What’d I get into?

Published 4:22 am Wednesday, February 6, 2019

I walked into the fellowship hall filled with teenagers, wondering what I was getting myself into. After all it had been quite a while since I had taught or had much to do with kids this age. Well, my grandson, Aidan, was of the teenage variety, but that was different.

Mike and I went to the host home meeting for Disciple Now and realized that we would be expected to attend some of the meetings and interact a good deal with the students. Up until this point we imagined that providing a place for the ninth grade girls to bed down and feeding them breakfast would be the gist of our duties.

Rows of students filled the entire room, and my eyes swept the area to see if I could find our girls. Finally, I asked one of the organizers of the weekend and strolled over to meet my charges and their counselor. I had mistakenly assumed making rules for the weekend would be the duty of the counselors, but found out it would be ours as well.

House rules? I had never had to make rules for guests before. I had pondered what rules I wanted to give the young ladies, but could think of none. I decided for once to say there were no hard and fast rules. My hope was that the girls would take the initiative to discuss among themselves and decide accordingly. Of course, I would step in if needed, but I hoped I we wouldn’t need to.

Shortly after meeting “my girls,” I discovered that I knew practically all of their grandparents. This seemed to please them and give us a jump-start on finding common ground. Before long we were all laughing and kidding around like we had known each other forever.

At first glance, their counselor appeared to be one of the students, but I soon realized the depth of her concern for these young ladies set her apart. They loved and accepted “Abby” and I was so glad to have her lead the group times in my home.

The weekend progressed very nicely with Bible Study group time, a really messy all afternoon game of sign war, worship time, and hanging out. Of course, no youth weekend would be complete without the fellows showing up in the night to roll the house where the girls stayed. We woke up to a sea of white, but they have upgraded from our old rolling days. Now they stick plastic forks all in the lawn for an added bonus. I think we still have a couple of forks out there right now!

Mike and I arrived in Birmingham and settled into our hotel room the night before my surgery. My mind was beginning to spin a little thinking about the day ahead. Soon my phone started dinging and for almost an hour I read message after message from my new young friends. I thought we were doing something for them, but the blessing was truly ours.

Jan Penton Miller can be reached at lilsisjan@yahoo.com.