Wednesday, June 16, 2010
I'm not afraid, to take a stand
Everybody, come take my hand
We'll walk this road together, through the storm
Whatever weather, cold or warm
Just to let you know that you're not alone
Holla if you feel like you've been down the same road
-Not Afraid by Eminem
So I listened to this song about 10 or 15 times before tonight but driving home tonight the lyrics really jumped out at me. I've been listening to Eminem for the last hour or two, and still those lyrics are what are sticking in my mind and playing over and over again.
Tonight as most of you know we found out that Charge will be going through another transition. George Stull our youth pastor of two and half years is leaving...
George took the position after the church went through another hard transition when my first youth pastor, Bryan Kirkpatrick, was let go/fired. At first I think its easy to say we as a church were not so welcoming to the new guy. We were so loyal to Bryan and so hurt by his leaving that we really had to take a little bit before we could even realize George was there. I still remember the meetings we had in the church cafe about George taking the position as interim pastor. I remember it like it was 2 days ago, but really it was over 2 years ago. I liked the guy at first, but lets face it, he wasn't my bryan. He wasn't the father figure I had in my life for over 4 years. He couldn't fit in Bryan's shoes. But then I had to eventually give him a chance...
It was hard. Most of my close friends, "the homies" left the church. And with their leaving fell away most of our friendships. I still love those guys and would do anything for them, but I do feel that life may not bring us back to the place we once were. It was a hard getting use to coming to Charge and having no one there except for Natalie, but she was graduating that year... It was so hard going through the new transition.
I remember one night I was almost driven to tears. I was sitting alone in the front watching pat and Jad play ping pong as a demonstration for George's message, and I looked around at the people, the lack of, the difference, and it just hit me hard. It was really hard to accept this "new charge." It was hard to accept the change. George himself has thanked me a couple of times for being so positive through all the changes and transitions, but internally, I was tore up. I couldn't help but be angry and hurt at that time. I felt so alone. I felt a little abandoned...
A couple of months went by with this new youth pastor. We went to Wheelwright together and I got to know him a little bit more there. I also just started talking with him alot more trying to help him. He told me one day how he felt like he was stepping into a sticky situation. He didn't expect really anyone to be super warm to him or anything at first. So from then on, i made my effort to make sure he knew he was loved. I made sure he felt at least a little something even before I really loved the guy. ha.
After a lot more time and a lot more talks with George the end of my senior year came. And by this time I had grown pretty close to George. He was a good friend and he always came off caring to me, which was awesome. So he approached me about a leadership position. And I thank him for that. One of the things I treasure the most is the times I have had with my guys. The relationships I have built with my guys and my friends at Charge. I thank God that George talked to me that day about coming on board with Charge. So I did.
Through this last year George has been so supportive and awesome towards me. I can truly say that George has been nothing but a friend and a loving spirit in a time of great need in my life.
As most of you know, its been just a tough year for me and my family. The beginning of the year was hard with school and crap, and then the worst came back with my papa's cancer. George was there for me through that whole process. And a hard process that was. I still haven't written about that situation because honestly, I'm still not ready to talk about it. One day I wrote out a title on a blog and named it Papa and I started writing and I had to stop. It was too intense. The feelings are all too strong still and I can't handle sharing that right now. But one person I could share all that with was George and that is one thing that I am so grateful for...
During that time George also helped me find one of my passions. He asked me about a video idea one day and I told him I had one and he loved it. He then told me to run with it. I had not ever done a video before on my own, especially not for a church service and he told me to go for it. So I did. In this process I found my love for video creation. I found my love for conveying a message through visuals and music. I am a person who loves creation. I love creating something. I found in that first project that I really loved that. That video lead to another video for a new program called, "exposed." And with that video I was sold. I knew that video work was a passion of mine. All this to say that one video started a passion of mine. One video lead to a dream...
In the last couple of months I have really been thinking about my life and where its going and what I want to pursue and I have come to the realization that I would like to pursue film. I have always been a huge movie buff and I've always been a writer, so I realized one day, it only makes sense to chase those two passions. I can thank George for providing me with the opportunity to do one video. That one video changed my life and my goals. It changed my perspective, and my path that I was on at that time.
George and Debbie have both been huge blessings in my life and have done so much for me. Yeah, sure there have been times where we may have disagreed about something or gotten angry at each other over some crap, but that church. Church is messy. Church is not a squeeky clean place. Crap happens. But through all the crap I can honestly say that I do love both of them dearly. I hate that I will no longer get to walk into Charge Middle School and rip on Debbie for being a weirdo or whatever chosen name I stick on her for the day. I hate that I won't be able to walk in the office upstairs and see George at his desk working. It seems I always walk in to his office when he has his nose down on some notes.
After talking with church leaders and George himself, yeah I do think that this transition is probably for the best. It will be a hard transition, but I know that in the end we will come out strong. As we always have we will come out strong. George and Debbie Stull I thank you so much for you impact on my life alone. You may think that you didn't get to accomplish much in your time at Crosspoint, but strike that from your mind. No matter what people say, you made in impact. Not only on my life, but so many kids. So many kids were blessed with your smiles and your hugs and your encouraging words. Thank you.
Its funny I wrote this post thinking it would be about transitions and where life is heading and all that crap, but really it was a reflection on my time with George and Debbie, so many more words could and should be said about them. They are both two great people with two great hearts. I really hope that I do not come across like just another church member saying praises. I hate that at 19 I am a cynic but to a point I am. I listen to people, especially at church, and think, "Ok, what they are saying is just 'church speak' aka the nice way of putting it." Its said but its true. But I just want you to know from the bottom of my heart that you are loved.
Now to Charge I say this:
We have a long road ahead of us. We have many more transitions to work through in the next coming months. We as a group will make it through this. And as we always have, we will come out of this struggle stronger.
But remember through all of this you are not alone. As Eminem put it:
"We'll walk this road together, through the storm
Whatever weather, cold or warm
Just to let you know that you're not alone."
And everyone at Charge knows this. We together will walk out of this storm strong.
Through all of these transitions we will all come out ok.
and so will the Stulls.
God has a plan and a purpose for all of us.
And His will WILL be done.
God, please just watch over all of us, and help us to see the paths that we walk. Help us through the struggles we all will face, I know that in the end we will see that you were with us through it all. At times it seems that you are not by my side, or others. But I know that you are. Help us to see your face in everything. Even through a transition such as this.
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Album: Light Grenades
*Have a policy with posting songs with profanities, so I could not justify posting the song Not Afraid by Eminem. But a great song nonetheless.