I finally submitted the one college application I needed to get in. The essay was lame, but I ended up enjoying it and even realized some stuff about myself that I had never really paid attention to before. 

Turns out, I miss the youth group. I didn't always enjoy it when I was there, and I told myself it was mainly because I didn't really agree with what the pastor was preaching. However, once I sat down and thought about it, sure, I wasn't a fan of her approach. I don't like the idea of feeding kids the same idea week after week, that they need to 'have an impact on their school and their friends', only because I remember getting the same sermons and I feel like it skips over a lot of what kids actually need to hear. 
I didn't realize who Jesus was as He pertained to MY life until I wasn't going to a youth group, really it wasn't 'till I was actually going through stuff in my life and had friends who really challenged me in who I thought God was. But I won't get off on that tangent right now! 

What I didn't like was that I never felt like kids could be completely open, or that I could be completely open with them. Everything was kept very surface, very 'normal' Christian. If I wanted to talk about my passion for tattoos...yeah, I was going to get an angry glance. And for me, that was hard to get past.

But what I've come to learn as well is that youth was awesome. I really loved those kids, and I've missed them. I don't miss the adults that were there, sure. However, that doesn't have to influence my entire view of youth. I had an amazing time playing Rock Band with these kids, and they had a great time with me. I should've taken the initiative to hang out more with them one on one, but back then I felt so trapped by who I thought I was supposed to be in the 'Christian world' that I just had myself locked away. I couldn't bring myself to hang out with them, because what was I free to say? What part of me could I dare let out? Since then, things have changed. I'm me, and God loves who I am. He made me passionate about tattoos, and art, and expressing who you are and saying what you have to say!

It's awesome. Also, youth group helped me work on my people skills. My making friends skills. And it played a role in one of my favorite friendships.

Did it end badly? Yeah. I got chewed out by a pastor for no good reason, which they later admitted to me they had no right to say. They also didn't have a leg to stand on and most of what they said wasn't true, and all of it was nasty. But that doesn't mean that I should look at my whole 'youth' experience badly. I had a great time, and God used me to show kids that there's always someone who cares. 
 


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