Honestly I am so excited about this community. It seems too perfect in so many ways. I've wanted to post something in it for a while now, but I wanted my first post to be good, so I waited until I had something important to say first. I want you guys to know a little more about me, so I thought I might share a little about my faith, since that seems to be something important to you all as well. (Which makes me very, very happy.)
Yesterday, a man named Aaron Young moved here. Right after school, I drove to his new house with a couple of friends to help carry furniture and things inside.
When I was in the 6th grade, Aaron and his wife had just moved here from California and began their jobs as youth directors for a small, methodist church in a suburb of Atlanta. My parents said the youth group would be wonderful, and they were right. Over the next three years, Aaron, and his wife, Kimberly, taught me more about myself and about God than anyone I had ever met. My entire middle-school life revolved around church, mission trips, retreats, and bible study groups.
The last time I remember really taking a huge step in my faith was one Sunday, which we dubbed ‘Youth Sunday.’ There were a few youth speakers for each of the 3 services, and I was one of them. It may sound dumb, but I think that was the hardest thing I’ve ever voluntarily done. I shared my testimony and talked about memories and about things I’d learned and about how lucky I was to have Aaron and Kimberly. I remember shaking a lot and nearly crying. I remember the looks on specific people’s faces watching me as I spoke. I remember feeling like God loved me so much, especially at that moment.
Then one day in September of my 9th grade year, Aaron was fired without explanation or warning. He wasn’t even allowed back on church grounds to say goodbye. I remember that day like it was yesterday:
A few of the student leaders had started a student-lead bible study group called ‘The Red Pill’ (as in the path of truth in the matrix.) We were sitting on couches discussing James when a guy came in and told us to come with him quick, we all had to go to Aaron’s house. None of us had a clue what was going on, but no one had answers, so we all piled in cars and drove. We passed around cell-phones and called our parents to let them know where we were going, but nothing was clear even to us. When we got there we all sat in a circle in his living room. He looked shaken. And then he told us. And we cried. All of us. I’ve never been so shocked or so upset. And it was more like a nightmare than real life to me. Aaron and Kimberly had always talked about how they wanted to see us grow up and graduate from highschool. I thought things would just always be like that. I never expected my life to change.
There was somewhat of a riot at the church that night. The preacher talked a lot. We had so many questions. It was informal and unplanned, but it was inevitable. My high opinion of our preacher and of other leaders in the church was crushed and I left late that night, confused, angry, and overwhelmed. And the worst part- my dad was on the committee that fired him. I spent the night with my best friend, Brooke. I have never cried so much in my life. And since that day, nothing has ever been the same. Aaron and Kimberly moved to Colorado.
Fast forward three years and I no longer attend church with my family. I go to a different church on my own. The youth group is good (nothing ever compared to Aaron), and I respect the people who go there. I have finally settled and accepted life as it is, and am determined to make the most of what I have. I have developed new relationships and even love the youth leaders. I am finally happy.
And now Aaron’s back. He’s been hired as the new youth director at the church I am currently attending. So yeah, I don’t really know what to make of it. I am a little afraid even. But I’m excited, because I have missed his voice, his enthusiasm, and his motivation. I know things will never be exactly like they used to be, but it’s kinda cool that he came back my senior year- so he gets to see us graduate- just like he wanted to.
And that’s my story. Sorry, it’s so long, I didn’t mean for it to be.