As I’ve witnessed at Plano West, a lot of the struggles of high school students (well, myself definitely) involve identity. “Who am I?" or "Who do I want to appear as to others?” are questions at the forefronts of our minds. The answers are what a lot of us are searching for, maybe even subconsciously. We’re longing for something or someone to define us and make us feel important. Maybe that longing can be satisfied by a boyfriend or straight A’s, but what I’ve come to find is that kind of fulfillment is oh so temporary.
My personal identity crisis led to look for approval and a sense of belonging in good things like school, boys, leadership positions, etc; but nowhere did I find more belonging than at Young Life. Freshman year I was hooked. Really cool kids went to Young Life and we had so much silly, genuine fun and the leaders always seemed to care about how I was doing. I subconsciously began to put my identity into Young Life, spending all my free time there and hanging out with my Young Life friends. I felt the happiest when I was there and something about my time at Young Life was different from the rest of my activities. The people seemed so joyful, so care-free and my leaders’ constant pursuance to get to know me was so odd but refreshing! Clearly, I found a different kind of acceptance at Young Life and it wasn’t until at Frontier Ranch that I realized why that was. It should’ve been pretty obvious because we talked about it at the end of every club and campaigners…. But, this maybe it was this guy named Jesus! He is love and my leaders love me differently than any other people I had met… Oh. Yep.
Jesus is why Young Life was different from anywhere else, He is why my leaders love me so well and why we have joy. While I believe Young Life is one of the greatest things you can do in high school, its purpose is to point to something greater, to show kids like me that there is something (or maybe I should say someone) bigger than our earthly titles or things that we can put our identity in. Jesus, people, we can come unfulfilled and broken and find life and a perfect identity in Him.
So, through the eyes of a senior, I would like to thank Plano Young Life for all the laughs, memories and friendships that have filled my high school days. But more importantly, thank you for showing us what unending love and perfect identity we have in Jesus. That He is fufillement forever.
The old has gone, the new is here!"
2 Corinthians 5:17