill my heart with love. -Mallory
I think Love Tanks are an amazing opportunity for us to really feel loved and accepted. I think that there is so much negativity, judgment and hurt around people in HS so they are attracted to Love Tanks automatically. There were so many people that came who had never been before, they wanted a chance to feel that love and acceptance that only God's love can provide. YL is amazing because we don't condemn those people for not normally coming-- we just want to welcome them. For my personal love tanks, I felt like it was God reassuring me that I'm on the right path. All of the people that said I'm their role model warmed my heart. It made me excited for the future and getting to know more people. Hopefully God will give me the wisdom to impact their lives. I wish I did Love Tanks on a daily basis. -Chloe
Love Tanks are awesome because when I was writing them I realized how genuine people are. And when reading them it's so amazing to feel the love from Young Life friends and the random people that don't even know you that write amazing things about you. -Erin
Love Talks allow people to tell you what they really feel without the influence of social media and peers. My favorite love tank I have ever received said, "I want my daughter to be exactly like you when she grows up." It is just so important to remember to always lift people up rather than tear them down. -Natalie
I love Love Tanks because everyone can always use some loving. "We accept the love we think we deserve" (Perks of Being A Wallflower) but no one understands how much love we deserve. I got a love tank from a person I have never spoken to and it was my favorite just because I've never seen myself from afar. -Brian
I love writing love tanks because it gives people to opportunity to just be real with one another. You're not only getting them yourself, you're doing it in return too. I think that's so cool. God's love is so powerful, He always wins. -Hannah
*Honorable Mention Blog Title
"I THINK I'M ADDICTED TO LOVE TANKS! I WANT TO WRITE ONE TO EVERYONE."