Well, everyone, tonight is bittersweet. Tonight marks the rejoicing of another school year is finished (for some of you, high school is complete), it marks the start of the freedom of summer, the start of summer jobs, the anticipation of camp, new beginnings, it also marks the day we have to say goodbye to you amazing people.
Thank you for being our guinea pigs as we figured out what it meant to lead a youth group as a couple. Thank you for showing up with great questions and thoughts to contribute to discussion. Thank you for being you, y’all are hilarious and so fun to be around. Thank you for being a part of our lives for this year, we have learned so much and have loved hanging out with you.
As we leave we also want to encourage you. Life is crazy, people are crazy, and you have no choice but to navigate through the things that you face. That is just the reality of what was, is, and is yet to come to you here on this earth.
You are a child of God; you are created in His image. If you have accepted and confessed that Jesus is Lord and believe it in your hearts then you have the Holy Spirit living within you to help guide and direct you all the days of your life. You have the assurance that when all is said and done, whether that be when Jesus returns or when He calls you home, you will be with God in heaven with everyone else who believes. You can know with certainty that you are never alone, you walk through nothing alone. He is with you (read Psalm 23).
We pray for you guys that you would come to a full and personal understanding of God. That God would reveal Himself to you. That you would seek Him out with all your hearts and dedicate time to your relationship with Him. When you do this, you will find Him! He will reveal Himself to you in new ways and He will give you wisdom and understanding when you ask Him for it and as you read His Word. We will continue praying for you even when we have parted ways.
We also want you to know that even though we are no longer at your church or leading the youth group, and even though some of you are off to college/university, we are still available for you to talk to and reach out to. We are not that far away and we can still do coffee dates here and there if that is something you would like. If you have more questions about life, God, the Bible, don’t hesitate to ask.
We wish we could just write for pages and fill them with truth for you to read but nothing we could say would be any more true or perfect than what you can read in your Bibles. We encourage you to read your Bible, to pray, to continue to seek community with other believers and to love, care and serve people wholeheartedly. You are each so unique and amazing and we can see that God has amazing plans for you. We know that you are going to do amazing things in this life; you are incredibly special human beings.
A Prayer for this Goodbye:
God, I thank you for the time we had here at this church and with these amazing youth. I thank you that you have a plan for each of their lives, where you are taking them, the adventures they will have, and how you will grow them. I thank you that you also have a plan for our lives and that we can trust you and how you are directing our path.
This is a bittersweet time as one adventure ends and another one begins, for each of us. Be in this transition God; bring us comfort and peace and boldness in you in our new seasons.
“I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come” (Ephesians 1:17-21).
God, draw us all closer to yourself, lead us and guide us. Protect us from the enemy and remind us that as we draw closer to you and know who we are in you, as your children and in Christ Jesus that the devil will have to flee, that he has no power over us. May we stand firm and resist temptation, help us in this we pray. Holy Spirit lead us and remind us of the truth. Be our strength and reminder through trials and temptations of what is pure and noble and right.
Thank you for all that you taught us during this youth group season. Thank you for your Truth and your Word. Thank you again, Lord, for these youth and how they have blessed us, taught us as leaders and brought us joy.
“May the Lord bless you and keep you and cause His face to shine upon you and be gracious to you, may He turn His face towards you and give you peace” (Numbers 6:24-26).
We love you guys!
Josiah and Maddi