Thursday, September 13, 2012

Things I Can't Say

Today I am linking up with Things I Can't Say! But, if it were things she couldn't say, it would be blank. So, it's more like things she can't say out loud!

If you've been reading .Redeemed. for any amount of time, you know that I lead a middle school girls eGroup.  If you are new to .Redeemed. and that is new information to you, you should read those two posts.  Then, you'll be up to speed on my life as an eGroup leader to middle school girls.

Today, I am pouring my heart out with things that I can't say.  I consider myself highly blessed to be a part of the eStudents at Elevation Church.  The saying around Elevation is that we don't have a student ministry, we are a student ministry.  There are about 20 girls, with regular attendance at a little less than 15 each week in my eGroup.  They are fabulous girls, who desire to grow closer to God and learn as much as they can from our time together.  The weight that is on my shoulders is huge and I don't take it lightly!  I desire to grow as close to God, so I can lead them close to Him, I desire to be a strong Christian role model in their life who they respect and look up to, and I desire to be someone who they come to when they don't feel like they can go to their parents. 

But... every story has a but, right?  Lately, some of these middle school girls have really gotten into their middle school teenage selves.  And, it's not pretty.  They aren't the most polite young ladies, they say what is ever on their mind no matter how unkind it may be, and they have little respect for anyone in a position of authority.

I'll admit that I was a teenager once, and my mom will tell you those were not my finest years.  I would argue about every little thing to the ground, slam doors and back talk at every opportunity...

The problem is, I feel like I expect a lot more out of the girls. Their blatant disrespect for their parents, teachers and myself breaks my heart.  I know that they are greater than that, but I can't figure out how to pull that greater potential out of them.  I'll ask them to put their phones away, so they hide their phone behind a pillow, I'll ask them to not talk while someone else is talking, so they whisper behind their hands, I'll ask them to not be rude, so they say it's just the truth.

I've left eGroup frustrated beyond reason the last few weeks.  I feel like I'm failing as an eGroup leader.  I can't figure out how to get my old, beautiful, sweet and kind eGroup girls back.

Things I Can't Say... Out loud... For an hour and a half once a week, could you put being a teenager aside and show me a little respect?  For an hour and a half once a week, could you be sweet to your eGroup leader who lives in Uptown Charlotte, but comes to Rock Hill for you?  For an hour and a half once a week, could you respect and honor everyone who has come to eGroup? 

PS.  I do love them and the opportunity to be a part of their lives.  They are just testing me right now! 

Reader... Feel free to pitch in any advice on middle school girls for me!  Feel free to drop an encouraging comment.  Feel free to tell me that even though I feel like I'm not making a difference, I am making an eternal investment in your life.  Anything really!  I'd love to hear from you!


  1. I just want you to know that you HAVE made a huge impact on my life. I know we're not as close as we used to be but I am so excited to see what God is doing in and through you, and I know that He has brought each and every one of those girls into your group for a reason. YOU are the one that can have the most impact on them. The one thing I can suggest is maybe reading some of the Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul books? It might give you an insight into how they are thinking, and what they are going through. I have the first four (not sure if they made any more after that). Just let me know if you'd like to borrow them!

  2. Middle school is a tough age! I used to work with that age as a youth group leader and then later as a teacher. Had to constantly remind myself that that is a time of change and stress for them and they are just trying to figure out who they are.