Friday, July 28, 2017

Out of my Comfort Zone

Each summer I ask the kids if they are interested in going to Vacation Bible School and each year they say "no."  We don't have a "home church" and visit a couple different churches a handful of times throughout the year.  So I understood their hesitation in attending.  However, this year when I asked, Paisley responded "let me think about it."  A few days later he said he wanted me to sign him up.  Lila (overhearing the conversation) said she wanted to go too!  I located the forms on the Internet and sent them in.

The church is located in the little town we live in, but I was unsure about who would be involved.  I asked the kids if they would like me to volunteer, such as to help with crafts, snacks, etc, and they said they would like that.  I sent in my own form to assist, filled out the background form, and the next week I was sitting in my first VBS volunteer meeting.

I didn't know a soul in the room, which was a little nerve-racking.  But, there were friendly faces and I was glad my kids were going to get this experience.  As the lead person began walking around she stopped in front of me and confirmed who I was.  In the next breath she asked if I would be a group leader and lead a group of 5-7 children throughout the week.  I'm pretty sure I laughed for a minute before I realized she wasn't kidding.

I quickly explained that I don't go to church faithfully and didn't even have a "home church."  In my babbling I'm pretty sure I said something about loving the kids and loving the Lord but I would be much better at helping, not leading.  With a kind smile she assured me I'd be fine and walked away.  It was then I realized I wasn't getting out of this and I could feel myself begin to sweat through my shirt.  I was officially out of my comfort zone.

The rest of the meeting flew by in a blur as did the next week.  I poured over my packet of paperwork trying to memorize the themes of the day.  I watched the music videos on Youtube so I would know the songs. I even downloaded a Bible App and began reading it daily.  I was as ready for this as I was ever going to be.

My little angel in the striped shirt
There's one reason that I didn't want this role...fear.  I feared I would say the wrong thing to my group.  I feared my interpretation of the Bible wasn't what they would be teaching.  I feared everyone there, even the 3 year olds, would know more about Jesus than I did.

The week of VBS arrived and we took our place among the other leaders and kids that were there for the same reason.  I saw a lot of familiar faces as parents and kids came through the doors.  As my kids ventured off with their own crew leaders, I got to meet the 6 girls ranging from 4 to 11 years that made up my crew.  We made small talk and slowly got to know one another.  We did our crafts, sang our songs, and learned about Jesus.

The week went smoothly as my group of girls were absolutely wonderful to be with.  My own 2 kids were having a great time and Paisley said it was more fun than he thought it would be.  They made new friends, loved the activities, and I'd hear them singing the songs even when we weren't at VBS.  We looked forward to going each night and to learn the simple lesson of that evening.

Singing with my group.
The Youtube videos paid off! 
My fear didn't stick around long.  It was replaced with joy.  Joy in leading these girls. Joy in seeing my own kids singing the cheerful songs.  And as the last night was upon us, I was surprised by feeling a little bummed that this experience was already over!  

An opportunity that made me nervous, uncomfortable, and downright anxious ended up bringing me more happiness than I expected.  The bonding with this group of girls caused my heart to double in size.  And VBS brought more joy and excitement to my own babies that I hadn't really expected.

I never would have volunteered to be a leader, but am incredibly grateful the opportunity was put upon me.  Next year when sign-ups are being taken, I'll ask the kids if they want to go and I'll hope they say yes.  Then as I'm filling out my volunteer form, I'll probably check the box to be a leader.  Probably. :)