Laughter & Tears
|Icecream and quality time|
“I want to be friends with her but I need some space right now”.
“I thought I was doing the right thing by pushing them to get help”.
“He is sooo cute”.
“None of my classes that I wanted fit into my schedule for next year”.
Giggles…lots of giggles.
And tears...lots of tears.
This has been the reality of conversations between myself and any combination of the six girls that I work closely with at the school. I began working at the beginning of this year with these grade 8 girls by the request of a school counsellor. My role is to be an extra support for them, a listening ear, and a healthy adult in their lives. These six girls have tested my patience, hardened my listening skills and really, at the end of the day, tugged at my heart.
Through my time spent with each of these girls, both individually and as a group, they have taught me so much about the value of being a part of their day-to-day lives and simply listening. Supporting them as they process the ups and downs of friendships has allowed me to speak into what kind of friend they can be for others and how to communicate their expectations of friendship. As I witness them making tough choices to help someone they care about, I can help them to see the values and qualities they have and encourage them to continue to use them well. Laughing with them as they talk about how cute the boy in their band class is eventually leads to talking about relationships and their past experiences, their dreams for a relationships and how to set healthy boundaries. As I help them find the resources they need to work through their academic concerns, I can help coach them through the anxieties and fears they have from dealing wiith the pressure they feel they are under; celebrating with them in their victories and sitting with them in their struggles. It is a privilege to see these girls experience life and to be a trusted friend and role model for each of them.
There are many exciting things coming up for me in this next little while!
-I have begun my credentialing process (the 8 hours/week school component of the apprenticeship year) which has already been both encouraging and enlightening. At the end of May, as part of this process, I will be heading to Redeemer University College (in Ancaster, ON) for a week long in-class learning experience.
-At the end of June, my team and I will be heading to Princeton for YFC Canada’s National Ministry Conference. This will be 3 days packed full of training, workshops and renewing retreat time as we enter into the summer season of ministry.
- Philippa Chapman