Sunday, January 8, 2017

My Usual Sunday And My Amazing Youth Pastor

January 8th, 2017

Ugh, I have had a long day. Not a bad day, just a long one, but Sunday's tend to be that way. I love church, I really do, but my parents like to immediately go to their friend's house that is on the same street as my church so that they'll feel more up to going back for night service. I get it. Once we go home, we don't really want to go back because we're tired or just not feeling like it. So they think playing board games for hours on end with their friends before 5:30 is a brilliant idea! For them, yeah. For me? Well, let's just say that I got home around 30 minutes ago. That was Eight O'clock, and we left the house at Eight this morning. That's 12 hours. I get sick of being around people after one and a half. It works for them, but definitely not me. I love church, but I kinda dread Sunday for that reason alone.

Something my youth pastor said during Sunday school reminded me of how much I love her. This woman really understands. We were talking about obedience, using Mary as an example of how she fulfilled God's will by giving birth to his son, and she didn't even ask why. She just obeyed. Near the end, my youth pastor asked us when we have trouble obeying God and why. What are some things we just don't want to do even at God's urging? I answered with self-control; the trouble I have with letting my emotions get the best of me and acting on them. I get easily agitated at home and I yell a lot. I'm struggling to respond better, but I make excuses to God (as silly as that is) about how I was upset and my little sister was purposely annoying me. I have trouble with that, as I'm sure a lot of us do. When I finished, the girl beside me said, "So you're being a teenager?" She didn't say it in a condescending way, just playfully. My youth pastor, being the amazing woman she is, said (paraphrasing this), "Well, I don't think that's a teenager thing, but normal human reactions. The whole thing about that being reserved for teenagers because of hormones is just stereotype."

People often treat teenagers like we're not even human, that we're either theses scary or delicate things that you have watch out for. One of the reasons why I love my youth pastor so much is because she reminds that I am actually a person, not just a teenager. She was saying that these things people stereotype teenagers for are actually things everyone has a problem with. We are people and we have a choice in the things we do. I let my emotions get the best of me because I let my emotions get the best of me. If I put enough effort into it, I could stop. I could learn self-control and learn how to be more tolerant, because my age does not limit me from making my own decisions. Being a teenager does not automatically make me rebellious and disobedient. We're only stereotypical teenagers because we allow ourselves to be, because we allow ourselves to believe that we can be no other way.

My youth pastor not only tells us that we don't have to have these stereotypical labels, but that our problems are real. She is an adult who has been married for 14 years and has two kids. She goes to work, she pays bills, she deals with two rowdy toddlers, and she is a grown woman with responsibilities, but she isn't that adult who tells teenagers that their issues aren't real because they don't know what it's like to be grown up yet. She isn't that adult who spits out all the things she has to do that stresses her out and uses them as reasons why we can't have problems or be stressed. She respects us and encourages us. She didn't say, "Oh, Autumn. You're just being hormonal." when I poured my heart out to her while crying my eyes out just a few months ago. You know what she did? She did everything in her power to help me, and she still is! She told me that even though it would be a lot of work and effort and endurance to overcome the things I deal with, I can do it. She told me that I am strong and that I can get through it. She didn't tell me that it would be okay when I got older and she didn't tell me something my dad often tells me, "Ten years from now, you'll look back and realize how silly you were being." She doesn't tell me I'm being silly. She tells me that I can get passed it, and she helps me all the while.

She is an incredible woman who makes me feel normal. Simply being around her encourages me to do the best I can do grow as a person. I am constantly being reminded of how much I love her, and how much I'm going to miss her.

The rest of my day went by smoothly (all except for my internal cries for my bed). I ate fast food, took a nap on my parents' friends' couch, woke up and harassed my sister, and scrolled through Instagram in boredom before we went back to church (I wish I had brought my laptop so I could actually do some writing and blogging, but it's never the same when I'm not in the privacy and comfort of my own room). I'm glad to be home and I'm glad to be able to have my usual setup: Sitting comfortably on my bed, under my penguin blanket with my laptop on my lap. Oh, and no pants. I feel relaxed at last! I'm probably gonna go watch some Mermaid Melody after posting this and write some fluff when I start to get fed up with how blind Kaito is. I wanted to blog some more today, but you know how it is. I'll definitely be more active tomorrow!

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