A Way of Life
|Its so good to be around the school for moments like these|
“You’re the closest thing to an actual adult in my life.”
I almost stumbled back when I heard this yesterday.
Personally, I wasn’t sure if I deserved that kind of comment or recognition. Oftentimes, I’ll equate those types of comments with all the big moments that have happened, and honestly, it didn’t feel like I had been there for enough big moments to qualify as his “actual adult.”
But then I realized it was true, simply because I’ve always been there with him. I’ve been present for a quarter of his life, and when you’re in high school, that ends up feeling like most of your life. It’s wild when you think about it. I met him at Gatorshades years ago, navigated the incredibly hard and awkward first few years of high school with him, heard him as he sang with friends at games club, been alongside him as his living situation spiraled out of control, listened to him process the bigger questions in life at Spiritual Life, made him hot chocolate at drop-in every week, all while connecting him to other people to help him navigate the house-hopping.
One of my core values is being relational, which is shared by Youth Unlimited. I think it’s this value of relationship that makes all this feel so normal. It’s because this person is not a project to be fixed – he’s a person to be walked with. Sure, there have been some avenues I’ve been able to help him with in his life, but it’s those smaller moments when we get to share consistently (even throughout constant COVID changes) that stick out. Those meaningful moments in passing during lunch hour, those conversations where you learn something new even after all this time, new challenges in life, learning to love (oneself and others). It comes back to life. This job is more than a job, it’s a calling and a way of life; and it’s pointing people constantly to Jesus through how we serve, how we speak, and how we live.
So in reflection, it starts to make sense why this statement hit me like it did. Everything about being involved in their life was so normal. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary to be so involved. Thinking about this young person now and realizing that I have been one of the only constants in his life, wow – what an honour to be included that way. It goes beyond me – to the team, and to all of you as well – you get to share in those moments by partnering with us and giving me those opportunities to know this guy over these past 5.5 years. Thank you!
- Jon Pue