The past two weeks at work have been crazy, interesting and overwhelming. I hosted this program titled "Challenge Day" which airs on MTV under the show called "If You Really Knew Me" for those of you who will admit to watching such a station (Now is a good time for me to admit that I'm obsessed with Teen Mom)! Anyway, Challenge Day is a program that "challenges" students to see their peers from a different light and to "get real" about who they are. It's extremely intense as the kids answer the question, "If you really knew me you would know..." Before we dive into the depths of the teenage soul we play incredibly silly games. We laugh, we dance, we sing and most importantly we HUG. Oh, and I do the worm, which is pretty incredible that my 28 year old body can still master this move on an extremely hard gym floor. I can't do this program justice with my words. It's something you have to experience. You'll see jocks crying, gang member throwing up the hand symbol for "I love you", cutters rolling up their sleeves and much more. The day get even more emotional as the students are asked to cross the line if you've ever experienced....fill in the blank. My heart breaks as kids cross the line for poverty, drugs, death, hurts, single family homes and much more. Suddenly you realize...hurt people hurt people. That's not a typo. Hurt people hurt people. And it's incredible to see the walls come down from shame and embarrassment and to hear teenagers express their deepest fears. Lives are changed. Students make commitments to "Be the Change". Cheerleaders start saying "Hi" to geeks, apologies are made, friendships are restored and the lonely feel supported. It helps the adults too. Grown men make phone calls to family members that they haven't contacted in over two years. Parents get an inside view of what their kids are dealing with. And for me, it's a breath of fresh air. I see hope, change and genuineness that I don't see very often. So three days of Challenge Day equals allot of money, lack of sleep, a million hugs, aching body, 300+ students, 90 volunteers, over 100 e-mails and referrals that I'm behind in because Challenge Day consumed my life for the majority of the month of September, and a good week and a half of recovery time from such an emotional 3 days. When it's all over though it's totally worth it and here's few reasons why. Bobby tried to commit suicide and said he was thankful he was still here. In response 99 students stood up and affirmed him that he was not alone and he was loved. Susie got to say through her tears, "I'm so mad at my dad for having an affair", Joe got to say, "I have a full ride to _____ for sports and I hate playing sports"! Betty said, "I'm angry that my parents are so sick from their choices that I have to clean, do laundry and cook for my siblings". The list goes on and on. And I got to stand up and say..."You matter, you have a purpose, and you are loved. It only takes 1 of you to break the cycle of in your family, amongst your friends and amongst your student body. So here's to hoping it sticks and me and my school will learn to "Be the Change".
I am an imperfect woman that is learning to love. Learning to love God, my husband (which is not very hard!), myself (much harder!), my family, and anyone else that walks into my path. I want my life to show God's Glory. I want people to know the Grace, Redemption, and Freedom that I know. Many things get in the way such as fear, anxiety, health, and my past. But amongst all these trials I will choose Joy, I will Love, and I will always choose God.