So, I just got home from one of THE COOLEST nights of youth group so far.

Granted, there have only been like two Wednesdays of YG, but… shut up.

We went to this concert.

The Reform (I think?) opened for The Glorious Unseen.

No, I did not buy a CD. I was in too much of a hurry to get home. See, I rode the bus over. With the junior high kids. And so my car was at church. And YP brought the JH kids back to church before I was ready to leave. Luckily, two other leaders stuck around, and I caught a ride with them. Although YP would’ve shown up again eventually, judging by the fact the bus was back at church and his car was gone when we got to church.

So I’ll buy a TGU CD eventually.

Anyway.

TR was good. I didn’t understand a whole lot of their words, because it was loud and stuff. But the few lyrics that stuck out were these:

Our hearts burn for You.

And we are Yours. (Hands were raised across the room at this.)

We are a generation touched by Your Salvation.

And then TGU:

Lord You meet me here.

Come carry me now.

Your love accepts me as I am.

Would You use me where I am.

How I long to be broken; how I long to be near You.

The speaker, Jason from San Diego, talked about how we live with our eyes wide shut. He talked about how we act fine on the outside, but on the inside, we’re dying to be noticed, and we turn to anything other than God to fill that void.

He talked about the story of the blind man in Mark 10, how he was probably known as “Blind Bartimaeus”. The man had an identity, was the son of someone, but all people saw him for was his blindness.

Jason said, and I’m paraphrasing here, that our identity should be WHO we are, not WHAT we are–not labels. Not “jock” or “cool” or “spazz” or any of that. We should be know BY NAME, valued for who we are.

You, my dear friend, are valued.

You are loved.

You are worth so much more than you think.

You were created with joy and pleasure and love.

You MATTER.

Don’t ever believe the lie that you are worthless.

Christ gave up His life for you.

THAT is how valuable you are.

You are WORTH DYING FOR.

(Not the band. Although they’re pretty cool.)

Jesus would probably tell you that you were worth every moment of pain, every lash, every mocking laugh, every thorn that pierced His brow. You were worth ALL OF IT. And He’d probably do it again if He had to.

Tonight I encountered something.

Something freakin’ awesome.

It was gloomy outside, and we were even in a tornado watch part of the night, but that didn’t bother me tonight.

Standing in that room, listening to TR, TGU, and Jason… It was something that I want to happen more often.

It reminded me of CHIC, all those kids (not as many as CHIC, but a good chunk) praising God.

There were hands raised, voices ringing out, lives dedicated and rededicated.

I was one of those.

I discovered a renewed zeal.

I rededicated my heart to Jesus. For probably the hundredth time, but this time… this time it was different. I can’t explain why, but it was.

Must have something to do with the work God’s been doing in my heart this summer.

Whatever You’re doing inside of me, it feels like chaos, but somehow there’s peace.

It took nearly 20 years, the deaths of several people, two trips to CHIC, a lot of falling away and returning and starting the cycle all over again, a gazillion prayers, and a night of loud music, but I’m starting again. For real this time.

At least, I hope so. It’s my hope and prayer that I actually run with it this time, instead of just saying it.

What about you?

Oh, also, I’ve got stuff to do on Sunday nights now! I’m going to hang out with the freshmen girls at their Bible study. =D This was just decided tonight, at the concert. Or, right before the concert.

Anyway. I’m going to help.

And I’m going to a luncheon with the group who owns the building the concert was in. On Wednesday. Any other year, I’d have said no out of paranoia. And I was uncertain until tonight. Tonight I decided that I need to stop worrying and just DO stuff. It’s a new year!

Oh, the two female leaders I rode back to church with? We talked about Group. We sat in the church parking lot (in a slight drizzle) and talked. YP drove past wondering if everything was cool. Um, yeah. Just chattin’. He told us that three or four of our JH girls didn’t want to leave the concert! But he’d told parents he’d have them back at 9, and it was after that by a little bit, so they needed to leave.

We need to have these kinds of concerts more often. They’re a blessing.

I learned a little about my girls tonight, too.

I remembered kids’ names tonight! =)

And we had small group time.

I had four of the same girls as last year, and two new ones. It was fun! We talked and giggled for a bit before we had to leave for the concert.

I’m so blessed.

It took me 20 years to realize it, but I am ridiculously blessed.

And so are you.

It just takes time and actually looking to realize how blessed we are.

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